Lenovo Patent Adds Keyboard to Tablet as Clip-Ons

Patent Bolt has uncovered an invention by Lenovo that adds a keyboard to tablets. Yet instead of attaching a single bulky peripheral along the bottom of the screen, the patent instead splits the keyboard in half so that a "grip" or "unit" can be mounted on each side of the tablet, or spaced out along the bottom.

According to the patent, both "grips" will will have two usable sides: an upper housing containing half of the QWERTY keys and a lower housing offering the Space and Ctrl keys. These can be slipped onto the tablet sides either keys-up or spacebar-up, depending on the user's preference.

Alternately, the two keyboard units can be unfolded and spread across a flat surface to be used in desktop mode. Both units connect to the device via Bluetooth (or Infrared) or via a USB cable, and may even feature alternative layouts like a QWERTZ, an AZERTY, a Dvorak, a Russian, a Chinese, Japanese or other layouts.

"The first keyboard unit may include a recess 586 for continuous contact with a first dorsal interosseous portion of the user's hands," Patent Volt reports. "The elongated member 402 may be made of a resilient, soft, and deformable material, such as rubber. The elongated member 402 may function to protect the surface of a slate PC when the first keyboard unit 102 is clamped onto the edge of the slate PC."

The keyboard patent application was originally submitted in Q3 2010 and published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Q1 2012. For more information about the patent, including additional diagrams to show how the keyboard units will work, head here.

  • olaf
    awsome ideea tbh
  • alyoshka
    Flimsy stuff..... But it's patent-age..... and so anyone who can dream up of anything and has the dough can certainly get a chunk of the pie when the actual patent wars start.
  • shin0bi272
    Ive been wondering... why dont they use those laser keyboards on tablets? you set it up on a kickstand and activate the keyboard and type away no bulky add ons necessary.
  • shardey
    It would be neat if this "keyboard" was see through but still had a tactile feel of a natural keyboard.