Huawei ran out of bezel space on its new laptop, so it put a camera in its keyboard

There’s a fine line between invention and letting people find up your nose during conference calls. This week at Mobile World Congress, Huawei pushed through that line with reckless abandon on the MateBook X Pro. It’s one decided downside of this bezel-free future we’re all impediment toward: the camera is an afterthought.

For the iPhone Xs of the world, that entails compromise in the form of a blacked out screen notch. For Huawei, it’s a kind of trap door hidden amongst the function keys along the top row of the keyboard. The company is clearly and understandably proud of its move toward a 91 -percent screen to body ratio, and when it unveiled its latest MacBook challenger at a briefing the coming week in Barcelona, a rep asked playfully which is something we thought it had hidden the webcam.

“Behind the screen? ” one journalist volunteered, only to be met with boisterous laughter from the Huawei rep, with echoes of De Niro in Cape Fear. The real answer, of course, is something far more sinister. He pressed down on a key along the top of the keyboard, and the tiny camera popped up. They called Edison “mad, ” too, I suppose.

So far as I can tell, there are two decided benefits to this placement:

Smaller bezels

Added privacy, since the camera can be recessed — something Huawei has likely been thinking a lot about lately

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