This is the coolest gadget we’ve seen in a long time, but it's missing a crucial feature

QGeeM Hubboard - £54.90 from Amazon (opens in new tab)

QGeeM Hubboard - £54.90 from Amazon (opens in new tab)
(roughly $70)
This nifty device from QGeeM crosses a laptop docking station with a keyboard. The design is certainly innovative, but it's a serious shame there's no PC built in.

Vendors have long toyed with the idea of integrating keyboards with desktop PCs - after all, this is how the first mainstream computers were presented to budding hobbyists back in the 1970s.

Fast forward to today and a Chinese company with an unorthodox name (QGeeM) has released a keyboard with plenty of ports, but sadly no computer inside - and that’s a massive disappointment.

The Hubboard, as it is called, squeezes 11 ports into a minuscule keyboard; you get all the essentials and then some. There’s a legacy VGA port, three USB ports, two USB-Type-C (one with power delivery), a Gigabit Ethernet port, microSD card slot, SD card slot, audio port and an HDMI connector that can output to 4K.

There are a number of obvious issues with the device, though. There’s no numeric keypad - let alone a touchpad) - so while it's great for drafting a quick email, you'll long for an input peripheral before long.

For some reason, QGeeM also opted for a super cramped chassis with barely any space between the keys, plus the function and cursor keys are also squashed.

We would have loved to see a computer (Android or Windows-based) built in, which would have made this piece of kit even more useful. Add in a battery and you’d find yourself looking at a headless laptop.

For those interested in seeing what a Windows-based keyboard PC might look like, here’s one from 2008 (opens in new tab), one from 2016 (opens in new tab) (which is also rubberised), another from the same year (opens in new tab) and, last but not least, Asus’ exquisite Eee PC keyboard (opens in new tab) from 2010.

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Desire Athow
Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.