HP brings iPhone-style multitouch to tablet PCs
Source: HP The world’s largest computer manufacturer, Hewlett Packard, has introduced the TouchSmart tx2 tablet PC with a multitouch display. As with most tablet PCs, the device's 12.1in. display is mounted on a rotating pivot, allowing the convertible device to double as a regular notebook. However, the new display has advantages over conventional tablet PCs.
Multitouch displays can be touched with more than one finger, allowing pictures to be easily rotated and zoomed, for instance. The display on HP’s TouchSmart tx2 also comes with a stylus, which can be used for input instead of the user's fingers. When writing notes by hand, users can rest the balls of their hands on the display without it being interpreted as input, as happens on single-point sensitive panels.
TouchSmart tx2 uses an AMD Turion X2 processor; graphics output is powered by the Radeon HD3200 graphics unit in the M780G chipset. The device comes with a 400 GB hard drive and a multimedia remote in ExpressCard/34 format. HP does not provide further details, such as display resolution and available interfaces, but it does name the price: the tablet PC will be available as of mid-January 2009 for 1299 Euro, including a two-year pick-up and delivery service.
MultiTouch is already available in some other devices. Probably the best known is Apple’s iPhone, which bases its entire user interface on the technology. Dell also outfits its XT tablet PC with a MultiTouch display, but it initially lacked a driver – since provided. Touchpads on the new MacBook, MacBook Pro and some models of Asus Eee PC models are also MultiTouch-capable, making them easier to use. When surfing the web, for instance, you can scroll conveniently with two fingers.
As yet, multitouch is not fully supported by Windows, although the latest version of Mac OS X can use it for some functions, but from the rapidity of its adoption, it is poised to be the next major step in human-computer interaction – and tablet PCs are a natural fit for it.