U.DTR: Ultra Desktop Replacement Concept Design

Desktops are being replaced by laptops in the workplace and at home. Users don’t really mind sacrificing screen estate for portability and convenience of being able to bring their work home with them. However, working with a 15-inch screen can be less than ideal. U.DTR is a concept design aimed at bridging the gap between desktop and laptop by providing desktop-esque ergonomics and flexibility while maintaining the portability of a laptop. The Ultra Desktop Replacement is the brainchild of industrial designer Marin Myftiu, and it is absolutely gorgeous. Marin explored the boundaries of technology with his concept design, all the while holding on to reality and what’s actually achievable. View his complete portfolio on Behance.

What do you think of his concept? Should it be brought to life? A potential Kickstarter project perhaps?

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37 Comments -

Kannon Yamada

That’s such an elegant design, beautiful design. I hope something like that gets produced, but from the look if it, it’s lacking some basic elements of thermal management.

I’ve been working on building a custom all-in-one PC over the past two years and I’ve learned a few things about these sorts of builds.

It would require fans to pull heat through the chassis, however there’s no ventilation ducts, implying a passively cooled design. A low powered chipset might be capable of handling its thermal requirements, though.

Anyway, heat naturally radiates upward, so this design would trap heat beneath the keyboard, where the CPU is located. Ideally, it would attach the hottest components to the back of the monitor, rather than beneath the keyboard.

Jackson Chung

The designer did mention about cooling on his Behance profile — it’s quite clever. There were several images that I didn’t include here, so click through to his profile to find out.

Matt Smith

So what happens when you forget to unplug your USB drive and close the lid.

Ismael R

It should be fine. Looks like it’s behind the end of the bezel and should miss most things plugged in unless they’re exceptionally long/tall.

Deveril D

Looks sleek and nice, but I’ve never been a fan of protruding USB drives (for look or safety), or fragile folding bits that are sure to break thanks to an accidental knock or through over-use.

Stewie

Absolutely brilliant concept. Design is very impressive. I will surely consider buying something like that if they are manufactured. Good luck with the project.

Robert Carrick

Lots of pretty pictures, how about some specs? If it’s a desktop replacement, tell us about RAM, processor, battery life, & graphics performance.

Robert Carrick

Been waiting 4 years for one of these: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H0K1k54t6A

ReadandShare

When used outdoors, I really would want my computer to be slim and sleek and light.

What I would like is something like the Asus Padfone ( http://www.asus.com/Tablets_Mobile/PadFone/ )– which I expect will become both smarter and more battery efficient in the years ahead. This way, I can choose to carry just the phone, or the tablet with the phone inserted — without worries about synching data and such.

And at home, I would want to just lay the padfone down — and have it wirelessly connected to my home screen, keyboard, data drives, printer, etc., etc.

In other words, a computer in the form factor of a phone — easy insertion into a tablet — and all the wireless connections when used at home.

Eric

Just looks like a big, bulky laptop

Chris

Looks great, but as stated above, I do think cooling is going be an issue. For me to get one it would have to have at least 8GB and a super fast processor. Therein, the heat problem.

Frederick D

Beautiful design. I’d love to see this is an ARM chip and Ubuntu, Windows RT, or Android. Why ARM? An x86 chip would be hard to cool, would consume more power, and would drive the cost way up.

A BeagleBone Black costs $45, and I’ve heard that it can make a decent web browsing computer. A souped up ARM SoC that performs very nicely could be made for $100. Add $50 for casing, power supply, internal USB hub, and keyboard. Add $75 for a mass-produced screen directly from a manufacture. Add $75 buffer to cover any estimation mistakes I’ve made & profit.

You now have a $300 computer that’s a portable all-in-one. That can serious market potential if you can pull it off smoothly, emphasis on “if you can” and “smoothly”.

dragonmouth

“I’d love to see this is an ARM chip and Ubuntu”
And you are worried that an x86 chip is going to overheat??? Running Ubuntu on an ARM chip is like using a 4 cylinder engine in a Greyhound bus. TinyCore or antiX would be more appropriate for an ARM chip.

Emlyn Jones

I think you missed the point here, its a desktop replacement, not a netbook, with just an arm chip it will struggle to do anything i do on my desktop. if i cant provide the resources to compete with desktops then it is just a pretty laptop.

Frederick D

A high-end ARM chip might be able to compete with a desktop x86 chip for what most people use desktops for at home (listening to music while shopping online, watching Netflix, checking email, and reading news). If a Tegra 4 can’t drive a desktop effectively, then whatever comes in the next year or two from Nvidia, Qualcomm, or Samsung definitely will. By the time this concept comes to reality there will be sufficiently fast ARM chips.

Note that this would _not_ work for industrial/commercial use. If you’re an architect rendering building models, an engineering modeling fluid flow, a film producer editing HD video, or a researcher analyzing 20 GB CT scans (like me!) you’ll need a powerful x86 chip coupled with a graphics card. But _most_ people don’t process anything more intensive than Netflix or editing a cell phone video.

Yes, some people would want this concept brought to life as a full power desktop replacement, but getting funding for that would be really hard. My idea for a $300 computer has a chance at succeeding at Kickstarter.

Of course, you could just release the U.DTR Pro and the U.DTR RT :-)

Frederick D

Good point, but I’m not sure it’s correct. Has anyone seen Ubuntu run on a Tegra 4? As far as I know it hasn’t been tried. Yes, a SoC like a BeagleBone Black or a Raspberry Pi would have a hard time running Ubuntu, but newer chips might not.

If anyone can prove me wrong (or right :-) ) about Ubuntu running on a Tegra 4 I’d love to hear about it.

Don Gilmore

If it truly had the power of a workstation and just as important cool properly I would buy one today. However I’m skeptical because I have been fooled in the past with these claims from Music XPC and Alienware. If you can’t keep it cool under heavy CPU load it’s worthless.

Christopher D

Nice..will wait to see performance

Anon

It looks really heavy, so I’m not sure how “portable” it would really be.

likefunbutnot

This device seems like it will most probably be awful. Given the form factor, it will more than likely end up with a low-voltage or mobile-type CPU; it’ll have almost no user-replaceable hardware and expansion options will be limited to a tentacle monster of little boxes on the end of USB and perhaps Thunderbolt connections.

At that point, why the hell not just get a laptop?

Michael Brazil

It all depends on what kind of work you need to get done. I’ve yet to find a notebook that can handle Adobe Framemaker, PhotoShop, Illustrator, Acrobat, and MS Word all at the same time along with a browser, an email client, and a few other miscellaneous apps. If you do the kind of work I do, it just won’t do the job. I need at least one high-end video card (two is better), a minimum of 16 GB of RAM, a few terabytes of fast internal storage (preferably SSDs), and two or more large (at least 25-inch) monitors.

Michael Brazil

It all depends on what kind of work you need to get done. I’ve yet to find a notebook that can handle Adobe Framemaker, PhotoShop, Illustrator, Acrobat, and MS Word all at the same time along with a browser, an email client, and a few other miscellaneous apps. If you do the kind of work I do, it just won’t do the job. I need at least one high-end video card (preferably two), a minimum of 16 GB of RAM, a few terabytes of fast internal storage (preferably SSDs), and two or more large (at least 25-inch) monitors.

Milos D

What a bad idea..and ugly too

Taylor B

looks like it has the same size screen as a laptop so..whats the point again?

Darrell L

Would like to see some specs for this. I do like the looks of it. Wouldn’t mind having one. Even with low specs, it would be good enough for what I do on a laptop most likely.

Thomas P

I love this style and when thay make it working and a fair price … it could be a perfekt Desktop … but most good conceps disappear to fast ;)

Scott Flatland

I like the design, but the screen certainly looks precarious sitting atop the hinge arm. I can see potential problems with that by accidental or operator misuse either during use or transport.

Yash P

I would buy it if it came out

Guy M

Okay, that IS cool. I like the USB port placement, the way the monitor elevates, the compatibility with multi-monitors.

For me this would work, because I leave my laptop at work all week long, but take it home on weekends. Hopefully a large manufacturer will license this from him. Preferably Acer for my likes.

David Delikat

some laptops will behave this way with a little jiggering in the BIOS. just connect the keyboard, mouse and monitor, turn it on and close the lid. ( its even better if the power button is on the side… ) personally, I’d rather see a couple of other devices… 1. a small-ish ( larger than a cell phone ) wireless gadget with a decent battery and disk drive. should be able to power my laptop as well as keep backups ( needless to say the power connection is not wireless ). better yet if it can offload some cpu cycles. 2. wireless gadget for an office that hosts my KVM workstation and connects to my laptop when it is in range.

thePenciler

One possible point is failure is the hinge. Unless made with metal, it might wear out quickly considering it’s so thin. Another might be the placement of the usb ports on top. If you happen to insert a USB stick on top and open, the monitor may hit the top of it torquing the stick in the port unless you have to pull the monitor forward first before you lift up.

Michael Pennington

I love that designers and manufacturers are starting to push the envelope and challenge our notions of what a singular device is capable of. There is another similar product put out by Acer that I think tries to find the middle ground between desktop, laptop and tablet–The Acer Aspire R7. I don’t think that this GIF does it justice, but I went ahead and posted it anyway (http://i.imgur.com/LBo3qAt.gif). I’ve played with it at a major retailer and it is actually a pretty sharp little device. The trackpad placement will annoy devotees of track pads, but I didn’t mind it–still prefer mice, even with laptop. Cool concept with the U.DTR, I would love to see it come to market, but it looks like it would be a pricey kickstarter, not for the light of wallet. They should patent it and try to reach out to a major manufacturer, IMHO.

Karl S

Very cool design. Interestingly, it made me think back to the TI-99 for some reason.

Marius G

As much as the idea would appeal to a dedicated base of users, my issue would always be with the weight. When looking at something like this as a laptop, how would you be able to viably carry such a device on your daily commute?

Patrick Saunders

Reminds me of bang and Olufsen HiFi systems from the 70s. The only thing that concerns me is upgrade ability – like a laptop it is probably not very flexible in that regard.

Veeren Sujan

This is an amazing and elegant design. A product like this has to be something that will do well in the market. I like the idea of the usb drive because its unique from any other PC. However, the product does look a little bit bulky and might be a problem if you have to carry it back and forth from work to home.

Punit

use mioplanet battery meter its better than all this and a too good app