Designer Yang Yongchang is proposing a fold-away solution to the keyboard envy sometimes exhibited by netbook users. For the iWEB design, a full-size QWERTY keyboard is jointed in two places and folded inwards so that when not in use it sits within the frame of a 6.5in display portable device. Open up the netbook, fold out the side flaps and enjoy the ease of use and comfort of those nice big keys.

Mobility and portability have certainly taken their toll on keying comfort. As laptops shrunk into netbooks, keyboard size took a seriously big hit. But perhaps Yang Yongchang's vision for a netbook of the future holds some hope for those who tire of the numerous errors resulting from fingers that are chunkier than the keys they attempt to press down or those who just crave for something bigger.

The designer reckons that a hinged, full-size chiclet keyboard could be squeezed into netbook dimensions of just 6.3 x 4.1 0.7in. Hot-keys grace the bottom of the side panels for increased productivity and LED status indicators sit at the edges. Also included in the design is a capacitive multi-touch display.

Of course, being a concept, there are no more technical details available (such as processor, memory and storage) but as folding keyboard solutions already exist in various shapes and sizes then is it such a flight of fancy to incorporate one into a netbook?

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