Over the past few years the bezels around laptop screens have shrunk to the point where I’ve stopped paying attention when PC makers claim that they’ve stuffed a 14 inch display into a 13 inch laptop body. That’s just what a 14 inch laptop looks like now.
But there’s only so small a laptop can get before you have to start making compromises on the keyboard.
Or maybe not.
The Compal Voyager laptop takes an unusual approach to fit a 13 inch keyboard into a notebook with a 12 inch display (and an 11 inch chassis, if you believe the company’s claims).
Here’s the idea — lift the lid of the laptop and you’ll notice an unusual keyboard with a split down the middle… and the keys set to an unusable 90-degree angle to the screen.
But that’s just how the keyboard is stored when you’re not using it. When you want to type, you can rotate the left and right sides so that the keyboard actually extends beyond the edges of the laptop’s body.
While Compal says this allows a 13 inch keyboard to fit into an 11 inch chassis, the bigger benefit may be the fact that there’s room for a split keyboard with the keys set to a more ergonomic angle than you’ll find in most laptops.
Compal is a Taiwanese original device manufacturer, which means the company is a contract manufacturer that builds products for other companies. So if the Voyager ever ends up on store shelves it may have a different name and a different logo on the lid. But the laptop recently won an IF Design Award, which is how it showed up on my radar.