The world may never know a distraction and procrastination tool as effective as the social media feed: an endless list of bad news, takes, comments, and ego-trips. It’s become so much a part of our lives that companies are now building computer screens specifically designed for doomscrolling, presenting these feeds like digital ticker tapes of disinformation.
You can almost chart the evolution of technology through the ever-changing size and shapes of computer screens. They started with a 4:3 aspect ratio to match the old analogue TVs everyone had in their living rooms, but they soon morphed to widescreen dimensions as HDTV slowly grew in prevalence. When gaming started to be a more dominant form of entertainment, computer screens grew even wider and started to curve to help better fill a gamer’s field of view. And now that social media is an inescapable part of our lives, it was only a matter of time before screens took the form of elongated smartphones.
The the EK-MD088 might be the first of its kind, but it probably won’t be the last. Measuring just 8.8-inches in size it’s small enough to sit alongside a laptop on even the shortest of desks, and with a resolution of 420 x 1,920 pixels in vertical mode (slightly lower than a hi-def TV screen) it should display a feed with minimal eye strain—you may see a few jaggies here and there, though.
Power comes from a USB-C port, so the screen doesn’t necessarily need to hog its own outlet. But disappointingly, it doesn’t pull a video signal via USB-C, instead requiring a miniHDMI cable, which is hopefully included, as few people already have these on hand. It does offer a few different brightness levels and includes an adjustable and collapsible stand making the display as portable as your laptop. When it’s finally available sometime in February of next year (another reminder of the component shortage), the EK-MD088 will sell for around $130, but those of us outside of Japan may need to have it specially imported, which will undoubtedly boost the price tag.