"Apple is expected to unveil a radical redesign of its MacBook Pro laptops with a new touchscreen above the keyboard. The OLED screen would allow users to create their own custom keys for each app.
Apple was working on an even more radical touchscreen design that would replace a keyboard entirely. Apple's keyboards may be getting thinner, but someday, the technology could be scrapped entirely. A patent filed by Apple today shows a laptop similar to a MacBook that features a flat touch surface where a keyboard would normally be. The invention, dubbed a 'configurable, force-sensitive input structure for an electronic device,' looks similar to its 'Force Touch' trackpads."
"The patent claims 'micro-perforations' in the casing could light up to give the user an outline to where keys are on the flat keyboard"
patent application: United States Patent Application: 0160098107
One nice advantage of "virtual keyboard" is ability to change keys to layout for more efficient typing, such as The Dvorak Keyboard, easy to convert to non-English languages, or to utilize "keys" as custom function keys for apps. Plus, such "keyboard" would be easier to keep clean.
A similar system could be assembled from ordinary tablets: i.e. just take two iPads and use one as a "virtual keyboard & touchpad" app for another, or for a computer.
Same combination can be done by two phones placed in one case with a hinge (see below)
Still, many people may take long time to re-adjust. USA is still using "imperial" measures, not metric system, and everybody is still using plain email for most of communication... Change takes times...
In my view, a better "evolutionary" option would be to replace laptop's touchpad with a touchscreen with full width of the laptop. That way it can serve its "classic" touchpad purpose, and as needed it can be used as an auxiliary display as well as a virtual keyboard, still preserving "classic" keyboard above. Evolution is better than revolution.
By the way, there was already a device with two touchscreens (from 2010):
Matt Brandenburg Toshiba's New Dual Touchscreen "Laptop" (Foldable Touchpad) Windows 7 System - Matt Brandenburg