updated 04:19 pm EDT, Fri June 6, 2014
Magnet-based keyboard could be used to make notebooks thinner
A keyboard manufacturer has demonstrated a new type of keyboard at Computex that could result in thinner notebooks in the future. The Darfon maglev keyboard uses magnets to keep the keys raised and in position, instead of a membrane, scissor switches or other mechanical means, with the producer also claiming it to have a longer product life.
The keyboard tried out at the event by CNET was set up so that the keys barely rose above the surface of their surroundings, making it difficult to type with, though a second demo unit was found to be set more conventionally. A spokesperson advised the keyboard can change its resistance electronically, allowing for users to vary the level of pressure required for a key press to register.
The maglev system will in theory allow the keyboard to outlast the typical 10 million-stroke life of a normal keyboard by approximately 50 percent, reports DigiTimes. Darfon is said to be placing the keyboard into mass production after receiving orders from "several notebook vendors," and expects the keyboard to be used in high-end notebooks towards the end of 2014 or early 2015. The company also plans to sell an external keyboard for tablets before the end of the year.