Let's start with HP's Omen X 2S and ASUS' ZenBook Pro Duo. Both have secondary displays in the laptop's base that push the keyboard down towards the lower edge. If the trend continues, those screens will get bigger, and the physical keys will get progressively smaller and less useful until they're pushed off altogether.
Intel likes to show off how it plans to guide the PC industry with concept devices it lets other manufacturers build, and at the show, the company displayed a machine, code-named Honeycomb Glacier. The prototype laptop had an articulated display that pushed the keyboard to the edge of the body, taking away the palm rest, making typing less comfortable.
Meanwhile, Intel's other prototype, Twin Rivers, did away with the keyboard altogether, since the company is pushing the device for casual consumption. It has a low-power CPU, stylus and, of course, an external keyboard. In that example, the slender keyboard actually sits between the two halves and, wrapped in cloth, apparently won't fall out. But that's a shame because the prototype, at least, had sticky keys with almost no travel, much like a number of Bluetooth keyboards.
And it's not as if there aren't keyboard-free models already available to buy; although, they're still in a small niche. Lenovo's Yoga Book and C930 have keyboard-free devices on store shelves, and the company has a folding screen ThinkPad in the works for 2020. ASUS's ZenBook Pro Duo, too, is a step on the road to its goal of making Project Precog a reality.
The problem is that touchscreen keyboards still aren't as good as real ones. These companies must know that because these devices are always shown with wireless keyboards alongside them, and if manufacturers had any faith in their ability to craft a good software input interface, they wouldn't be so quick to have the real thing around.
That is unless these keyboards are being kept around purely to pacify people like me, raised on real keys. If all goes to plan, these input anachronisms will be discarded by the smartphone and voice computing generations that follow.