Ever since the emergence of the EEE PC, Netbooks have exploded to be all the rage these days.
The only thing is they’re all either iPad-like tablets or miniature laptops. As a consumer, I don’t find much trouble with this, although I would like for manufacturers to try to create new methods of portability. With the current method of folding, netbooks are still quite clunky and take up quite a bit of room.
Designer Lin Jian Feng has created a concept notebook, sized approximately the same as a netbook, that has slide-out keyboards. I realize that Yanko Designs and a lot of other blogs on the blogosphere have claimed it to be a futuristic phone, but a closer look at the description in the pictures has this product sized at 3/4 a sheet of A4 (letter) paper. Also, the pictures only mention a phone as the inspiration for the sliding keyboard. Due to the size of this product and the lack of mention as a phone, I’d categorize it as a netbook.
Confusion aside, the multimedia buttons are reminiscent of an iPods and the joystick on the right might be a bit of a transition from a touchpad.
I think that this product is certainly an interesting concept. Firstly, the screen takes up the majority of the product, which I think is a good move as big screens are always a plus. With the slide-out keyboard though, I’m hoping that this makes the product thinner overall. By ‘horizontal,’ I’ma ssuming Feng meant A4 landscape which is certainly still small and slender enough to fit inside a backpack, suitcase, or even a handbag.
I really like the new modes included with this concept. For example, the movie mode is when the screen folds up and sits on the platform of the phone. This means you can rest it on any flat surface, without having to purchase an extra stand.
At 1.5cm thick, it’s definitely slimmer than most other Netbooks on the market. However, Feng does mention a flaw of his concept — the crowded keyboard. As with all netbooks, the convenience of a roomy standard keyboard is sacrificed with the smaller netbook keyboard. I think the trade-off is a respectable one, given the relatively small size of this netbook. Apparently, the joystick (‘rocker’ as referred to by Feng in the above diagram) is faster than a touchpad. While this could be possible, I think the convenience of the touchpad and the fact we’ve already adapted to it might make it a somewhat difficult transition.
Granted, this product is still just in a concept stage. I’m still very impressed with Feng’s work though, and hope a manufacturer happens to think the same and try adopting this to one of their products.
Via: Yanko Design