Laptop keyboards look bleak as screens multiply

Laptop keyboards look bleak as screens multiply

Asus Zenbook Pro Duo

ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo. Image: Asus via AFP Relaxnews

At this year’s Computex, an annual conference in Taipei dedicated to all things PC, a slew of new laptops and concept models were announced, the most innovative of which demonstrate that keyboards are being pushed to the side in favor of secondary and even tertiary screens.

As the smartphone industry upgrades screens by reducing bezels, shrinking notches and adding flexibility, the laptop industry has also been revamping how displays are used within PCs and have apparently concluded that the more screens, the merrier.

Computex 2019 showed this trend on full display where a series of notebooks were unveiled donning extra screens that push keyboards nearly off the edge of the model.

Asus ZenBook Duo Pro

The redesigned ZenBook that Asus debuted at the conference stole the spotlight with its three screens and a full-size mechanical keyboard, which was pushed down to the bottom of the base to make room for the touchscreen display measuring at 14 inches and the trackpad that doubles as a digital number pad.

The Asus ZenBook Duo Pro will be available for purchase in the third quarter of the year where the price will also be announced.

HP Omen X 2S

Although HP announced the HP Omen X 2S a couple of weeks before Computex 2019, the company still used the conference as an opportunity to showcase the dual-screen gaming laptop. The second display on this model is in a similar location of Asus’ new model and is also a touchscreen, but it is significantly smaller at just six inches. The trackpad has been pushed to the right of a full-size keyboard, but it serves no other purpose than a trackpad.

The HP Omen X 2S will be available in June with a starting price of $2,099.99 (about P109,000).

Intel Honeycomb Glacier concept

Intel only had one concept to show with an innovative new design. Though Honeycomb Glacier is not expected to hit the market anytime soon, it features a design that definitely turned heads at the conference with its two screens and two hinges.

When opened like a conventional laptop, the model looks similar to the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo. Between the second screen and the keyboard, however, there is a second hinge that lifts the main display up to eye level and the second display up enough so you don’t have to hunch over to see it properly.

Honeycomb Glacier is still only in its prototype stage, but it may become a commercial reality over the next couple of years if the trend for more multiscreen laptops further gains momentum. HM/JB


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