LG's phone division cooking up netbook integration, 'blooming' keyboards, and a form factor you've never seen

Chris Ziegler
C. Ziegler|08.11.09

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LG's phone division cooking up netbook integration, 'blooming' keyboards, and a form factor you've never seen
There's no rest for the wicked, the insomniacs, or the phone manufacturers that want to keep climbing the global top-five ladder, and LG seems to have a good grip on that fact as evidenced by some juicy concepts that have turned up in a recent survey. Last time this happened, the concept in the survey went on to become the Versa -- so we fully expect everything you see here to turn up in a retail product eventually (unless respondents vote overwhelmingly against 'em, we suppose).

First up is "Synergy" -- not to be confused with Palm's Synergy concept in webOS, of course -- which appears to be the codename for a netbook that would integrate tightly with your phone (presumably via Bluetooth). Tethering isn't mentioned, but you'd be able to see and respond to text messages, peep caller ID, and instantly browse photos stored on your handset right from the convenience of Synergy's 10-inch display. Feature-wise, the netbook's got an integrated camera, mobile broadband (again, we're not sure if this would come via tethering or an internal card), and XP Home, which we're guessing would likely morph into Windows 7 by the time of its release. The idea's been floated at $149 on a two-year contract, which falls in line with what carriers seem to be charging for on-contract netbooks these days.

Follow the break for more goodies straight out of LG's labs!

[Thanks, Panic]

Next, meet "Elva." At a glance, it looks like the LBA-C300 Bluetooth keyboard, but it's far more -- it's a full-fledged phone in a form factor that we've never quite seen before. The idea is that you'd have a candybar with a landscape oriented keyboard sliding along the top of it; positioned along the edge, it's full QWERTY, but slid to the center, it becomes a standard numeric pad with fancy dynamic layouts and lighting (it's not clear how the display would look and work in numeric mode since the keypad would be running down the centerline, so use your imagination). On the one hand, it sounds like it's more trouble than it's worth, but we have to admit we're intrigued and we'd love to try it, especially considering that they're looking to pawn it for just $50 on contract.

Finally, we've got "Dome," which is basically an extra-fancy enV3. Extra-fancy how, you ask? The secret lies in what LG's calling the "blooming" keyboard, which springs up and expands when the clam is opened -- a serious (and welcome) throwback to the Psion Series 5 for those old enough to remember it. It's got a 3-inch internal display, 3 megapixel camera, full HTML browser, GPS, and so on -- the usual suspects -- and would sell for $149.
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