Some swear by Synaptics' trackpads, while others love the little rubber nub on Lenovo's Thinkpads. When you have a flat surface though, nothing beats an actual mouse when wielding the pointer on your notebook. It'd be nice if said mouse folded seamlessly into your mobile PC, which is precisely what Foxconn wants to do, going by its new patent.
The patent, filed by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (and better known as Foxconn) back in August 2011, was published last week and features the following brief description of the mechanism:
A laptop includes a main body and a touchpad. The main body includes a housing which defines a receiving groove. The touchpad is detachably received in the receiving groove. The laptop further includes an ejection mechanism to eject the touchpad up from the receiving groove to allow the touchpad to be used independently as an external mouse.
There's no talk of how the mouse itself would function — we're pretty good at making mice now — with the rest of the patent used to detail how the ejection system would work and the specifics of the cavity in which the mouse / trackpad resides.
Now, some of you may recall that Acer's Aspire Ethos featured a detachable trackpad, but it functioned as a wireless trackpad and remote, rather than a mouse. A good idea for using your notebook as a temporary media machine, but not much use if you're sitting at your desk typing up a TPS report.
You can pick up some decent portable, wireless mice, but it's hard to beat having one as part of the notebook itself... as long as it doesn't compromise the build quality or aesthetics and most importantly, isn't a piece of crap.