Computex 2019 is a key technology conference focusing on future computing.  While changes won’t occur overnight, there is some movement to eliminate built-in keyboards in favor of touch-screen (if use is occasional).  For those use keyboard often for data entry, there is a need to carry an external keyboard when traveling.  This is similar move in how DVD drives started being removed a few years ago to make for a slimmer & lighter design.

If this week’s Computex is anything to go by, the laptop industry is sharpening its ax in order to kill the keyboard. It won’t happen overnight, but in the pursuit of thinner and lighter bodies, the mechanical, physical input will have to go. If, like me, you think that typing on screens will never be as accurate, or as fast, as hitting real keys, then it’s not great news.

The pitfalls of an all-screen laptop are the same as using a tablet as your primary machine for work. You’ll need to pack a wireless keyboard (more clutter in your bag) and remember to keep it charged (more clutter in your mind). Soon after, Logitech or some other company will crank out a case to fix the issue, but you’ll spend an extra $150 for something you used to take for granted.

Let’s start with HP’s Omen X 2S and ASUS’ ZenBook Pro Duo. Both have secondary displays in the laptop’s base that push the keyboard down towards the lower edge. If the trend continues, those screens will get bigger, and the physical keys will get progressively smaller and less useful until they’re pushed off altogether.

Intel likes to show off how it plans to guide the PC industry with concept devices it lets other manufacturers build, and at the show, the company displayed a machine, code-named Honeycomb Glacier. The prototype laptop had an articulated display that pushed the keyboard to the edge of the body, taking away the palm rest, making typing less comfortable.