Fujitsu exhibits fold-out keyboard UMPC
Unwraps better than Microsoft's Origami?
Fujitsu has put on show a pair of conceptual PC designs, one intended to show how an "ultra-mobile" machine might operate, the other a home computer system which looks funky enough but probably won't give Apple's industrial designers any sleepless nights.
The UMPC concept is certainly topical, what with the launch of Microsoft's Origami Project and the announcement of real-world products from the likes of Samsung based on the design, co-engineered with Intel. Devices like Samsung's expensive Q1 are keyboard-free kit on the assumption that ordinary folk would prefer to use a stylus.
No, we're not convinced either, not now that world+dog has had 30-odd years to grow accustomed to computers with keyboards. Fujitsu's UMPC cleverly squares the circle by providing a small form-factor clamshell chassis with a fold out keyboard. The computer would be the size of a CD case, the company said.
Fujitsu's "flexbile-use PC" is less inspiring. It's essentially a three-way system: keyboard, display and computer. These three components connect wirelessly, so you can lift off the screen and carry it around, interacting with the computer unit using a stylus, tablet fashion.
Fujitsu's machine is, perhaps, a step toward Asus' concept system, revealed by Reg Hardware in February 2006. Asus' machine uses wireless to link all the system's components, from memory and hard drives to the CPU and so on.
Fujitsu's concept machines are on show this week in Milan's Triennale di Milano as part of an Japanese Design exhibition. ®
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