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Laptop Makers Question The Keyboard


straycat19

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As smartphones transitioned to becoming all-touchscreen faces, these newer keyboard-free designs were still considered smartphones. But remove the keyboard from a Windows laptop and you strip its identity, leaving you with a whole other class of device: The tablet.

 

Indeed, the term "2-in-1" for a laptop with a detachable screen is a construct to accommodate iPad-inspired notions of what a laptop should be from a company that argued there really wasn't a standalone tablet category. Still, the term is particularly paradoxical. Microsoft did the most to popularize keyboards as integral parts of tablets, yet those products (like the Surface Pro), with nearly identical functionality, are not considered "2-in-1s" even when the keyboard covers are in the box.
 

In any case, the convention highlights the historically strong association of laptops with keyboards. At the launch of the BlackBerry Key2, TCL Mobile justified the continued importance of keyboards on phones were by praising their primacy on laptops. As I argued in my last column, it's not an apples-to-apples comparison. Despite that, some momentum in the great keyboard debate has begun to flow the other way -- from smartphone to laptop. After all, some of the same justifications for keyboard elimination apply -- more flexibility, larger display area, fewer moving parts, and a thinner profile. Already, the attack on the bezel has already convinced a few laptop makers to relocate their cameras although convertible momentum remains strong.

 

Still, there have been experiments. The first Surfaces, for example, said as much about the optional nature of a keyboard for a laptop as it did about the value it brings to a tablet. Microsoft even teased the possibility of a range of purpose-built covers such as a music mixing design. In 2016, Lenovo experimented with a flat, outlined keyboard area that doubled as a stylus drawing area on its Yoga Book clamshell devices for Android and Windows. To be sure, typing on those devices entailed a learning curve, and Lenovo plans for a Chromebook version never bore fruit. Still, when I wrote about the Yoga Books, I found them to be the first convertibles that could compete with slates as tablet form factors.
 

Asus' "Project Precog" announcement at Computex -- a clamshell that replaces the input half with another display -- recalls an earlier effort by Acer with its first Iconia device in 2010. Indeed, even Apple's oft-maligned touch bar can be seen as clearing some runway for "bifold tablets." Once, the idea that Apple would remove the MacBook's keyboard was the stuff of Onion parodies. But the company, which has done more than any other to acclimate us to typing on glass, has filed a patent for a way to minimize reflection on the keyboard-area portion of a laptop that might lack one. 

 

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Sometimes I feel as though some new features are made in the interest of concept rather than practicality and good sense. Just because it can be done does not necessarily mean it should be done. W

More garbage. So essentially we are going to add another illuminated screen to address a non issue and in turn put further strain upon the battery any removing and sort of tactile response... I guess at this point I should have seen this coming.
I wonder if it is going to come with a lifetime supply of screen cleaner and cloths to wipe away the smudges and smears off of the fancy pants virtual keys.

I'm sure this will all come at an additional security cost as it will be a software based keyboard which will be prone to further infiltrations, leaks, keystroke analysis, latency etc etc.

Leave the idiotic walled garden, screen tapping garbage to tablet peasants!

The camera on the bottom of the screen, large bottom bezel and ridiculously large logos are the real design flaws of laptops right now (lets not even talk about windows 10) so lets not go reinventing the wheel and push the octagon of wheels down our throats to try clutch onto some doubtful market share.
The things they should be working on is larger and cheaper storage capacities, efficient slimline cooling, increased available power whilst keeping heat and energy consumption down, 4k 60fps webcams, better GPU performance, higher performance batteries etc


 

Edited by Mystique
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13 hours ago, Mystique said:

More garbage. So essentially we are going to add another illuminated screen to address a non issue and in turn put further strain upon the battery any removing and sort of tactile response... I guess at this point I should have seen this coming.
I wonder if it is going to come with a lifetime supply of screen cleaner and cloths to wipe away the smudges and smears off of the fancy pants virtual keys.

I'm sure this will all come at an additional security cost as it will be a software based keyboard which will be prone to further infiltrations, leaks, keystroke analysis, latency etc etc.

Leave the idiotic walled garden, screen tapping garbage to tablet peasants!

The camera on the bottom of the screen, large bottom bezel and ridiculously large logos are the real design flaws of laptops right now (lets not even talk about windows 10) so lets not go reinventing the wheel and push the octagon of wheels down our throats to try clutch onto some doubtful market share.
The things they should be working on is larger and cheaper storage capacities, efficient slimline cooling, increased available power whilst keeping heat and energy consumption down, 4k 60fps webcams, better GPU performance, higher performance batteries etc

 

Really nice opinion. That ""new features" are really unnecesary :S 

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39 minutes ago, Archanus said:

 

Really nice opinion. That ""new features" are really unnecesary :S 


Sometimes I feel as though some new features are made in the interest of concept rather than practicality and good sense.
Just because it can be done does not necessarily mean it should be done.
We've all seen many people over the years claim that the mouse is dead... rubbish!

This reminds me of the Reliant Robin.

Reliant Robin.jpg

  • Haha 2
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