Expanscape Aurora 7 Prototype

Expanscape Aurora 7 Prototype

Prototype Objective Summary:

Very simple 🙂 – Design and build a proper mobile Security Operations Center.

I always knew this would be an ambitious undertaking. Power considerations, structural rigidity, actual portability and the ability to be easily and quickly compactible were priorities. For a further break down of the objectives please read on.

Prototype Objective Breakdown and Achievement percentage:

This is a breakdown of the objectives. It also shows how much of the objective in percentage was achieved with the Aurora 7 Prototype.

  • 7 Screens – 100%
  • 6 Cores or more at 5GHZ capability
  • Fully integrated Multi Touch Screen in Palm rest – 100%
  • 4 x 17.3 UHD/4K Screens 100%
  • Ability to easily replace parts – 70%
  • Ability to swap wiring and parts with easily attainable parts – 70%
  • Rechargeable battery system fully self contained – 90%
  • Easily Replaceable batteries – 70%
  • Weight 10KG MAX – 60%
  • NVIDIA GTX 10 Series Graphics – 100%
  • Separate Programmable System Monitor LCD – 100%
  • User/Arduino accessible Embedded Microcontroller. – 100%
  • 4 internal NICs – 75%
  • 2 Wireless NICs – 100%
  • Ability to fold down compactly to facilitate travel – 100%
  • Full NO-NONSENSE 104 Key tactile backlit Keyboard. – 100%
  • Overall Structural Rigidity – 80%
  • Overall Reliability – 100%
  • Everything folds or swivels out of the primary chassis (NO appendages) – 100%
  • 10GB NIC – 50%
  • Out of band always visible battery gauge – 100%
  • 128GB RAM Potential – 100%
  • More than 16TB SSD Storage potential – 100%

We recently reported about Expanscape, a startup developing battlestation laptops featuring up to seven displays and offering their prototypes to interested parties at undisclosed prices. Today we can share some more information about pricing, which tops out at an eye-popping $20,692 (after conversion) for the seven-screen model’s base configuration that’s powered by an AMD Ryzen 5950X processor paired with Nvidia RTX 3070 (8GB) GPUs.

Expanscape’s Aurora laptops with five or seven screens are a work in progress, so every unit is unique to a large degree. The manufacturer says that it is getting closer to finalized pricing for its A7 prototype as it had standardized on specific hardware, but until now, the company hasn’t announced official prices of its multi-monitor laptops.

Expanscape currently has two types of laptop prototypes in three configurations. The ‘basic’ Aurora A5 notebook comes with five monitors: four 15.6-inch 4K displays and one 7-inch touchscreen integrated into its palm rest. This system packs an eight-core AMD Ryzen 7 4800U processor paired with 64GB of DDR4 memory, a 2TB PCIe/NVMe SSD, and a 2TB SATA SSD. This entry-level machine currently costs approximately £4,500, or $6,286 USD after conversion.

The ‘full’ Aurora A7 laptops are equipped with seven displays and come in two configurations powered by an AMD Ryzen 5950X processor paired with Nvidia RTX 3070 (8GB) GPUs. One model features four 17.3-inch 4K monitors, two 9.7-inch 1536p monitors, and one 7-inch touchscreen. Another does not have the 7-inch touchscreen but comes with a 17.3-inch touch-enabled LCD in its base to replace the keyboard, which now extends from under the chassis.

Expanscape’s Aurora A7 notebooks with seven screens are naturally more expensive than their smaller A5 brethren. At present, these machines cost £15,000 ($20,952 USD after conversion) for a standard model, but the pricing goes up with all of the customizations required for the professional built-to-order systems. All Aurora A7 machines come equipped with 128GB of DDR4 memory as well as 8TB of PCIe/NVMe and SATA storage.

Both the A7 and A5 models come with internal 8 megapixel cameras with triple LED lighting and have dedicated hardware switches that can disable the cameras, microphone, speakers and wireless features.

Image credit: Expanscape

The Aurora 7 Prototype (Actual Specs):

Attribute Value Additional info
Processor Intel i9 9900K, LGA 1151

(8 core, 16 thread, 16M Cache)

Multithreading can be disabled to help with Meltdown and Spectre.
Ram 64GB DDR4 2666MHz Overclocked to 2933 and tested (stable)
Chipset Z170 System modified to be compatible with i9 9900K (z170 is not compatible with i9900k by default – we achieved compatibility via a mod)
Graphics and GPU Compute
GPU NVIDIA GTX 1060 Series Very moderate power consumption
Storage We mostly work with MLC based SSDs for
reasons of MTBF.
M.2 slot 1 1 TB NVMe MLC SSD (With Heatsink) PCIe GEN 3.0
M.2 slot 2 0.5 TB NVMe MLC SSD (With Heatsink) PCIe GEN 3.0
2.5 Sata slot 1 2 TB 7200rpm Serial ATA revision 3
2.5 SATA slot 2 1 TB MLC SSD Serial ATA revision 3
RAID Available Striped and mirrored options tested
Displays 2 and 3 – Portrait
Size 17.3 inches (Diagonal)
Resolution 3840×2160
Aspect Ratio 9:16
Brightness 400 cd/m2 (Typical)
Contrast Ratio 1000:1 (Typical)
Colours 16.7M (100% Adobe RGB)
Refresh Rate 60Hz
Displays 1 and 4 – Landscape
Size 17.3 inches (Diagonal)
Resolution 3840×2160
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Brightness 300 cd/m2 (Typical)
Contrast Ratio 800:1 (Typical)
Colours 16.7M (100% Adobe RGB)
Refresh Rate 60Hz
Displays 5, 6 and 7 – Landscape
Size 7inch (Diagonal)
Resolution 1920×1200
Aspect Ratio 16:10
Brightness 450 cd/m2 (Typical)
Contrast Ratio 1100:1 (Typical)
Colours 16.7M (72% NTSC)
Refresh Rate 60Hz
System Status mini display
Size 1.44 inch (Diagonal)
Type Colour LCD TFT
Resolution 128×128
Misc mini Display
Size 0.7inch
Type 3 digit numeric LED
Touchscreen in Palm (Display 6)
MultiTouch enabled Yes
Concurrent Touch Points supported 5
Touch/Track Pad
Multitouch Yes
Integrated Fingerprint Reader Yes
Physical buttons 2
Resolution 2MP
Built-in Stereo speakers Yes
Built-in Subwoofer Yes
Built-in Microphone Yes
Intel Audio Yes
Optical in/out Yes
Line Out Yes
Line in Yes
Separate Headphone Jack Yes
Internal wireless adapters 2
Internal bluetooth modules 1
Standards supported by wireless 1 802.11 ac
Standards supported by wireless 2 802.11 ac
Bluetooth standard supported by the internal bluetooth module 4.2
Internal Gigabit NICs 3
USB ports
USB 3.1 Gen1 ports 3
Available Thunderbolt ports 1 With modification
Embedded Microcontroller
Type ESP32
MPU 9250
Wireless Protocol support 802.11 b/g/n/e/i, Bluetooth ESP32 Wireless ability currently disabled due to CVE-2019-12586.

This will be corrected with a different module on the next A7 prototype.

Spare Video Out
HDMI 1 (HDMI Version 2, 4K) With modification
Battery System
Primary internal battery 82Wh
Secondary internal battery (For Screens) 148Wh Cannot currently take system on a plane. This will be corrected with a lower rated battery on next prototype.
Battery life Screens ONLY (Uses Secondary Battery) 2hrs 20mins Note Primary internal battery can be swapped to add more time up to a total of 2hrs 20mins
Battery life – System and Screen – 9900K@2GHz (Using Primary Battery for system and Secondary battery for screens) 1 hour
Battery life – System and Screen – 9900K@3GHz (Using Primary Battery for system and Secondary battery for screens) 40mins
Battery life – System and Screen – 9900K@4GHz (Using Primary Battery for system and Secondary battery for screens) 28mins
Power Supply 1 19.5V 16.9A
Power Supply 2 19V 3.62A
Dimensions – All screens folded down and laptop closed
Length 51cm
Width 34cm
Height 11cm
Dimensions – All screens opened
Max Length 96cm
Max Depth (Screens) 6cm
Max Height 59cm
Total Weight Around 12kg – Although this will be confirmed early next week.
Image credit: Expanscape

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