HP Firefly Laptop: 5.9 Kilos of Dual-Screen Lovin'

We may have written up HP's Firefly before, but there's nothing like seeing this big ole concept laptop up close. Today at breakfast, HP's Personal Systems CTO Phil McKinney showed it off:

It's air-cooled, with dual fans sitting under the speakers, which are themselves surrounded by heat-sink-like heavy metal grills. Phil says he's actually sat with the 5.9kg laptop on his lap, and it doesn't heat up in any uncomfortable way.

The thing's insides are sick enough to repeat: Dual graphics cards, quad-core processor and what they call 5.1 sound, though there are only four speakers plus the subwoofer under the wrist pad. (This is a strange design choice, because it means you need to lay on the hands to get the maximum movie-sound experience.) It didn't get too loud, in the demo, but it did sound full, especially sitting right in front of it.

Phil says they jokingly refer to the battery as a UPS—the battery life is the equivalent of a Hummer's fuel efficiency. The powerbrick is the big-arse one they ship with the Firebird desktop. Not slim and sexy, but gets the job done.

Phil said that the only bag it fits is an extra-large Timbuk2, but Giz staffers can think of several others that probably fit, XXLs from Rickshaw or Crumpler, for example.

Forward looking tech includes wireless USB and a multitouch trackpad that uses standard app-related API. (Presumably the Windows 7 multitouch interface would work fine, though he was running Vista.)

It's an interesting engineering oddity, fun to toy with, but it's no wonder they only built 50 or 60 of them, with no plan to release them commercially. Shave off 4-5kgs, make the second screen bigger, and I think they got something. [HP]

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