When I think about what features might lead to the pitop gaining greater popularity, a few things come to mind.
1. Essentially no laptops at this time have decent keyboards. The mania for thinner and thinner laptops had resulted in keyboards that are painful to use, like the new macbooks'. I believe that if a basic 60% mechanical keyboard were put inside the next pitop, this might make it a better laptop for typing than has been seen in literally 3 decades-- since the Tandy Model 100. With the keyboard situated in the rear pitop to give room to the trackpad, the pi will need to move to the front right which will coincidentally let the USB ports face the user. This will be a thicker laptop in the front but one that's a joy to type on.
Speaking as someone who once used the Sinclair ZX81 and eventually bought ThinkPads, I've seen a wide gamut of keyboard quality.
2. While we wait for the Rpi4, Asus already has a better option although heat and power management may be issues. A tiny cooling fan to push air out of the machine is in order.
3. With the pi moved to the front it will be easier to access the breadboard and other circuits if the trackpad and wrist rests are a panel that can be flipped up because they are on hinges. I'd also suggest making the front facing center plastic transparent to give a view of the inventor's circuits.
1 person likes this idea
4 months ago
I second the mechanical keyboard idea. Rather than the current sliding keyboard (which is cool) how about a 40pin connector somewhere to allow a cable connection to a breadboard adapter like the ones from MCM Electronics that breakout 5V, 3.3V and Gnd to the buss connections on a solderless bread board and plugs into the center allowing easy access to the GPIO pins. See link for example. Would be cool if instead of a typical ribbon cable it could be a nice round cable that’s easy to plug/unplug.