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Return of the foldable Stowaway keyboard

Japanese peripheral maker Thanko is out with a replica of the Think Outside Stowaway keyboard from 10 years ago.

Thanko Stowaway keyboard
Thanko's new product is an exact replica of the Stowaway keyboard. Thanko

The Think Outside Stowaway was a product from about 10 years back. This foldable keyboard was designed for PDAs, in the old days when Palm ruled the electronic organizer world. It was an amazing bit of equipment--a full-size ThinkPad-esque keyboard that folded to a quarter of its footprint when not in use. I remember watching with envy whenever someone whipped it out in school to take notes.

Imagine my surprise when I saw an article on Gizmag about an identical product made by Japanese peripheral maker Thanko. There's no mention of the brand "Stowaway" in the article, but from the pictures, it's obvious this is the same product. Everything about it is the same, right down to the design of the release catch. Of course, in this day and age, it no longer works with proprietary PDA connectors, but has a USB cable instead for PCs and notebooks.

Thanko Stowaway keyboard
Here's what it looks like folded. Thanko

iGo's support page (that's what Think Outside is called now), clearly states that the Stowaway keyboard's intellectual property was sold. So now we know where that IP ended up. Thanko has chosen a perfect time to reintroduce this product. With the popularity of the iPad and other upcoming slates, the company should introduce a Bluetooth version of this keyboard to capitalize on that.

(Source: Crave Asia)