ELECTRONIC INFORMATION APPARATUS
This is a continuation of application Ser. No. 08/370,350, filed on Jan. 9, 1995 and now abandoned, which is itself a continuation of application Ser. No. 07/857,161, filed on Mar. 25, 1992, and also abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates to an electronic information equipment such as a personal computer (hereinafter referred to as "PC"), a word processor (hereinafter referred to as "WP") or the like, and more particularly to an improvement in construction of a key board and a printer for the equipment.
2. Related Background Art
The conventional lap top type of electronic information equipment includes an equipment body mounted on a table, a key board which has plural input keys and is installed at a front side on an upper surface of the equipment body, a rotatable display which is pivotally mounted on a center portion on the upper surface of the equipment body in such a manner as to cover the key board, a built-in printer which is provided at an inner portion of the equipment body and serves to perform a printing on a recording sheet, a sheet supply port which is provided at an inner portion of the equipment body and through which the recording sheet is inserted, and a sheet discharge port which is provided at an inner portion of the equipment body and through which the printed recording sheet is discharged. The electronic information equipment may include a mouse or track ball as a instruction input device when it comprises a PC.
The key board has plural input keys which are actuated with a pushing operation and longitudinally and laterally arranged in a matrix. Ordinarily, the mouse and the trackball are optionally installed to the equipment body, and placed at a right or left side of the key board on the table. The mouse and the track, serving as the instruction input device, has an advantage which is not given to the input key, and they are operated solely or in parallel with an operation of the input key by an operator. The printer is so designed as to be operated after the display is slantly approached to the key board and a recording sheet is inserted through the sheet supply port.
Recently, miniaturization of an electronic information equipment has been required, and in association with this requirement a key board space has been required to be effectively used. However, the conventional lap top type electronic information equipment has been designed in the construction as described above, and the input keys are merely provided on the key board. Therefore, irrespective of the recent requirement of the effective use of the key board space, the effective use of the key board space has not been achieved in the conventional electronic information equipment.
In addition, the mouse and the track ball are placed at the right or left side of the key board on the table, and thus an operator's action to the equipment is necessarily restricted to an operation using his right or left hand. This restriction of the operator's action constitutes a remarkable obstacle to the operation of the input key, and the disadvantage that the operator's action is necessarily restricted to the operation using his right or left hand also constitutes an obstacle to a simultaneous operation of both of the mouse or track ball and the input key, so that there occurs a disadvantage that an effective input operation can not be performed.
Further, since the printer can not be used unless the display is slantly approached to the key board and the
recording sheet is inserted through the sheet supply port, the user can not visually check both of the recording sheet which is being subjected to a printing operation and the screen of the display on which a printed image is being displayed. Therefore, an operator's visual comparing check can not be performed unless the printing operation is completed, and thus a series of printing operations and the visual comparing check are ineffectively carried out.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
This invention was made in view of the foregoing, and has an object to provide an electronic information apparatus in which effective use of a surface space of the key board is achieved to satisfy the requirement of miniaturization of the apparatus, the input operation of the instruction input device can be effectively carried out, and a series of printing operations and a visual compare checking operation can be remarkably effectively carried out.
In order to attain the above object, an electronic information apparatus according to this invention includes a display provided to an apparatus body for displaying a data on a screen thereof, and a key board having plural input keys and provided at a front side on an upper surface of the apparatus body, is characterized in that the plural input keys are collected into two sets of input keys, and the two sets of input keys are eccentrically located at right and left sides with respect to a central portion on the upper surface of the key board and inclined from a front end of the key board toward a rear end thereof in such a manner as to be symmetrical at the right and left sides on the key board.
Each of the two sets may be constructed by rows of plural laterally-arranged input keys which are arranged in a planar and substantially-rectangular form, in which a distance between neighboring rows at the front side is set to be longer than a distance between neighboring rows at the rear side.
Further, a pointing device may be interposed between the sets of input keys at the center on the upper surface of the key board.
In addition, the pointing device may comprise a track ball input device having a rotatably-driven track ball which is freely detachably installed in a mount hole formed at the center on the upper surface of the key board.
Further, inside of the apparatus body may be provided a detector for detecting a security state on the basis of detachment of the track ball from the mount hole.
Still further, a palm rest for supporting a palm with which the pointing device is operated may be mounted at the front side on the upper surface of the key board.
Still further, the apparatus body may contain a built-in voice input device provided at the front side of the sets of input keys.
Still further, an electric wave transmitter-receiver may be provided adjacently to the display and at the rear side of the sets of input keys on the key board.
Still further, the display may contain built-in voice output speakers at both sides of the screen thereof.
Still further, the display may be pivotally supported through a hinge at the rearmost end of the apparatus body.
Still further, a built-in printer may be provided between said hinge and said electric wave transmitter-receiver at a rear portion of said apparatus body.
In addition, the printer may include a sheet supply port formed adjacently to the hinge in the apparatus body, a sheet discharge port formed at a parabola antenna side in the apparatus body, a sheet passageway for performing inter