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gooseneck laptop

Portable computer with adjustable screen
  (+14, -1)(+14, -1)
(+14, -1)
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Laptop computers are awkward. Even the best ones. I used to blame this on the low-quality keyboards and displays, but these have both improved greatly over the last few years, and yet laptops are still awkward.

I think I've finally figured out what was really bothering me all along: the keyboard and the screen can't be moved relative to one another. If you put it where your hands are comfortable on the keyboard, it's awkward to look at the screen. If you put it where you can look at the screen easily, it's awkward to type. And forget about two people looking at the screen at the same time while one of them is typing; there's just no way to do that comfortably.

Proposed solution: Mount the screen on a flexible neck that can be extended from the base. In order for the neck to be strong enough to support the screen at a comfortable height without wobbling, it would probably have to be too thick to fit into the really ultra-thin laptops, but what's a little extra bulk for the sake of comfort?

The only real problem I can see with this idea is that extending the screen would raise the laptop's center of gravity and make the whole thing liable to fall over. This could be solved by putting extra weight in the keyboard, but that might be taking things too far.

baf, May 15 2000

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       Perhaps a set of stablizer legs that would stick out the back of the goose-neck -- that might keep it from falling over. Or even a mini-tripod attached to the bottom of the screen. I have one for my camera that's about 6 inches long and weighs about a half-pound.
eagle, May 15 2000

       ...or we could all just give in and follow the wearable computer 'wave of the futre.' What interests me most about those crazy gadgets are the displays that are set into a pair of eye glasses. When wearing your glasses, a 'screen' appears to be floating about a meter or so in front of you. Just link your headgear to your notebook and you're in buisness.
dontthink, May 16 2000

       And, to tie in the 'security laptops' thing, you don't have to worry about someone reading your laptop screen over your shoulder.
StarChaser, May 18 2000

       What about a wireless screen on a tripod, you could have the keyboard/CPU in your lap, with the detached monitor sitting at eye level, it could be transmited on the 900mhz freq. so you could also use this in a wireless network. or if wireless is too much, maybe just an extended cord so you can put the screen some place other than where the keyboard is. this would keep it small and lightweight still.
parnelli, Jan 10 2001

       Part-baked! Amstrad e-M@iler!
cjm, Mar 13 2001

       3 hinges instead of 2. left and right could unbuckle, middle hinge could serve as 'master' hinge which contains wiring connection to video card, etc. and pivots unidirectionally.
thumbwax, Mar 15 2001

       Good in bed, on planes, in the bath (read the pages), etc - if there was a cable to connect the screen to the rest of the computer unit.
gz, Apr 25 2001

       compaq once produced a model ("concerto") where the screen actually WAS the computer, and the keyboard attached with a cable. about five years ago, it was discontinued. problem was that the stand they attached to the display-computer-unit was not stable enough, and the thing fell over easily. oh, and you also could completely disconnect the keyboard and write on the display with a pen. not that technology was advanced enough for this to be really useful, at that time, though.
katatonik, Apr 25 2001

       Technology is at a place now where you could just have a clip board-sized/shaped unit and a pen. If you really wanted to type you could bring along your foldable keyboard and prop up/hang you clipboard where it was easiest to see. You could even redirect the video to you specialized glasses wirelessly.
algioru, May 30 2001

       even with the glasses laptop of 'tommorrow' MI5 agents would still lose them.
kaz, Oct 17 2001

       Maybe a Z-shaped linkage at the hinge so that the screen could be pulled up from the keyboard some distance above the keys on the keyboard. Then stablize the now top-heavy configuration by flipping up two thin, telescoping legs from the front of the keyboard, based at each front corner of the keyboard. Now your hands are typing under the tripod formed and it still might be tippy, but if you are in close quarters (cross-country bus seat, car seat) the seat in front of you will stop it. Might work best if you use the Dvorak arrangement of the keyboard, so that typing is not akin to some Marcel Marceau mime hand exercise, as it is with the QWERTY keyboard. Might be able to velcro the keyboard to your knees.
entremanure, Nov 12 2001

       Recently Baked...   

       The Toshiba Satellite 1955-S801 has a detachable keyboard on their laptop giving the same result.   

justinj, Mar 08 2003


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