Being able to project a full-sized QWERTY keyboard onto any surface makes the idea of ditching your laptop for a tablet a lot more plausible. And since CTX Virtual Technologies' new compact keyboard projector is barely larger than a lighter, it would barely add any weight to your gear. It's just too bad this technology is nearly unusable.

Technically, it works. As in the projected virtual laser keyboards will recognize your keystrokes even though you're not actually pressing any physical keys. But they're incredibly finicky, incredibly slow, and incredibly difficult for touch typists to use since they don't have a tactile reference for the home row. It's a technology with a lot of promise, that to date has completely under-delivered. And even with a price tag of $100, which is rock bottom for these types of devices, you're better off just suffering with an onscreen keyboard, or—believe it or not—voice recognition. At least that's an area where we're actually making progress.

[Brookstone via Gizmag]