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Penny’s foldable computer book.

At CES this year, several computer makers launched foldable laptops. This comes after the Samsung Galaxy Fold and Nokia flip pone were launched last year, making some waves. While I’m not sure about the practicalness of these devices, I love that they’re challenging “traditional” ergonomics (“traditional” in quotes because how long does something need to exist to be traditional?).

One of the drawbacks of these devices is that tapping away on a screen doesn’t have a real tactile experience and it can be easy to miss where you place your fingers unless you’re looking at them. Snap on keyboards are great but they’re another thing to lose.

I do like that with a keyboard in place on these foldables, it’s possible to have a massive trackpad that could potentially have visual elements on it. I’d love for my Macbook’s trackpad to have some visual indicator of the right click area. I keep messing up. On the newer pro, the visual bar doesn’t seem to have too much usefulness except for accidentally triggering Siri.

Just like the netbook craze a few years back, we’re probably going to see more laptop makers incorporate second screens in the keyboard side of the fold. Now if only that laundry folding machine from CES a few years back had taken off…

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