Take Your Ultrawide Monitors Everywhere With an AR Laptop
the concept of working from home has been utterly redefined in the past few years. As long as there’s Wi-Fi and a computer, many people can technically work from anywhere. But for those who have gotten used to clicking through multiple monitors or walking at a standing desk, working away from the house requires schlepping around a bunch of peripherals in order to be productive.
But what if you didn’t have to crouch over a dark, tiny laptop screen at the coffee shop? Now you can harness the power of a multi-monitor setup with a pair of augmented reality (AR) glasses and a keyboard. Created by a new company called Sightful, founded by former executives of Magic Leap, Spacetop does exactly that. As the world’s first AR laptop, it delivers the convenience of a virtual 100-inch screen with the ability to display as many windows and apps as you need to get work done from wherever you are.
It’s available for purchase through an invitation-only early access program for $2,000. Delivery to those selected will start in early July. Anyone can apply, but Sightful says it’s specifically looking for “enthusiastic early adopters” who will provide feedback the company can use to refine the experience.
Updated May 18: An earlier version of this article stated the Spacetop has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor. It’s powered by the Snapdragon 865. We’ve corrected the story to reflect this.
I spent only a brief time with Spacetop, but I was surprised at how little there was to it. It’s a pair of glasses connected to a full-size keyboard with a touchpad connected by a wire. At 3.3 pounds, it’s only slightly heavier than the latest 2.7-pound MacBook Air and compact enough to easily slide into your backpack or tote.
To help bring Spacetop to this current form, Sightful pulled existing hardware from NReal (known for its AR glasses) and Wistron (an electronics manufacturer that works with laptop brands like HP and Dell). But the company spent time customizing the device, adding well-thought-out features to enhance the experience.
The glasses went through multiple iterations to ensure they’re comfortable to wear for long periods, without leaving marks on your face, snagging hair, or messing up makeup. The headset has also been optimized for viewing content up close, such as reading text. There’s a physical button on the right arm that controls display brightness.
You can order the AR glasses with prescription lenses at no extra charge (with invite-only access). Your Spacetop will then ship with a pair of custom-ground lenses magnetically attached. I typically wear AR and VR headsets on top of my glasses, so I was relieved to be able to test the device with lenses that matched my prescription.