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Phantom Entertainment Announces Lapboard Preorders

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the they-made-something-they-really-made-something dept.

59

Arian writes "Phantom Entertainment (formally Infium Labs) are set to finally release their first product after years of investors trust and years on John Public's distrust. The product is the Phantom Lapboard, a wireless keyboard/mouse combo designed so you can frag from the comfort of your couch. It is designed to work with the upcoming Phantom Game Service, if and when the service is released. Preorders for the Lapboard are available on the Phantom Entertainment website. It is due out in November, at a full retail price of $129.99.

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$130 (3, Funny)

Talisein (65839) | more than 7 years ago | (#16366981)

$130 for a laptop and mouse?
Have they been aquired by Sony?

Re:$130 (1)

Generic Guy (678542) | more than 7 years ago | (#16367225)

You meant to say $130 for a still non-existant keyboard and mouse.

After all this time, and they still expect more people to pay them for nothing in return? Sheesh.

Re:$130 (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 7 years ago | (#16368057)

>$130 for a laptop and mouse?

130 bucks for a laptop is actually a great deal, especially if it's not as fugly as the linux laptop in the same price category.

Re:$130 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16368263)

No, it's for a keyboard and a mouse (and a hard surface), not for a laptop.

huh? (1)

BrandonBlizard (1007055) | more than 7 years ago | (#16366989)

And why would anyone buy that?

Re:huh? (2, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16367027)

Because there's one born every minute?

KFG

Re:huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16367687)

Ona a minute? Ha! That must be based on old data. The rate of proliferation if much, much higher now.

Re:huh? (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16367065)

Yeah, you'd be about ten times better off with a mini-usb keyboard (Halted Specialties Corp. in Santa Rosa is selling/was selling the logitech netplay controller for $10, cheapest mini-size USB keyboard I've seen yet, it detaches from the controller part and it's USB HID-class) on your lap and a normal wireless optical mouse on the couch next to you or something. Actually, they sell these neat leg desks for aviators and such that would make a GREAT place to stick your keyboard. Admittedly, a strap-on keyboard is pretty nerdy, but one of the joys of geekdom is not giving a fuck what people think of the way you look. At least, it always has been for me.

Re:huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16367453)

Strap on keyboard, yeah, just like the rig for the steadicams that cameramen use. Just for the basem--er I mean house anyway.

Web TV 2? (0, Offtopic)

EmperorKagato (689705) | more than 7 years ago | (#16367051)

It seems that device is similar to WebTV or a more enchanced version.

Re:Web TV 2? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16367145)

It seems that device is similar to WebTV or a more enchanced version.

No. It's similar to a keyboard and mouse. Throw in a TV tray and it is a keyboard and mouse.

KFG

Act now... (3, Funny)

CaseM (746707) | more than 7 years ago | (#16367053)

Act now, and receive a coupon for a FREE copy of Duke Nukem Forever!!!

YAY!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16367055)

I'm gonna go out and buy a set right now!! And then...I'll surf the net with it? Uh, play ps2 games on it? Have a really awesome universal remote? MMMM.....Play some dumb games on it??

Too cool to be true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16367057)

Released real soon now for all your DNF gaming needs.

Mixed metaphors (1)

nosredna (672587) | more than 7 years ago | (#16367085)

Finally, the comfort of a laptop keyboard meets the effectiveness of working from my recliner.

All that's missing now is the professionalism of the beer holder.

Phantom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16367095)

As a great man once said:
"Nigga, please..."

Wake Me When They See One. (2, Insightful)

OgGreeb (35588) | more than 7 years ago | (#16367101)

Is it even worth discussing the company and their "products" until someone has a bought, working model in their hands?

Re:Wake Me When They See One. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16367331)

They've just moved on to the ponzi phase of their plans, when they presell a thousand, they'll ship a hundred.

Getting ahead of the obsolecense curve. (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16367179)

Great. Instead of having a computer that is obsolete when receive it, you can now pre-obsolesce your machine so you can be assured that it is obsolete and that you paid too much for it lnog before it ever arrives.

Re:Getting ahead of the obsolecense curve. (1)

Generic Guy (678542) | more than 7 years ago | (#16367301)

Instead of having a computer that is obsolete when receive it, you can now pre-obsolesce your machine so you can be assured that it is obsolete and that you paid too much for it long before it ever arrives.

You mean if it ever arrives.

Instead, I recommend everyone interested in this (literally) Phantom $129 keyboard to instead send me the bargain price of $99! I guarantee to send you in return the same exact... well, nothing... as promised by this company.

what the christ (2, Insightful)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16367201)


To get started with your lapboard you will need:

  PC or MAC with USB ports, CD-ROM and up to 50 MB available hard disk space.


A keyboard and mouse with 50MB of installed software I don't need.

That said, it actually looks nice. If I played a lot of games on my TV (I don't), it might be nice. $130 seems a little steep, but not that bad compared to other wireless mouse/keyboard combos. I hope there's somewhere you can anchor the mouse to, for when you want to put it away.

Re:what the christ (1)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 7 years ago | (#16367573)

If I played a lot of games on my TV (I don't), it might be nice.
Maybe you'd play more if you had a more comfortable setup for your keyboard and mouse? I think it looks cool. I'd probably get it if it was real.

Re:what the christ (1)

loraksus (171574) | more than 7 years ago | (#16367997)

Logietech Setpoint 2.1 drivers are 54 megs.

I can't fathom excactly fucking WHY they are so big, but there you have it...
Aint software bloat great!

Wow (1)

Fullhazard (985772) | more than 7 years ago | (#16367209)

I'm amazed at how little I think of Phantom. I seriously doubt they have the technical and business prowess to make a mousepad, a keyboard, and a hinge...
Anyway, it does look kind of cool. I hope they didn't patent anything, so a reputable company can still make a knock-off. Which they could sell for 20$.

VC For the Masses (2, Insightful)

searchr (564109) | more than 7 years ago | (#16367481)

Pre-orders. PRE-ORDERS?! Are you f#%@ing KIDDING ME?! They can't con any more stupid rich people, so they wanna go for the stupid non-rich? If anyone, ANYONE, plunks down money for this thing that they don't actually have in their hands, then they deserve what they get.

Which, if you need a reminder, is in the name.

Phantom.

Re:VC For the Masses (1)

DittoBox (978894) | more than 7 years ago | (#16368315)

You are soooooo gonna be jealous when I get my 1337 keyboard and mouse d00d!

Are they going to make us their bitch? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#16367483)

...or is that honor just reserved for any investor stupid enough to have given them money? -Eric

Drop me an email (1)

Dan East (318230) | more than 7 years ago | (#16367511)

Once you're done submitting your preorder drop me an email. I've got some land in Florida I'm willing to sell at a low price, and I have some foreign relatives that have passed away and their estate needs a domestic bank account to wire money into.

Thanks.

Dan East

But can... (1, Redundant)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 7 years ago | (#16367595)

But, can it run on the soon to be released Amiga's, and will Duke Nukem Forever be playable with it?

Yikes. (2, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#16367729)

Last time I spent that much on a keyboard, it was the 1980s and there was a VIC-20 built into it.

Mousing surface? Why do I need that? (1)

shadexiii (723888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16367811)

Trackball. Poof, no need for moving that mouse around. No need for a flat surface. No need for a surface that an optical sensor can be happy with.

Even if you use an optical mouse, wired or not, from my experiences I've never really needed to be too picky on the surface for those either.

Look, a product that has a use in the mind of the developers, but little or none in the mind of consumers! Fantastic game plan guys.

Re:Mousing surface? Why do I need that? (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16368309)

Trackballs are ... uh ... nonoptimal for games. I mean, far be it from me to actually defend Phantom Labs, but come on. You can't use your mouse decently on the surface of the sofa (well, not mine anyway) and I don't really feel like hunching over my table to play games - I wanna lay back in the big comfy chair.

I don't know if this 'lapboard' thingamajig would actually work ok, but all three of your comments are way off the mark.

Re:Mousing surface? Why do I need that? (1)

shadexiii (723888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16368449)

You might be surprised. Most people who don't like trackballs don't use trackballs. (That's rather logical, actually.) Those that do, assuming you don't have a roller one and do have an optical one, can become rather proficient with them. Back when I still played FPS games, I became rather good at it. Nowadays it is more than enough to play stuff like WoW with.

I understand that many do not like trackballs. Why else am I going to have to go on eBay and spend upwards of $100, if I'm lucky, for a new (or even used) Microsoft Trackball Explorer. That doesn't make them nonoptimal for, well, anything merely for those that don't find them intuitive. At this point, going back to a standard mouse is likely as problematic for me as a standard mouse user trying to use a trackball.

As for a surface, there are hard mousepads (rigid) that work just fine. And you can use whatever keyboard and whatever mouse you so desire.

As for my comments being off the mark, I disagree. I think my setup works fantastic for me, reclining on my couch. It won't work for everyone. That doesn't make it wrong, merely different. I could turn around and use the same argument against you, that all but your surface argument are off the mark, but they aren't, they're merely differences of opinion. Everyone's got an opinion, just like everyone has an asshole. That doesn't make you unique.

Re:Mousing surface? Why do I need that? (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16368705)

I know a lot of gamers, and there's one who uses a trackball. And frankly, he kind of sucks. You just don't have the level of responsiveness you need - he just can't turn around as fast as everyone else.

> I think my setup works fantastic for me, reclining on my couch. It won't work for everyone.

I don't think it'll work well for -most- people. I base this assertion on the fact that trackballs users are almost nonexistant and that there's many surfaces on which optical mice won't work well, either because they won't track or because they generate too much friction. That's your first two points - that trackballs work fine and if they don't, then optical mice are fine.

> Look, a product that has a use in the mind of the developers, but little or none in the mind of consumers!

It's got plenty of use in the mind of consumers. Just not you.

I dislike phantom as much as the next guy (actually, I love them. You can't make up that kind of internet idiocy), and seriously doubt that these things will ever see the light of day, but your arguments against it are just way off.

If you're gonna make an argument against it, I'd be casting a dubious eye on the strength of that hinge, the lack of useable space under it and the fact that there doesn't seem to be any place to tether the mouse to when you're done with it.

Re:Mousing surface? Why do I need that? (1)

shadexiii (723888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16368975)

Your awareness of trackball-using gamers is limited. Thus, your claim about the one guy you know sucking does little more than balance out my claim that it can, and has for me, and others, worked well. The claim that trackball users are in the minority is never something i disputed, but I've often found that the only reason that people use regular mice is because they don't want to have to learn to use a different method when the one they have already works. The one I have, granted it isn't designed to be a gaming mouse, has been sufficiently responsive. Ever considered the possibility that the guy you know of just sucks, regardless of equipment? Because if he's saying that its the fault of his equipment, then he should just change it. If you don't use the equipment, let alone on a regular basis, how can you legitimately argue that they aren't responsive enough? They may not be for you, but this goes back to that whole thing on opinions...

More than that, what about non-FPS games? Do those not count in your book? I've yet to find one that needs the "superior" responsiveness that a "gaming" mouse provides.

> and that there's many surfaces on which optical mice won't work well, either because they won't track or because they generate too much friction.

There are many on which they won't work. There are many on which they will. Like I said, YMMV. This still hasn't addressed my comments on rigid mouse pads, which can be used just as well as their "lap board," if not better, because you can place it as close to or far away from your keyboard as you would like. The couch (specifically futon) I'm sitting on right now has worked just fine for friends of mine as a mousing surface, and it isn't like grabbing some random textbook would be all that hard either.

> It's got plenty of use in the mind of consumers. Just not you.

So what do we get, a keyboard / surface / mouse combination. I could come up with such a combination, while possibly not as elegant, in a matter of minutes simply from what I have laying around in my apartment. This works great for people that don't have the capacity to find solutions on their own, or people with money to burn, or people that don't feel like taking the effort. I'm not attacking any of these people (I at least don't intend to,) I just expected most slashdot users to be a bit more resourceful. So I used exaggeration, I apologize. I'm sure you have never done that, and I commend you.

> If you're gonna make an argument against it, I'd be casting a dubious eye on the strength of that hinge, the lack of useable space under it and the fact that there doesn't seem to be any place to tether the mouse to when you're done with it.

All of these are valid arguments. If you had these insights, why not look past the fact that you disagree with where I'm coming from and just post those? Does it make you feel better to try and correct others for not seeing things the same way as you? I'm sorry, mein fuhrer.

Re:Mousing surface? Why do I need that? (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16369621)

> Does it make you feel better to try and correct others for not seeing things the same way as you? I'm sorry, mein fuhrer.

No, it makes me feel better to point out assertions that are clearly incorrect, such as your claim that this device (or rather, a device which fills the requirement that this device purports to) has no use in the mind of consumers.

Re:Mousing surface? Why do I need that? (1)

shadexiii (723888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16369889)

> No, it makes me feel better to point out assertions that are clearly incorrect,

You offer "proof," I offer rebuttal, you offer ad hominem attack or you target things that have already been taken out of the discussion. You did not comment on my offered alternatives for this lap board. When you comment you offer personal experience as substantial argument. If you do that, then you must accept my personal experience at comprable value. Or are you claiming that your experiences are simply more important than others?

Re:Mousing surface? Why do I need that? (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16369955)

Your rebuttal is "it's not useful to me," which is fine. That doesn't mean there's no market for this.

Re:Mousing surface? Why do I need that? (1)

shadexiii (723888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16370069)

I already covered that last portion of my initial message. It wasn't meant to be argumentative, but you've made an excellent attempt at changing that. And my rebuttals have covered most everything but that last bit of my initial post, save saying it was exaggeration, hyperbole, etc. Once I've seemed to adequately defend myself, you let it go, except for this last bit. Why is that?

Re:Mousing surface? Why do I need that? (1)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#16370199)

> And my rebuttals have covered most everything but that last bit of my initial post, save saying it was exaggeration, hyperbole, etc. Once I've seemed to adequately defend myself, you let it go, except for this last bit. Why is that?

Because I seem to have missed that - my apologies. I don't buy your arguments because they fly in the face of all my experience and all my friends experience. I still contend that trackballs suck for games and that you can't just wedge an optical mouse most places and expect it to work well. But it's a stupid enough thing to argue about. I regret that it became so argumentative - I certainly didn't intend it that way.

Re:Mousing surface? Why do I need that? (1)

Propaganda13 (312548) | more than 7 years ago | (#16375609)

First off, did you look at the Phantom Lapboard? It is not optimized for gameplay anyways.

As for trackballs, there's a wide variety of trackballs. My friend used a thumb trackball for FPS. He calibrated it so turning 180 was super quick. I personally used a large trackball (Think Golden Tee or Centipede) for FPS for along time. On FPS games, where the up/down view range is generally +/- 60 degrees, the trackball was very fast and accurate for me. The only game that I had a problem with was Tribes due to jetpack battles.

As for accuracy, think how many people are playing FPS with gamepads now. Trackballs are a lot more accurate in my opinion.

Right now, I use a G5 mouse because I was annoyed with my MX1000 wireless mouse and wanted a corded mouse again.

Alternatives? (1)

GoNINzo (32266) | more than 7 years ago | (#16367961)

Can anyone present reasonable alternatives to this? I am in the market for my home media center, but the model M and non-roller mouse is working okay as long as I don't mind getting down on the floor.

I'm looking for all in one wireless keyboard and mouse that is light and not fragile. Microsoft's idea [microsoft.com] won't work for me, as it has things I don't care for. Logitech doesn't seem to have anything close to what I want as they want you to have a seperate keyboard and mouse. And while the VersaPoint RF [interlinkelectronics.com] is great at work, I don't need RF, nor do I need a 140 buck keyboard.

So we know the Phantom is crap, and possibly outright fiction, what is a good, buyable alternative? (links to company websites, not to vendors please.)

Re:Alternatives? (1)

technos (73414) | more than 7 years ago | (#16368447)

Bluetooth!

Go to your local CompuCrapUSA store. Buy their cheapest $15 BT dongle. If your media center PC is Linux based, grab the $20 D-Link DBT-120 instead.

Browse over to their Apple section. Grab a Apple Pro Wireless keyboard. $59.99 last I looked. Competitive in price with everyone elses BT keyboards, and you can run them through the dishwasher safely after someone spills their beer.

Now that you're half done, go over to the laptop section. Grab one of the $20 Kensington BT mice made for laptops. If you want a real mouse, Microsoft sells at least one in the $40 range. If you want to match the keyboard, go back to the Apple section and grab a wireless MightyMouse. They're freaking pricey at $70, but I love 'em to death. 5 buttons, 360 degree scroll, not too hard to clean.

You also might look into alternatives. Lots of cell-phones talk BT HID these days; My two year old Sony Ericsson does HID over BT, and you can write your own HID profiles in simple XML for it and most other Sony BT capable phones. Some Nokia phones do, and Motorola's newer smartphones do.

I use my phone to flip channels in TvTime, fast-forward in MPlayer, and control my XMMS playlist with some custom profiles I hacked up in about 20 minutes.

Re:Alternatives? (1)

GoNINzo (32266) | more than 7 years ago | (#16368555)

Yes, replying to my own message. I found a copy of very cheap wired ones, like in the 30 buck range, from SolidTek [solidyear.com] , such as the ACK-540, but the ball mouse built in doesn't work with linux and the cord is only 6'. Or they might be from Adesso [adesso.com] , they seem to be using the same model numbers. Some of them are highly rated on newegg, others are rated very poorly. And it seems like everyone and their mother wants to charge an extra 50 bucks on top of the price to include a mouse and/or if they call it a 'media keyboard'. bleh.

There's the overly complicated BELKIN MediaPilot F8E838 for around $83, for instance, with remote, RF wireless, and linux support out of the box. SpecResearch seems to have a 50 buck one though that might fit the bill though, the 01027 or whatever, but so so reviews.

Re:Alternatives? (1)

Sponge! (127360) | more than 7 years ago | (#16371127)

Alphagrip... http://www.alphagrip.com/ [alphagrip.com] It's nifty. I had my pre-order in 26 months before they shipped. Well worth my $100 IMHO. I have a 19" viewsonic hung with a mig-torch modified 3-joint articulated bracket over my bed, and I can now look up and type with my hands resting down by the boys...

Yes, you do have to re-learn how to type.
No, it doesn't take that long.
It's very funny to watch your friends try to use it.
It's 100% *NIX compatible!

Re:Alternatives? (1)

nekojin (855341) | more than 7 years ago | (#16392967)

This lap-board thing is real and apparently it works rather well. It's made appearances before. While I definitely wouldn't recommend PRE-ORDERING from that company, once it actually becomes available it could likely be a solid product. Wireless keyboard/mouse combos from MS run about $100, and this one is DESIGNED to go on your lap, with a mousing surface. If I ever see one in the store, I might consider buying it to replace my current wired keyboard.

Will you be the new source of VC funding? (0, Redundant)

loraksus (171574) | more than 7 years ago | (#16368037)

Looks like nobody is willing to give them venture capital anymore... Solution? Get ordinary people to give money!

Only 2.4GHz = Lose (1)

MaXiMiUS (923393) | more than 7 years ago | (#16368093)

I'm beginning to hate the 2.4GHz frequency. 2.4GHz wireless phones, internet, keyboards and mice. If there was a 5.2GHz option, I might consider this, but only for "ooh" factor, not practical use or anything. But what do I know? Maybe everybody will be using wireless everything 2 years down the road. Probably not.

I'll wait. (1)

NemosomeN (670035) | more than 7 years ago | (#16368207)

These are going to be on woot.com by the thousand. Maybe I'll get one in a Baby On Crack.

cmon now (1)

nEoN nOoDlE (27594) | more than 7 years ago | (#16368791)

For $130 bucks, surely they could include a more ergonomic looking mouse than this [phantom.net]

Re:cmon now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16371021)

For $130 you get nothin' but the best. The ball in that mouse is precision, man. 100% rubber. Laser and optical mice just aren't precise enough for today's neo-luddite gamer. Harvested by geniune Maya farmers and blessed by Jesus himself.

Miracles of business survival (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#16368847)

For a company that didn't produce anything, ever, EVER! It's surprising they are still around.

Yet as they refuse to die for so long, they refuse to learn with a decent speed as well.

It took them 5 years (or more) to create a product that exists (the lapboard exists, it's been demoed, tested etc.), but now they may need another 5-10 years to realize people don't just buy whatever you throw at them, especially if it has outrageous prices and dubious practical qualities.

They simply have no the finances or image to hype this up. They're lost.

Re:Miracles of business survival (1)

PhoenixOne (674466) | more than 7 years ago | (#16385391)

The lapboard was tested with the Phantom at E3 a few years back.

Demo lapboards exist, just like demo Phantom machines. While I'm guessing they have an okay chance of producing something as simple as a lapboard, I wouldn't bet much money either way...

Wait a second ... preorders for November??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16368935)

That's pretty surprising, given that the last /. article on the Phantom Lapboard (in July) was for the launch of a website to market the product August 15th, 2006 [slashdot.org] . I wonder if that ever happened on schedule? Aren't they supposed to have had preorders for over a month by now?

I wonder if they will be shipping with Vista support and preconfigured keymaps for Duke Nukem Forever?

You're all ignoring the really important issues.. (1)

Channard (693317) | more than 7 years ago | (#16369009)

.. specifically, that there are no more Phantom jokes left. Whatever will journos do now?

bad sign (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 7 years ago | (#16369037)

The Phantom Game Service is anticipated to be the first end-to-end, on-demand game service delivering online games...

It's a bad sign when the lies [steampowered.com] start in the first sentence.

pre-orders? (1)

Bored Huge Krill (687363) | more than 7 years ago | (#16369535)

So, let me see... that's where you give them the money now, and they send you the product later? Sounds ok to me. I mean, what could possibly go wrong? I'm sure my $129 will be perfectly safe.

No thanks (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 7 years ago | (#16372205)

Why would anybody be stupid enough to purchase a preorder from a company that has a proven history of taking people's investment money (which is essentially what a preorder is in this instance) and running?

Infium? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16374313)

I believe it was Infinium.
At least, that's who [H]ard|OCP sued. [hardocp.com]
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