This is the screenless AR laptop, called Spacetop G1

The Apple Vision Pro is heavy and would undoubtedly become a cumbersome anchor on your face if you tried to use it for an entire eight-hour workday. This is because all of its technology is built into the headset itself. Addressing this issue is a company called Sightful with its Spacetop G1 system. This innovative device is a laptop without a screen, paired with AR glasses, and runs a custom OS instead of Windows. All the heavy components are housed in the laptop, allowing the glasses to weigh about as much as a typical pair of glasses.

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Sightful brands the Spacetop G1 as “the laptop for the spatial computing era,” borrowing some of Apple’s marketing language. The setup features customized AR glasses from Xreal connected to a base resembling the bottom section of a laptop, complete with a keyboard and trackpad. Sightful claims this configuration enables a 100-inch virtual screen that floats over the real world. Notably, the device predates the Vision Pro, having been released a year ago as an early-access product. It is now available for preorder to the general public.

Regarding hardware, the Spacetop G1 isn’t designed for high performance but is adequate for its intended use. It features a Qualcomm Snapdragon QCS8550 processor, typically found in mobile devices, 16GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. These specifications are sufficient for work-focused tasks rather than gaming or other intensive applications.

The AR glasses come with 1920×1080 OLED displays, 90Hz refresh rates, a 50-degree field of view, and 42 PPD (pixels per degree). They also support custom prescription lenses and include Xreal’s 6W open-ear speaker system. While I’ve used Xreal glasses before and found them decent, the promised 100-inch virtual screen is limited by the narrow field of view.

The Spacetop G1 offers versatility by allowing you to connect to real monitors via two USB-C ports. This flexibility is ideal for users who need a full setup at the office and a portable solution on the go, like working on a plane. Wireless connectivity options include WiFi 7, Bluetooth 5.3, SIM card support, 5G, and 4G. However, the battery life is limited to eight hours, making it suitable primarily for domestic flights.

The system operates on a proprietary OS built on ChromiumOS, optimized for AR navigation through gestures. While some testers have criticized the operating system for being “Android-like” and lacking support for all apps, it integrates well with Google’s productivity suite. Additionally, the G1 features a built-in 5MP camera for video calls.

Despite lacking a physical display, the Spacetop G1 is priced at $1,900, comparable to premium laptops with high-end OLED screens. For reference, you could purchase a new MacBook Air or a Copilot+ PC and a pair of AR glasses for around $1,400, which is worth considering.