@sevan @th And this makes it more obvious how it actually worked.

@loke @sevan @th That's impressive. Maybe this design needs to come back. Even if there was a patent on it, it will have lapsed.


I remember when this came out in the early 90s. It was one of those *really* amazing things (along with the nubby joystick mouse) that immediately put IBM (back?) on the laptop map.

But they never used the butterfly keyboard again on any other model of Thinkpad, which makes me think that the mechanical complexity makes it not worth the bother.

In any case, today's laptops would be too thin for the mechanical stuff and the big screens leave enough room for a regular keyboard.

@suetanvil @bob a friend of mine had one of these. It was indeed really impressive. I don't recall the keyboard having any problems, and felt good to use. I do think it probably broke pretty easily. You don't really want lots of moving parts on a laptop.

@loke this was 26 years ago. Why did manufacturers stop building this beauty? It was so cool. Every time we closed it, we were smiling at how cool it is.
@sevan @th

@arh @sevan @th it appears the main reasons would be cost, and the introduction if larger screens, meaning that the keyboard didn't need to be small anymore.

That said, I would love to see all modern take on this, a very compact computer with a small screen, but still having a full size keyboard. It would have to be a new design, since the old butterfly keyboard was quite thick. It would probably be very expensive though.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Functional Café

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!