Are you just happy to see me, or is that a 24-inch widescreen in your pocket?
Introducing SPUD, the portable 24-inch pop-up display that’s burning its way through Kickstarter at this very moment. The word SPUD is an abbreviated form of “Spontaneous pop-up display” and is rather fitting, seeing as how the whole thing wraps down to the size of a large potato, making it easy to carry and transport.
The SPUD has blown through its Kickstarter goal of $33,000 by $326,000! And it still has quite a few days to go! A whole lot of people, including myself, can’t wait to see this head into production. There’s very little to stop people from throwing money at the team behind SPUD, because, as of right now and what we know, there doesn’t seem to be very many drawbacks to it.
As far as rear-projection goes, the SPUD promises super-sharp images and clear contrast, regardless of your lighting conditions. It also comes with a brightness adjustment knob for when you want to tone down the screen for darker situations. The monitor consists of a rather powerful projector that is focused on outputting the best image at the shortest distance, making all of this possible. This baby projects clear, bright, high-resolution picture to a vinyl screen that folds out with a single push, akin to popping out an umbrella, (as the developers put it) making setup almost instantaneous. As a result of this, the side profile of the monitor is a beautiful throwback to those CRTs of old. There’s even a fold-out stand! The best part of all this is that it doesn’t look flimsy when it’s folded out, unlike most “fold out” gadgets that we’ve come across.
At a native resolution of 1280×720 @ 120hz, it just about pulls off everything you need for a smooth, HD experience; while still being wonderfully portable and not murderous on your wallet. The whole thing weighs about 2 pounds and comes with a rather sturdy carry case. Perfect for chucking it in a bag or pocket before leaving home. The screen is a custom made vinyl sheet that is designed not to wrinkle, and better yet, in can even be washed, along with the case.
The SPUD features a battery life of up to 10 hours of indoor use and 4 hours at max brightness, which is 750nits.The SPUD also lets you take advantage of its large battery by letting you charge your phone or other devices through a USB port, letting it double as a power pack for those situations where wall outlets just aren’t an option. This makes it great for those camping and outdoor experiences where you’ve gotten bored of staring at the same tree for two hours. The SPUD connects to anything that supports an HDMI connection, be it your phone or even something like Chromecast or FireTV. This excellent connectivity makes it invaluable as portable entertainment, given the large size of its screen. The flexible nature of its exterior keeps scratches and damage to a minimum, making it ideal for the camper or traveler who enjoys their entertainment on a comfortably sized screen that offers much, MUCH more screen space than a phone, tablet or even a bulky, 17” laptop.
As for all the other bells and whistles, the SPUD comes with built-in stereo speakers, similar in quality to most laptop speakers. The case looks rather swagger to carry around, being zip-up. I expect that you’ll also be able to fine tune the optic focus, but as of right now, there’s very little mentioned outside of the basics. It also comes with a handy little carry-bar. So far, SPUD’s blown through off of its stretch goals, except for one. If the final stretch goal is met, we’ll be seeing multiple SPUDS in different color schemes; Kickstarter has Titanium and Blacklisted as stretch finishes, currently.
The ultimate in portable desktop monitors might just be within reach here if SPUD successfully pulls off its goals and ideas. Lightweight, portable and economically viable with a rather rugged structural design, we all might be packing a backpack full of SPUDs in no time at all.