Jul 18, 2012

Are touch screen laptops the ultimate portable device?

With Window 8, the interface has been changed to something that looks well suited for tablets, but perhaps not quite as great with traditional laptop or desktop. Well, one of the main criticisms of tablets as a productivity tool is that they are great at consuming content, not so hot for creating it. Sure, you can add a keyboard, but (1) you still have the hardware of a tablet, and (2) many of the keyboards aren't exactly a typist's dream. The hardware of a laptop combined with the easy interface of a tablet seems to be a perfect combination as long as size/weight are kept in check. I would think they would be huge sellers. Why haven't manufactures starting producing them by the truckload?


I would guess the cost of a good quality touch-screen display at the 15-17" screen size that most people expect for a laptop is keeping the cost too high.  There are those Dell Duo things, which is like a tablet that you dock in a laptop, but it is a little 10" screen and it runs Windows 7, and has no CD/DVD drive, HTMI output or SD card port.  I've never actually seen one in person so I can't say much about it other than the fact that they are not very common, but the specs don't sound like what many enterprise users are going to want.  I think Windows 8 may be great for this type of machine, but the hardware needs to be desirable too.

The problem with a touchscreen laptop is that the operating system running on it probably isn't optimized for the use of touch. OS X, Windows and Linux are really geared toward the use of a trackpad or mouse.

This may change with Windows 8 and other future releases. But right now it's not really a good idea to try to use touch for laptops.

I prefer to keep touch for my iPad and iPhone, not for my desktop operating systems.
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