|Publication number||USRE39429 E1|
|Application number||US 10/816,597|
|Publication date||12 Dec 2006|
|Filing date||2 Apr 2004|
|Priority date||4 May 1990|
|Publication number||10816597, 816597, US RE39429 E1, US RE39429E1, US-E1-RE39429, USRE39429 E1, USRE39429E1|
|Inventors||Jeff C. Hawkins, John J. Daly|
|Original Assignee||Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (21), Non-Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (18), Classifications (11), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 08/520,629, filed on Aug. 29, 1995, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,219,681, which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 08/215,988, filed on Mar. 22, 1994, now abandoned, which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 08/025,900, filed Mar. 3, 1993, now U.S. Pat. Ser. No. 5,333,116, issued Jul. 26, 1994, which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 07/932,515, now abandoned, filed Aug. 20, 1992, which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 07/839,004, filed Feb. 14, 1992, now U.S. Pat. No. 5,200,913, issued Apr. 6, 1993, which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 07/519,031, filed May 4, 1990, now abandoned, which are incorporated by reference herein.
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates to the field of personal computers and, more particularly, to the field of portable computers, sometimes termed “laptop” computers.
2. Description of the Related Art
Truly portable computers are known which are relatively small, light in weight and convenient to carry and use in transit. Such computers are small enough to be comfortably placed on one'lap, hence the term “laptop” computer. Computers of this type are usually provided with a down-sized version of a standard personal computer keyboard, a display, a portable power supply (e.g., rechargeable batteries) and various interface connections for enabling the computer to be elecrically coupled to other devices, such as input/output devices (disk drives, printers, and the like) and communication links (e.g., telephone lines). The display is typically pivotally mounted to the computer housing at a point intermediate the front and rear margins so as to be maneuverable between a closed position in which the viewing surface of the display covers the keyboard and acts as a shield, and an opened position in which the keyboard is exposed and the viewing surface of the display is arranged at a viewing angle. A representative portable computer having the above components and configuration is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,571,456 issued Feb. 18, 1986, for Portable Computer, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference.
A relatively new type of portable computer introduced by the Assignee of this application is smaller and lighter than a typical laptop computer and features a display operable by a conductive pointed stylus which is employed by at user in much the same manner as a pen or pencil on a pad: hence the term “pad computer.” This pad computer is meant to be employed like a pen and tablet in the field, and is devoid of any keyboard. The pad computer is, however, provided with a connector for enabling an auxiliary keyboard to be connected to the pad computer in order to add keyboard capability to the pad computer. However, the major mode of use envisioned in the pad computer encompasses the use of the stylus to permit hand entry of information into the computer via the display.
The invention comprises a portable computer which combines the standard keyboard capability of a laptop computer with the stylus data entry capability of a pad computer, but which is substantially the same size and weight as the pad computer.
The invention comprises a portable computer having a housing, a keyboard carried by the housing, and display means having a viewing surface and an opposing surface, the display means being coupled to the housing and moveable between a closed position in which the opposing surface of the display means covers the keyboard and an opened position in which the keyboard is uncovered and the display means is positioned rearwardly of the keyboard with the viewing surface arranged at a convenient viewing angle. In the closed position, the invention can be used as a pad computer by entering information via a stylus applied directly to the display, while in the open position the portable computer can be used as either a standard laptop computer using the exposed keyboard for information entry or as a combination laptop and pad computer. In order to facilitate use of the computer in the laptop mode when the display means is positioned with the keyboard exposed, a stylus receptacle is provided in a mask region adjacent the viewing region of the display means, so that the stylus can be removably held in the receptacle.
To facilitate storage and transit of the portable computer, a latching means is provided for removably securing the display means to the housing. The latching means is located approximately mid-way between a front portion and a rear portion of the computer housing. Preferably, the latching means comprises a pair of retractable latch members and corresponding slotted walls, with each latch member/slotted wall pair being located adjacent a different one of the opposing side margins of the computer housing. In the preferred embodiment, each latch member is retractably carried by the display means, and each slotted wall comprises a portion of the computer housing.
The display means is pivotally mounted to the computer housing by means of a four bar hinge mechanism which includes first and second forward hinge members and a rear hinge means. The forward hinge members pivotally couple the display means to the housing at hinge points positioned adjacent opposed housing side margins extending between the front and rear of the housing. Each of the first and second forward hinge members are preferably coupled to the associated side of the display means adjacent a forward comer thereof; and the first and second forward hinge members are also each coupled to the housing side margins at a pivot point conveniently located between the front portion of the housing and the rear edge of the keyboard. Each side margin of the housing is provided with a slotted wall for receiving the corresponding one of the hinge members. The opposing surface of the display means is hinged to the housing by means of the rear hinge means which is coupled at the top edge thereof to the opposing surface of the display means and which is also coupled at the bottom edge thereof to the housing at a position rearwardly of the keyboard.
The housing is further provided with a rear wall portion with a recess formed therein for removably accommodating a power pack having a shape conformable with the recess. The power pack includes a receptacle area for accommodating a battery power source, and also a battery charging circuit so that the batteries may be recharged with the power pack attached to the computer housing.
An auxiliary stylus mounting mechanism is provided along the rear top margin of the housing for removably attaching the stylus to the computer when the display means is in the closed position or the stylus is not needed.
The invention provides a light weight portable computer which is capable of functioning in either a laptop mode, a pad mode or a combination of the two. In addition, the mounting mechanism for the display conveniently enables the display to cover the keyboard when use of the keyboard is not required, and to quickly uncover the keyboard and arrange the display at a convenient viewing angle when the computer is to be used on a desk top or other support surface.
For a fuller understanding of the nature and advantages of the invention, reference should be had to the ensuing detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
Turning now the drawings,
A display generally designated with reference numeral 20 is pivotally mounted to the housing 10 in such a manner that the viewing surface 21 of the display 20 is exposed in both the closed position illustrated in FIG. 1 and the open position illustrated in FIG. 2. Display 20 uses an LCD display with a transparent conductive screen overlay of the type disclosed in commonly assigned co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 07/365,147, filed Jun. 12, 1989, now U.S. Pat. No. 5,133,076, for Hand Held Computer, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference. Generally, the display 21 is charged with a voltage gradient which alternates along the X and Y axes of the display as described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,371,746, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference. The display may be used either for conventional display purposes (i.e., for displaying information entered via keyboard 15, computational results and user prompts or other information), or as an interactive data entry display tablet or pad. In this latter mode of operation (termed the “pad” mode), a conductive stylus 30 is employed much like a pen or pencil by the user. When the tip of the stylus touches the conductive screen overlay of the display 20, the stylus transmits the magnitude of the voltage of the overlay al: that point to an overlay controller within the computer by means of a conductive lead 31 which plugs into a jack 32 located in the rear of the housing. A representative stylus 30 is disclosed in commonly assigned U.S. Pat. No. 4,927,986, issued May 22, 1990 for Conductive Stylus Storage for a Portable Computer, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference. As shown in
The display 20 is pivotally mounted to the housing 10 by means of a pair of forward hinges 40 and a rear hinge plate 41 forming a four bar hinge mechanism. As best shown in
With reference to
To facilitate storage, transport and use of the computer in the pad mode, a pair of latch mechanisms generally designated with reference numeral 50 are provided at approximately the mid-point of the side margins of display 20. As best seen in
With reference to
Also secured within the rear portion of housing 10 is a modem unit 81 having a pair of telephone type connector sockets 82, 83 which are accessible through suitably shaped apertures in the side wall of housing 10. In addition, a display backlight inverter circuit 84 is positioned within housing 10 adjacent the main logic board 71. A pair of stylus jacks 32 are mounted to the housing along the rear portion of the left and right margins 13, 14 and are used to electrically couple the conductive stylus 30 to the circuitry on the main logic board 71. An auxiliary keyboard jack 85, and a serial port connector 86 are mounted in the housing along the rear wall 12.
Housing 10 is provided with a power pack recess 90 along the rear wall as shown in
In order to provide adequate space for the hardware components, the bottom wall 17 of housing 10 curves outwardly starting at approximately the mid-point thereof (just rearwardly of the keyboard 15). This curved portion 18 also provides an inclined angle to the plane of the housing 10 when the computer is placed on a desk top or other flat working surface to more closely approximate the feel of a conventional laptop computer or desk top personal computer. This inclined angle also facilitates use of the computer in the pad mode.
The entire computer has overall dimensions of a width of 11.5 in., a housing depth of 8.85 in., and a maximum thickness measured at the rear of 1.40 in. The display has a depth of 8.15 in., a thickness of 0.45 in at the rear half and 0.62 in. at the front half. The thickness of the housing 10 in the front region (the region where the keyboard 15 is located) is 0.39 in. Total weight of the computer is approximately four lbs.
As will now be apparent, the invention can be used as either a pad computer in combination with the stylus 30, or as a laptop computer by using the keyboard 15, or as a combination of both. When used as a pad computer, the stylus 30 is plugged into either one of the two jacks 32, the display 20 is normally in the closed position illustrated in
While the above provides a full and complete disclosure of the preferred embodiment of the invention, various modifications, alternate constructions and equivalents will occur to those skilled in the art. For example, other hinge combinations can be used than those illustrated in the preferred embodiment, and different dimensions may be employed for the various portions of the housing. In addition, other stylus compatible displays may be employed; and other types of stylus devices, such as a cordless stylus, may be used as desired. Further, the locations of the additional stylus receptacles 25, 26, as well as the shape thereof, may be different from those illustrated. Moreover, different means for removably attaching the stylus to a convenient location for the user may be selected, as desired for any given application. Also, the particular latch configuration shown may be changed, as desired, to comply with the specific requirements of a particular application. Therefore, the above descriptions and illustrations should not be construed as limiting the invention which is defined by the appended claims.
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|U.S. Classification||708/100, 361/679.58, 361/679.55, 345/169|
|Cooperative Classification||G06F1/1615, G06F1/1679, G06F1/1632|
|European Classification||G06F1/16P9M4, G06F1/16P6, G06F1/16P1|
|2 Sep 2009||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|8 Nov 2013||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|2 Apr 2014||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|