Engadget cover here this latest attempt to get a keyboard and a touch pad and a large display in a small package, by Taiwan's E-lead.
The Engadget blog post includes a couple of videos (which seem the same for me, so I only recommend watching the first one) of this funky little gadget in action.
You may recall an old post of mine where I rattled on about the obvious limitations to laptop computers due to the desire for a sizable display output area and the predominance of the keyboard and mouse/touchpad as input and the size they took up, called "The Laptop gets obsoleted".
E-lead try and address both those issues by:-
- small display that is a panning window view of a large display area. This is not new and you could probably enable it on the computer you are using to read this if you fiddled with display resolution settings. I remember using this on one of the first HP Omnibook portables (yes, the one with a mouse on a stick...), and later display-resolution-laptops I have owned. I've never liked it personally. If I had the choice I would probably chose using a fixed display window and multiple work spaces (like Unix had since long ago, and is available in Linux since a while and then appeared in Mac OS X and finally [I think] is in Vista) as a way to get around limited screen real estate.
- a split keyboard that is also a touch pad (or two?). You have to see this in the video to get it really. I must say it's inventive (how do you have a smooth touchpad surface and still allow a key to move when you press it?), but not sure it would be too nice to use.
Let me know what you think!