Innovative solutions such as independent virtual reality (VR) headsets and dual-screen laptops have been brought about by the quest for the perfect mobile workstation. The Spacetop, an innovative hybrid gadget designed to bridge the gap between standard laptops and immersive augmented reality (AR) experiences, has been launched by startup Sightful in this pursuit.
The Spacetop attempts to improve productivity while on the go by giving customers a virtual 100-inch display by substituting the laptop screen with a pair of AR glasses. Offering greater screen real estate without compromising portability is the goal. The Android-powered gadget has a standard keyboard and touchpad for comfortable input techniques, doing away with the need for complicated controllers or motions.
My firsthand experience with the Spacetop at CES 2024 sparked some doubts regarding its implementation, despite the concept’s potential. A Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage are the system’s main components. The gadget functions smoothly, although it isn’t as fast as one may anticipate from a high-end gadget. The real test will be how well it manages a higher workload with numerous open applications, although I noticed very no lag performing basic operations.
One notable drawback is the off-the-shelf AR glasses from Xreal, which, while sharp, exhibit a narrow field of view and a relatively small sweet spot. This limitation affects the overall user experience, especially when attempting to leverage the touted 100-inch virtual display.
Moreover, the Spacetop’s keyboard and touchpad fell short of expectations, feeling spongy and lackluster compared to high-end laptops. Priced at $2,000, the device faces stiff competition, particularly from VR headsets like the Meta Quest 3, which offers a more affordable option with superior specifications and seamless integration with existing laptops.
In conclusion, while the Spacetop introduces an intriguing concept, its execution leaves much to be desired. The dated specs, combined with the limitations of the bundled AR glasses, make it difficult to justify the high price tag. As the industry moves towards advanced AR glasses, the Spacetop serves as a reminder that revolutionary ideas must be paired with cutting-edge technology to truly redefine the common laptop experience.