A deployable keyboard similar in size to those found in notebooks or subnotebooks of the prior art or a full size keyboard is provide for portable electronic devices, such as personal data assistants (PDAs) allowing greater flexibility and easier input for the user without compromising the PDAs small format. In other embodiments, laptops, notebooks, sub-notebooks and PDAs are provided with full function keyboards which approximate the size of a typical desktop computer keyboard when in use, but when in a non-use configuration they have significantly smaller dimensions. In one embodiment, a portable pen computer 100 is provided which includes a housing 102, and first and second keyboard sections 110, 112 having a plurality of alphanumeric and/or operational keys. Each of the keyboard sections are connected by a first hinge 108 for folding and attached to the housing with a second hinge 116 for permitting selective pivotal rotation for deployment from a storage position in the bottom portion of the housing. The first hinge located between the keyboard sections divides the keyboard lengthwise into a top section and a bottom section. In a deployed position, the first and second keyboard sections are designed to form a substantially full-size keyboard. The planar top surface contains a display screen which can also be used for pen input of data.