The Japanese company King Jim has revealed a new laptop, the Portabook XMC10, which seems pretty standard in all ways but one: it includes a 12-inch keyboard split down the middle that folds out when in use.

The relatively small device clocks in at around eight inches by six inches with a 1,280 by 768 LCD display, a 2.4 GHz Intel Atom processor, 32 GB of storage and 2 GB of RAM — all of which work together to run Windows 10. None of this is particularly incredibly, especially for what's reportedly expected to retail for around $730, but the small form factor combined with the fold-out keyboard helps.

Why exactly is a fold-out keyboard a selling point? Well, as laptops get smaller and smaller, there eventually reaches a point where human hands just aren't small enough. The smaller the device, the more crowded the keyboard. At some point, you either ditch a full keyboard or come up with a clever way to sneak one in — like the Portabook XMC10's "Slide Arc" solution.

This isn't the first time a company's snuck a folding keyboard of sorts into a laptop, of course. Most notably, the IBM ThinkPad's butterfly keyboard from the 1990s looks almost like magic when it unfolds. That model was eventually discontinued in favor of bigger laptops in general — meaning that the full-size (or nearly) keyboards won out over time.

Source: Nikkei Technology Online via Gizmodo

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