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Laptops May Get MagLev Keys

You may know magnetic levitation, or maglev, as one of those weirdly ethereal "future things." One of the technologies that we all collectively know from movies and television but have only figured out a few useful applications for. This year at Computex we saw one of the first big steps to moving maglev into the mainstream – putting them in laptop keyboards.

Much like mechanical keyboards, maglev keys avoid the drawbacks of traditional contact-switch membrane boards. Their resistance can be user-adjusted, and best of all they can fit in an impossibly tiny space. That's the main goal of the push for including maglev tech in modern laptops – the potential for tiny, super-thin laptops that come closer to tablets than even the MacBook Air and its ilk.

CNET reports that some manufacturers have already started placing orders for them with the hopes of having the tech in laptops by the end of this year. 

  • danwat1234
    Does it take significant power to run the magnetics?
    Reply
  • tom10167
    ****in' magnets, how do they work?
    Reply
  • coolitic
    It would use very little power, at least that's how i imagine it.
    Reply
  • jasonelmore
    very promising technology. I just wanna know if they are backlit.
    Reply
  • usbgtx550
    I would imagine these laptops would be limited to ssd's unless a solution can be made where the magnets won't damage a hdd
    Reply
  • southernshark
    ****in' magnets, how do they work?


    I know right? It does seem a bit odd that something so small can defy the gravitational pull of the planet earth. But they do work, so why question it?

    I embrace the death of membrane keyboards. Can't wait. I hope they make replacements for existing laptops.
    Reply
  • memadmax
    This couldn't possibly use less power than a "traditional keyboard"...

    Plus, what if you accidentally put something that is sensitive to magnitivty on it, like a jump/zip/whatever drive? Or even your credit/debit card?
    Reply
  • usbgtx550
    13478582 said:
    I would imagine these laptops would be limited to ssd's unless a solution can be made where the magnets won't damage a hdd

    It takes a strong magnet to do anything to a hard drive. The inside of a desktop computer likely has more EMI than these keyboards will.

    Thanks for that heads up
    Reply
  • dstarr3
    If you were to take apart a hard drive, you'd find an absurdly strong neodymium magnet that suspends the read/write arm. And that's less than inch from the platters, yet they fair okay. So I wouldn't worry about that. Energy consumption, however, is was gets me. Seems like a waste of electricity, really.
    Reply
  • megiv
    I would imagine these laptops would be limited to ssd's unless a solution can be made where the magnets won't damage a hdd

    Who in his right mind buys a PC/Laptop without an SSD nowadays
    Reply