I am at acceptable work speed on my M01 finally and find myself really missing it when I’m working on my laptop or going to places.
I don’t expect we’ll see a Model 02 any time soon, given the legal issues, but I can definitely say some things I would really like to see:
- Portable focused
Yes you can carry the M1 in a case. But unless it’s a large backpack it’s rather awkward, especially in messenger bags. I would love to see a keyboard that was meant to transport itself without a case. At least ideally. I can’t see how to do this without raising the edges of the object so that the keys don’t stick out. I suppose you could have the outside edge of the keyboard move up and down, but that seems like a rather fragile system. So if it is impossible to avoid a case entirely, I would at least like something that does not pack any thicker than the average pulp paperback. I think that is a tried and true standard since it is an object that people are supposed to carry around with them in bags as a supplementary object for the day. If your book is too thick people simply won’t want to carry it and if they won’t carry it they won’t read it.
In the same vein: dropping the palm rest. Either you have this on a table that is way too high to be ergonomic and you can’t realistically rest your palms or you are trying to do this on a small surface and the reduced overall foot print will be a positive thing. Also smaller over all cases means relatively stronger everything due to reduced leverage.
- Ruggedized system
Portable systems are going to get bumped and involve small debris far more often then we would like. Normal mechanical keys seem fragile to the purpose and overkill given the lower key travel that will probably exist. I’m not suggesting domes per se, but Topre keys seem like the perfect thing for this situation. Fairly rugged to outside forces, if you’re breaking them you’re breaking a lot more at the same time, and decently sealed while offering a sacrificial dirt/liquid layer. They feel closer to mechanical and can theoretically have less overall height to work with.
Plastics/Metals only or a polymerized wooden case that is meant to be replaced. It might even be worth it to use a thicker PCB as a structural element with a thinner case.
- An extra port
Normal people will use it to hold their wireless mouse dongle or as a way to avoid losing one of the increasingly precious ports on modern laptops. I’m hoping some here creates a knock off Thinkpad nipple/button interface that can sit in between the two halves of the keyboard. In an ideal world it is designed for this add-on from the get go.
But to take one must give, and I think we can give up most of the LEDs in favor of a two tone white/amber system.
Anything else people would like to see?