The launch of Windows 10 will likely see a new generation of small tablets from a number of third-party OEMs, but they can be hard to use for business purposes. Now Microsoft Research's Applied Sciences Group has revealed it is working on a prototype accessory called a DisplayCover for tablets that combines a typical keyboard with a touchscreen display.
"A tactile keyboard affords users with the comfort and ease of use provided by physical keys. A thinfilm e-ink display with a resolution of 1280 x 305 pixels extends the available screen real estate of the slate device by up to 8% (based on a Microsoft Surface Pro 2 with a 10.6", 1080p, 208ppi screen). We chose this display due to the bistable nature of electrophoretic ink, reducing the secondary screen's impact on battery life."
"DisplayCover supports dynamic UI manipulation, concurrent access to multiple applications, stylus annotation, gestures and trackpad interactions on the horizontal plane. DisplayCover extends the available screen real estate of tablet computers while mitigating occlusion issues associated with direct pen and touch input."
As with most Microsoft Research projects, there's no guarantee that this DisplayCover prototype will be released as a consumer or business product.