It’s all about touch.
If this year’s CES is anything to go by, it looks like the future of human-computer interaction is touch-based. Or is it just the threat of the eagerly-anticipated-yet-still-only-a-rumour Apple tablet that has everyone else scrambling to show off their best touch-based kit? Either way, just about everything that’s piqued my interest in the CES coverage thus far has featured a touchscreen.
First up, Lenovo’s IdeaPad U1 – a small1 Windows7 laptop, with a detachable screen that is actually a standalone tablet2 device. Yes, when in “laptop” mode the thing sports a Core2Duo chip, 4GB RAM, HDMI output, etc but the detachable tablet section boasts its own Snapdragon ARM processor and 512MB RAM. A very neat idea. More details at Electricpig and a there’s a vid of the kit of action over at Reg Hardware.
Next up, a netbook clad in brushed aluminium and sporting a touchscreen display – say hello to the HP Mini 5102…
More details and pictures available at ElectricPig.
And finally, I must of course mention HP’s “slate” prototype that Microsoft boss Steve Balmer showed to the CES crowd. It certainly looks great, has multi-touch input and will run Windows7 but that’s all we know really. So that’s all i can tell you. Literally, a mention. Clearly, this “demo” was Balmer’s attempt at reminding the world that Apple aren’t the only people working on shiny tablet devices.
Update: The ASUS NX90 laptop is probably worth a mention here also. It doesn’t feature a touchscreen but it’s the first machine i’ve seen with two trackpads – one on either side of the keyboard. Quite odd. Especially when there’s a giant palm-rest area that’s just begging to be used as a giant multi-touch surface. Take a look at the pictures The Register has up of this Bang & Olufsen-styled laptop.