I see three areas that this project could evolve towards:
1) Group laptop improvisations – where the samples generated in the studio are shared among all performers in either free improvisation, or with each laptop performer designated a role (e.g. beats, melody, bass/drone, effects processing).
The collective output of these performances could then easily be recorded as polished album pieces. A system for recording synchronization between all laptops could easily be implemented over a wireless network (these files would then have to be mixed down), or an instant master recording could be made through the PA mixer.
2) Laptops with shared samples (as above) blended with live processing of acoustic instruments via microphones. In this case the recording space and quality of microphones would become an important factor as to the quality of the final product – a limiting factor that a purely laptop ensemble would not have.
3) The final logical extension of this is not only processing the live audio stream, but also capturing and manipulating fragments of it in real-time during, and as part of, the performance. With software custom designed for this purpose, both the individual sample fragments and the master output of each laptop could be saved at the end of the recording session – thus resulting in instant polished pieces of music with little or no post-production necessary, as well as generating processed collections of samples that would require little or no editing.
This third option would ideally be undertaken by ensembles that play together regularly, so that a feedback loop of samples from previous sessions could inform the development of future sessions.