Laptops without keyboards

March 30, 2011

It is very difficult to imagine using a laptop without use of a keyboard, but then it is also an alien thought to heavily multi-task without more than one screen. Is this the answer?

Acer Iconia features two 14″ screens with the one sitting in place of a keyboard, providing a smilar experience to tablet users on-demand keyboard. Acer has also included a additional menu system that appears when five fingers are pressed down at once. So not for anyone wishing to wear gloves or down a digit.

Part of me is delighted, the ability to multi-task will be tremendous, but the tactile experience of a keyboard coupled with the F and J keys point of reference would be sorely missed. I guess the key benefit is the ability to choose. If out and about, you may find the experience very rewarding, consuming media on 2 screens, and when back in the office, hook up a real keyboard and possibly mouse. Only a matter of time before the laptop can be places like a open book in front of us, on a stand, with both halfs of the laptop providing duel display alternative.

Only problem I envisage is the simple fact that our spines won’t accomidate looking down that much. To get a good look at the 14″ keyboard screen, you will need to look down at a unhealthy angle, with the head leaning forward outside of a natural posture. Same as when we put a TFT screen too high, we get neck and shoulder pains, and if we have our seat too high and looking down, we get lower back pains.

Time will tell.

Posted by Kieran Donnelly