E-Lead’s Noahpad has what can only be described as the strangest design of all the low cost ultraportable computers I’ve seen over the last few months. It’s about the same size and shape as an Asus Eee PC, but the Noahpad has a virtual keyboard that doubles as a trackpad. Press a button and you can use the touchpad to navigate, press the button again and you can type on the virtual keyboard with all the tactile feedback you’d get by typing on a picture of a keyboard laid out on a piece of paper.

You can also rotate the screen and use the device in tablet mode. But it doesn’t have a touchscreen. Rather, the keyboard winds up on the back and you’re supposed to type without seeing the keys. Or you can just hang the computer over a coat hanger to watch a movie or look at photo slideshows. Don’t believe me? Check out the official Noahpad web page for suggested uses.

Engadget spotted a Noahpad at Computex, and discovered that E-Lead isn’t done adding features to the device. Now it supports multi-touch. You can put two hands on the keyboard and slide your fingers inward to shrink an image or slide out to make it bigger. Or you can rotate images by spinning your hands. The iPhone, Macbook Air and Eee PC 900 all sport similar multi-touch features. But judging by the videos, the Noahpad’s multi-touch feature is far less sensitive and far more awkward to use.

You can check out the videos at Engadget Chinese.



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