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  • xtphty - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    "Mechanical" was the wrong word to use here Anand, in the keyboard context most people take that as tactile-feel, which is far from what this is. I would love to have one of those on a laptop, but dont think its physically possible considering the linear actuation distance is quite important for that, and not plausible in a thin space. Reply
  • MrSpadge - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Well, a mechanical scissor switch is a mechanical switch and better than pure rubber domes. Reply
  • Yojimbo - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    how are rubber domes not mechanical? if it relies on elasticity of metal it's mechanical, if it relies on elasticity of rubber (or whatever they use), it's not? Reply
  • lowlymarine - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    "Mechanical" in keyboards has been appropriated to mean certain types of switches where metal springs are used rather than rubber. Similar to "organic" foods, and just as technically wrong - all non-touchscreen keyboards are inherently "mechanical" just as all food is inherently "organic." Reply
  • ciparis - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    I think the wording is fine, as will most who have ever used a membrane or other touch-based keyboard, I suspect. Reply
  • JBird7986 - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    I was sitting here thinking the same thing, lol...
    (Typed on a Unicomp Model M...)
  • ViRGE - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    It will be interesting to see how this turns out. As opposed to Synaptics' efforts to replace clickpads, keyboard keys do take up a lot of space relative to the thickness of modern subnotebooks, so there's definitely room for improvement. Though I have my doubts about whether that space will be used to fit additional battery capacity given the sheer density (and resulting weight) of batteries. More likely there's a target weight, and any savings will just be used to lob off some thickness.

    Anyhow, the million dollar question here is whether the limited amount of travel is going to be enough travel to maintain the viability of touch-typing. Having worked with those damn projection keyboards, the lack of feedback there just obliterates touch typing. For touch typing to work you need to be able to blindly acquire your orientation and be able to rest your fingers on keys.
  • MrSpadge - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    I think by "touch typing" tey mean to sense the amount of force put onto the keys, not necessarily "typing by barely touching, rather than pressing". Reply
  • esse09 - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Touch typing means to type without looking at the keyboard, using your finger muscle memory. Not to type by barely touching, which is the worst thing a typist could do. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    This will definitely be interesting to experience on a full keyboard. I'm something of a keyboard snob, and I've held the belief since the introduction of Ultrabooks that making laptops that thin is really hurting the feel of the keyboards. Maybe this will change my mind? Maybe -- but I doubt it. Reply
  • jhoff80 - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Any idea if Thin Touch is the technology Microsoft is using in their Touch Cover? Reply
  • Wizzdo - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Do these keys offer pressure sensitivity? Then you could increase the "range" of options for each key and perhaps do away with the Shift , Caps Lock and Fn keys and perhaps many others shrinking the size of the keyboard and speeding up many aspects of typing. Not to mention that the keyboard could now become a viable "music" keyboard. Reply
  • ripster55 - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link Reply
  • nevertell - Monday, August 20, 2012 - link

    Well, recently the quality of the laptop keyboards I've used has come down significantly.
    Even thinkpads don't come with normal keyboards anymore.
    The chiclet style keyboards don't offer a good enough feel, they are a lot harder to touch-type. My X200's keyboard, whilst relatively small, is still miles ahead of most new dell's, macbooks and the latest thinkpads. Aesthetics are fine as long as they don't interfere with the basic functionality of the keyboard. The key travel is small, you can't really feel if you've pressed a button.
    And then there's this, something innovative, but yet I don't feel as if this is going to improve laptop keyboards at all :(
    I'm all for thinner laptops, but this consumerisation of most laptops makes me feel as if there are only consumers left on this planet and the content available to us is made by corporations only. God damn, the hard core consumers can use their tablets, the
    rest of us could use something which is usable.

    Also, another great gripe with laptops these days is that the touchpad is so big I often press down on it whilst typing, this is just plain irritating for me. We don't need massive touchpads, we need small, yet precise touchpads. I think this is another place that is ripe for innovation- a mouse replacement for laptops.
  • Will.Rubin - Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - link

    What is the average key activation force? (Or even a general impression as compared to typical laptops if you don't have any way of measuring the force.)

    As someone with severe early onset arthritis I can't find one laptop keyboard I can use anymore because the keyboards are so stiff. This would be wonderful if it lead to an option for softer keyboards.

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