Rumor: Dell might be working on a dual-screen handheld called Januss

German blog WinFuture reports that Dell has been working on an ARM-powered Windows 10 device codenamed Januss since at least last summer, and possibly before. The site claims that Januss is part of a second wave of ARM Windows 10 devices coming later this year based on Qualcomm's as-yet-unannounced Snapdragon 850 SoC, and goes on to say that it will be a dual-screen handheld device of some sort with an LTE modem.

There's a lot to unwrap here. Dell was purportedly working on a Windows 10 mobile device in the past called Stack. In concept, Stack was a phablet that you would set into a dock to turn it into a desktop or laptop machine, similar to Asus' Transformer Book V or Fujitsu's Lifebook2013 concepts. However, Stack was supposedly based on Intel hardware, and nothing was said about it having two screens.

Artist render of Microsoft “Andromeda” concept. Image: David Breyer on Twitter

The dual-screen idea is interesting, and it goes along with the name Januss rather well. History buffs will no doubt be aware that Janus was the two-faced god of transitions in Roman myth. Microsoft filed patents late last year on a unique hinge design for a folding dual-screen device not unlike a Nintendo DSi. Designer David Breyer created a few concept renders (including the above) to represent what such a device might look like.

While the renders are exciting, they don't necessarily have anything to do with Dell's Januss project. The WinFuture blog itself expresses mild frustration with its own lack of details, but does note that its informants claim that Januss will have “several cameras” as well as “an accelerometer or gyroscope.” The presence of those sensors could indicate that the device is indeed a phone or tablet.

Lending some credibility to WinFuture's sources, Twitter user KLyon77 discovered a demo app on the website of Amsterdam-based prototyping firm Handmade. The app is clearly a demo for Dell for something called Januss. Despite Twitter's best efforts, nobody's been able to get the demo to do much beyond the opening screen that simply displays a grey box on a cornflower background with the Dell logo. We'd link to the demo, but it's since been removed from Handmade's site.

People have been hoping for a Surface phone for a long time. Way back in 2015, folks were talking about how the device would launch the following year, and it wasn't until late last year that the rumored device was supposedly canceled. Now, we've got Windows 10 on ARM devices. The existence of those machines has left some folks scratching their heads, but maybe the real purpose of Windows 10 on ARM is to finally bring full Windows 10 to phones. 

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said last year that the company would be making more phones, but that “they will not look like phones that are there today.” Looking at the information on Januss, perhaps Dell is collaborating with Microsoft on such a product. Alternatively, perhaps Dell has beat Redmond to the punch. Only time will tell. If WinFuture's predictions are correct, we may see such a device as soon as the second half of this year.

Comments closed
    • Old_Wolf
    • 2 years ago

    [url<][/url<] [url<][/url<] MS killed their original dual screen tablet in favor of... Windows 8. Dell's track record with tablets isn't great, but here's hoping they get this right.

    • ronch
    • 2 years ago

    Didn’t Acer produce a dual-screen laptop some years ago?

    [url=<]Le link.[/url<]

    • TwistedKestrel
    • 2 years ago

    Look at them, they come to this place when they know they are not pure. Tenno use the keys, but they are mere trespassers. Only I, Vor, know the true power of the Void. I was cut in half, destroyed, but through it’s Januss Key, the Void called to me. It brought me here and here I was reborn.

      • RAGEPRO
      • 2 years ago

      Very excellent. That dialog has become a little bit out of place now that we no longer use keys, though.

        • TwistedKestrel
        • 2 years ago

        I think they still have role in Void sabotage missions (holding open the gates). Just seeing “Janus(s)” immediately summoned the monologue in my mind though

    • NarwhaleAu
    • 2 years ago

    Pretty sure the J is silent.

    • psuedonymous
    • 2 years ago

    [i<]Courier[/i<]'s revenge?

    • RdVi
    • 2 years ago

    Delos tablet.


    • Pville_Piper
    • 2 years ago

    So, maybe Andromeda isn’t a myth after all…

    • blastdoor
    • 2 years ago

    I’m not always an it-getter. For example, I only recently decided that maybe laptops have some utility (I’ve been generally a desktop fan). And I don’t understand the appeal of the Nintendo DS, though obviously many others do.

    So, with those caveats stated, I’ll just say — I don’t get the appeal of a mobile dual screen windows computer running on ARM.

      • EzioAs
      • 2 years ago

      Depending on the performance and app, I would love to have a phone with more screen estate for reading, taking notes, web browsing and portable gaming (emulation touch friendly games.).

      • chuckula
      • 2 years ago

      Let me help you understand: [quote<][s<]Dell[/s<] [u<]Apple[/u<] might be working on a dual-screen handheld called Januss[/quote<] INSANELY GREAT!

        • gh32zT
        • 2 years ago

        There are really good reasons an Apple dual-screen rumor would be much more exciting than a Dell one:

        (1) Apple has full control of the software and hardware, so they can deliver a seamless product with a robust App Store and solid third-party developer support. With Dell, at best we’d get somebody else’s OS with crazy drivers layered on top to support the two screens and little software support.

        (2) Apple hasn’t had a bad product in recent history. Which is not to say that all of their products have been top-notch, but none of them have been bad. Dell has no such record.

        (3) Apple tends to commit to its new product lines, especially in the mobile space. Dell not so much.

        So yeah, I’d be more excited if it were an Apple rumor than a Dell rumor.

    • EzioAs
    • 2 years ago

    If these devices turn out be real and decent, I might jump in soon.

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