so tonight i was thinking/daydreaming a bit. daydreaming is a very underrated past-time / skill, imho. anyways... i was thinking about laptops and it occurred to me that i'd love a laptop with two screens: one where it usually is, and one where the keyboard is. kind of like a great big nintendo DS.
the "bottom" screen would be a multitouch surface so that i could put a keyboard there. when the keyboard layout switched, the keys could actually change. the touchpad would also be on the "screen", and though could simply be "put away" when i didn't want it (e.g. when i have a mouse plugged in). perhaps it could even autohide when i have a mouse plugged in? hm.
best of all, those "multimedia buttons" could be replaced with real software. i'd be able to put any set of buttons i wanted there. perhaps even the toolbars from apps. imagine how useful that would be in a word processor! no taking the hands off the "keyboard" just to swap fonts or paragraph style: just reach up and press the font or style combo and it would pop down over the keys.
you could have a volume button somewhere that would popup an actual volume slider ... you could put useful widgets, such as perhaps a news, weather or stock ticker above the keys. or put the taskbar there for easy switching between windows.
the possibilities are limitless.
i googled for something like this and found this year+ old story about a vapourware laptop. the logitech G15 seems to come sort of close, but misses by not going all the way and replacing the whole thing with a dispay surface. oh well.
thinking about it some more i suppose it's probably not overly realistic to expect such a laptop to come about until we have something better than today's batteries for portable power (fuel cells?).
but still .. damn. it would be sooo cool. one more place to play with plasma ;)
speaking of which, the new krunner ui is coming along nicely and the dialog-less panel config is downright awesome. i'm trying to schedule time for a screencast this week so i can share it with everyone who isn't tracking svn (or, in the case of the krunner ui, the git repo for it)