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Phantom Lapboard Keyboard (It's Coming) (Maybe)

Illustration for article titled Phantom Lapboard Keyboard (Its Coming) (Maybe)

We got our hands on a final build of the promising lap-ready Phantom Lapboard Keyboard at CES, and what can we say? It appeared every bit as wireless and ambidextrous as we thought. But this is the aptly named Phantom Keyboard we're talking about—the keyboard that Alienware wanted but couldn't secure—the keyboard we've been looking at since 2004. We talked to the Phantom Development Consultant John Landino and he shed some light on the delays.

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Illustration for article titled Phantom Lapboard Keyboard (Its Coming) (Maybe)
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Illustration for article titled Phantom Lapboard Keyboard (Its Coming) (Maybe)
Illustration for article titled Phantom Lapboard Keyboard (Its Coming) (Maybe)
Illustration for article titled Phantom Lapboard Keyboard (Its Coming) (Maybe)
Illustration for article titled Phantom Lapboard Keyboard (Its Coming) (Maybe)
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Illustration for article titled Phantom Lapboard Keyboard (Its Coming) (Maybe)

In a discussion of surprising frankness, Landino admitted that the company took far longer than anticipated to finalize the product. From problems with internal electronics (like syncing) to problems with the tactile aspects (an underrated aspect in a good keyboard), "it was a lot more work than we had thought," Landino explained. He added that his company's light funding securing less than ideal mass manufacturers didn't help speed things along, either.

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At the moment, they're just waiting for purchase orders so they can put the keyboard into production—another product, we're guessing, of financial shortages. Here's hoping it all works out, because we need a decent solution for playing PS3's Unreal Tournament 3 from our couch.

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DISCUSSION

I don't understand why no-name-brand companies making cheap wireless keyboards easily and this thing can't get out the door?