Mar 11, 2018

Laptop enclosure for mechanical keyboard?

I want more than just a regular keyboard enclosure. I want one that I can drop my mechanical keyboard into that will also provide space for a Raspberry pi and which will have a hinged, top lid that contains a 14 inch LCD as well, in other words I propose a laptop enclosure. Similar to the pi-top, but with a real keyboard:
I remember the good old days when laptops were more blockish and heavy, but they also didn't have the horrible chicklet keys that you see on the ultra-thin notebooks of today. I even remember the Tandy 102's keyboard, which writers swore by:
I don't personally care about the laptop enclosure having a battery or charge controller or trackpad, although these would be nice. I just don't want to ever own another laptop that has a horrible keyboard. And the Rpi is just fast enough for my activities. Would I accept 1 more pound (0.5 kg) of weight to achieve this? Yes!

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Oh, good old days.
I thought like you before, but I changed my mind about 2 years ago.
(It was the time I bought an ASUS usb display at a discount.)

Portable displays' quality became acceptable now and pc is becoming smaller and smaller.
So we can add a small pc to our mechanical keyboards, that means keyboard itself will be an enclosure for laptop except its display.
(there are some products already released, but most of them are not mechanical keyboards.)

Before that happening, I prefer carrying a bluetooth keyboard that's why I'm interested in bluetooth functionality in these days.
I have several keyboards to modify pcbs to make bluetooth function,
because in the custom mech keyboard world there are not many wireless keyboards yet.

How about making a keyboard case which can contain Raspberry Pi?
and bring some portable display with it?
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In my case not that bad for spending several hours with it, and sometimes I want to use display in vertical, and even if I got a built-in display I will need a portable display to make dual, so built-in is not my thing.
There are not many portable displays in the market and they are expensive, that's the problem, though.
But you are not me, I think a nice all-in one case will be good for you. I hope you can make one or find one which is convenient to use.
Sometimes we become really sad, there is no such thing in the world, but we need it desperately.
Of course we can make those feelings into the driving force, we can develop new things.
Luckily these days we have 3d printers.
Intriguing concept. I like the idea of taking a small mechanical keyboard that can be used on it's own, and also dropping it into either a mobile system like that.... or even perhaps in a dock shell system run by your mobile phone like this Razer prototype:

Take your smart phone and compatible 60% compatible keyboard, pop them in the shell and you're ready to go.
Your idea would require a phone with hdmi thru the usb port, so a low-end android like my LG stylo3 wouldn't work, but my iPhone would with a $30 hdmi adapter.

Portait-only apps would present a problem since the phone would presumably be inserted in landscape orientation-- unless the screen and phone were both in portrait orientation always. My iPhone is usually in portrait mode because it's the small one.

But regarding a portrait-oriented laptop consider this 10" LCD. The long side is 8.5", whereas my Macbook Pro's 13.3" display in 8.75" high. So a 10" screen in portrait mode could work for a iPhone-based laptop albeit with wide empty areas on either side and the phone itself in portrait mode may be too tall unless the keyboard is a 40% e.g. vortex core.
The portrait/landscape orientation isn't a problem. Most android phones have an orientation lock. Having said that, the app itself must have a landscape mode still. HDMI out will still be a problem. USB C supports it, but some mfgs have opted to disable the functionality for some unknown reason.
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