I was so intrigued by the Toshiba U840W that I picked one up used on Ebay. It’s flawed, but the form factor is absolutely amazing and absolutely unique. The ultrawide aspect ratio is freaking incredible for side by side document comparison, and makes the laptop much easier to use on the go as it handles incredibly well. Downsides to the Toshiba are a low res TN display that utterly lets it down, and a keyboard that is supremely spongy and not very nice to type on.
Challenges I can see are that the display is likely something that would be unique to the device and thus prohibitively expensive to produce. Also, no idea if the laptop would appeal to the general public. Just because I think it’s cool doesn’t mean everyone else does.
The problem with such a loooooong display is that it makes the whole laptop looooong. So while you have a tiny amount of vertical space to work with but it takes way too much space in your bag. And by that I mean the height is the same as my 11" tablet, so even assuming ultra-slim bezels it still has the vertical space of a sub-13" notebook. The length, on the other hand, is more similar to a 17" laptop, which makes it hard to find place for it in many bags.
The screen would be a cool feature if it was larger. You still have the taskbar, window title bars, menu bars and so on that take more vertical space than horizontal. But then, the laptop would be huge. It would be longer than a 17" laptop.
The size is also sub-optimal - if you could reduce it, it would fit better in a backpack and could serve as a good portable laptop. But then the screen would be absolutely tiny.
So it’s a dead end. Their current offering is not very practical, as it has the cons of both small laptops (small work area) and big laptops (bulk), not that much the pros. And whichever way you try to improve it, it’s still just as bad, if not worse.
I’ll read the article completely tomorrow. I just took a glimpse and the first thing I’ve seen: It has no numpad! I understand, if you don’t need one, but you have so much space and it’s so practical… I don’t get that but the form factor in general looks interesting! Without anything coming close to it (movies, windows, …) I’m not sure, if it’s really worth any extra though (price, inconvenience, etc.)
I’d say it kind of make sense for a desktop replacement workstation.