New keyboard, touch pad from Synaptics will make Ultrabooks even slimmer

New keyboard, touch pad from Synaptics will make Ultrabooks even slimmer

Summary: The ForcePad and ThinTouch keyboard are 40-percent thinner than current laptop versions.

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TOPICS: Laptops, Hardware
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When it comes to laptops, thin is always in, especially for Ultrabook manufacturers trying their best to out-slim the MacBook Air. To help them shave off inches and ounces from their laptops, Synaptics is riding to the rescue with a new keyboard and touch pad that are even skinnier than those previously available.

The company claims that both the ForcePad and the ThinTouch keyboard are 40-percent thinner than the conventional models already in use. A successor to previous generations of Synaptics TouchPads, the ForcePad uses no buttons, relying instead on "multi-finger, variable pressure detection." Specifically, it can detect up to five fingers for multi-touch gestures that are a key component of Windows 8. Synaptics says the lack of buttons can help provide more room for Ultrabook battery and cooling capacity.

ThinTouch is touted as the "[w]orld’s thinnest touch type-able keyboard" that also provides manufacturers with additional backlighting and switching capabilities. It also promises customized feel for brands, so Ultrabook OEMs can differentiate their laptops with a unique keyboard experience.

While the new input devices won't get consumers' hearts racing, they should help Ultrabook manufacturers create more compelling models. And that can only benefit buyers as Intel continues to push its platform as the future of notebook computers.

Topics: Laptops, Hardware

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6 comments
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  • uh oh

    Looks like an apple keyboard. I hope your lawyers are ready.
    rossi.jeff
    • Just a Reference Model

      Those pictures are a reference model, it would appear. The article states that Synaptics "promises customized feel for brands, so Ultrabook OEMs can differentiate their laptops with a unique keyboard experience."
      ParrotHead_FL
  • Touchpad with no buttons? No thanks.

    Tap-clicking is imprecise at best, especially if you're trying to do anything that requires you to hold a mouse button. Pressure sensitivity in devices isn't exactly new either (well, maybe for touchpads, but they've certainly been in other devices), and it never gets used because it's too easy to accidentally activate, especially if you're aggravated (which in turn, usually leads to more aggravation).
    Aerowind
  • So, I guess now that somebody other than Apple is doing

    it, touch keyboards with no tactile feedback are the awesome wave of the future.
    baggins_z
  • Take a page from Lenovo

    The Thnkpad keyboard is the best in the world. I'd even trade weight/size for the keyboard. Since the keyboard is still the part most used on a laptop, doesn't it make sense to provide the best possible keyboard?
    ccs9623
  • So....

    Am I reading this right? Zero key travel keys is the wave of the future?

    Stop the world, I want to get off!
    dsf3g