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Darfon's super-thin Maglev Keyboard will make notebooks even slimmer

Instead of rubber cups, the Maglev Keyboard uses magnets to pop your keys right back up.

Aloysius Low/CNET

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- It's pretty hard not to give this super-slim Maglev Keyboard some attention. Like Japanese bullet trains the Shanghai Maglev Train, the Darfon keyboard uses the magic of magnetism to do away with the standard rubber cups found on normal keyboards.

Since the Maglev lacks rubber cups, the keyboard is noticeably thinner too. On the demo notebook that the company set up to show off the slimness, the keys were so close to the notebook that it was quite hard to type with.

Aloysius Low/CNET

On the standalone keyboard, however, I found the pressure and "clickiness" to be just about right. Darfon says it is also able to tweak the resistance electronically, so the keys will have various degrees of pressure depending on the preferences of their customers.

Obviously, the Maglev won't have the feel of a mechanical keyboard, but it will help in making notebooks even skinnier. Perhaps the newly announced Asus Chi is using the technology in its super-thin keyboard dock, though that's speculation on my part.

Darfon's spokesperson declined to reveal which manufacturers have ordered the Maglev, but says that we will see notebooks with its technology some time in the second half of the year.

June 10, 2:15 a.m.: Updated the story to reflect the correct maglev train line. Japanese bullet trains don't yet run on maglev technology, though that's set to be ready in 2020. Thank you readers.

Aloysius Low/CNET
Aloysius Low/CNET