It’s unlikely that my infant son will have a desktop PC in his college dorm, but he will have a clamshell-shaped notebook. Even if most PCs eventually have screens that pop off to become tablets, or keyboards that attach as covers as on the Microsoft Surface, the utility of a design where the keyboard sits perpendicular to the display and then snaps closed will remain unmatched.
In a recent article, Time’s Harry McCracken writes about the history of the clamshell form factor that originated with 1982’s Grid Compass 1101: "It’s hard to imagine any design rendering the clamshell utterly obsolete. No matter how astonishing computers are in 2082 and beyond, I’ll bet that some of them will have a screen, a keyboard and a hinge in the middle. Why would the world want to give up something so fundamentally useful?"
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