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Eee Is 1st Windows Laptop To Support Multi-Touch 237

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the still-playing-catch-up dept.
An anonymous reader writes "CNET UK has just put up its review of the Asus Eee PC 900 Win running Windows XP and discovered that it's the first Windows machine to support multi-touch, 'Better still, the mouse trackpad supports multi-touch gesture inputs — even in Windows XP. A pinching motion lets you zoom in on images, stretching lets you zoom out, and a two-finger vertical stroking motion allows you to scroll up and down through documents. MacBook Air and iPod touch users have enjoyed this feature for some time, but it's the first we've ever seen it implemented on a Windows laptop.'"
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Eee Is 1st Windows Laptop To Support Multi-Touch

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  • by Raineer (1002750) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @02:32AM (#23125886)

    I have to say I'm surprised this wasn't covered by some sort of patent already, or will tomorrow's Slashdot include the accompanying lawsuit?

    I type this from a Macbook, but mine is the cheapest one which didn't get multi-touch :(

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 19, 2008 @02:49AM (#23125954)
      Why do you assume Apple has the patent on multi-touch?...., which it doesn't!

      But good luck to them if they tried to patent the gesture.

      ps I am patenting my own gesture to apple for being a ripoff company.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by archkittens (1272770)

        grandparent did not speculate on ownership of patents, instead simply remarking that they are surprised there are no patents on it.

        IIRC, apple DOES own patents relating to the technology, but a Chinese company owns the actual multi-touch hardware patents.

        kindly patent shutting your mouth

      • by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@hotmail.cOPENBSDom minus bsd> on Saturday April 19, 2008 @06:59AM (#23126738) Journal
        But good luck to them if they tried to patent the gesture.

        Apple HAS tried to patent multitouch gestures [slashdot.org].

        We discussed it here a few months ago.

    • by Kenja (541830) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @03:12AM (#23126028)
      The first Multi Touch style demo I ever saw was several years ago from Microsoft.
      • by wvmarle (1070040) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @04:34AM (#23126294)
        But, as usual with Microsoft, the really cool functions and innovations continue to be postponed to "the next release".

        It is quite sad that a cool and very useful feature demonstrated years ago by the leading software maker (by revenue) in the world, has to be made popular by implementation in a mobile phone by a total newcomer in that market (Apple with the iPhone), followed by implementation by a hardware maker on a low-end, low-cost laptop (the EEE). And it is not that this leading software maker can not get hardware makers to change the hardware standards, thinking of the Windows key that is present on virtually any keyboard now on the market.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by smallfries (601545)
        It's strange that you say that because the first multi-touch demo that I remember seeing was a table sized input device that they used to control C&C and google earth. It strikes me as strange because it is the exact same technology that Microsoft have cloned and claimed to have invented with the Surface... Small world when you're competing with Microsoft I guess.
    • by kripkenstein (913150) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @03:40AM (#23126116) Homepage
      You can calm down with all the "?"s. Rest assured, if there is a patent, Asus has licensed it. The world won't end.

      Anyhow, the most amusing part of the review was the conclusion,

      We can't really recommend the Windows version of the Eee PC 900 over its Linux counterpart, primarily because you get nearly twice as much storage space in the Linux version. [...] If you really can't live without XP, then the best course of action is to buy the superior Linux version and install XP yourself.
      Strange times, when the Windows people are those that are going to have installation hassles...

      Also, it is me or does it seem like Cnet is advocating piracy here? I mean, where do they expect you to get XP from; if you buy it yourself, it makes the Linux Eee 900 + off-the-shelf XP quite expensive. Presumably they don't mean that, so what's left...?
      • by lixee (863589) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @04:34AM (#23126296)
        The 20G Xandros Eee seems like a classic case of bait-and-switch to me. A company that couldn't even deliver the 8G is now supposed to sell us 20Gs? I'm not convinced. I smell a deal with MS whereby there is always a severe shortage of Xandros and everyone walking into the store will be forced to get the XP version. And no, I'm not usually a cynic.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Also, it is me or does it seem like Cnet is advocating piracy here? I mean, where do they expect you to get XP from...

        It only seems like Cnet is advocating piracy when you take the quote out of context, which you have. The full statement in the Cnet review was

        Of course if you really are set on Windows XP, the obvious suggestion would be to buy the Linux machine, then just install XP yourself - assuming that you have a spare copy of XP knocking about that is.

        Nice try though. Why would you even try to misrepresent that situation, anyway?

        • I was quoting from the conclusion. Your quote is from somewhere else in the article, a different page, even.
    • by nguy (1207026) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @03:41AM (#23126124)
      I have to say I'm surprised this wasn't covered by some sort of patent already, or will tomorrow's Slashdot include the accompanying lawsuit?

      Despite the usual Apple PR distortions, Apple didn't invent multitouch and multitouch is old technology. At best, Apple may have some patents covering specific implementations, and even those may not be valid. Apple's real contribution with multitouch was to use just a little bit of it and integrate it well, but that's not patentable.

      ASUS either figured they're in the clear, or they're willing to fight it. Good for them.
      • by grm_wnr (781219) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @04:31AM (#23126286)
        This is what Apple does a lot - take something reasonably old and obvious, make it look spiffy and actually usable for someone without a CS degree, then sell (and market) it as the Hot New Thing.


        Not that there's anything wrong with that. Especially the "making it actually usable" part. There's lots of k3wl shit out there in the FOSS community, but Apple is one of the few companies that actually manages to sell it to your semi-usual consumers, even if they sometimes scale it down a bit and use marketing that causes geeks to flinch in pain.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by nguy (1207026)
          Especially the "making it actually usable" part.

          I think Apple's track record is decidedly mixed; they have committed awful usability blunders in the past. I think on balance, they are no better than FOSS.

          Not that there's anything wrong with that.

          I'm not so sure about that either. Apple's primary business model seems to be to take people's money and spend it on marketing and packaging, while grabbing other people's technologies wherever they can. That seems vaguely parasitic to me...
          • by jimicus (737525) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @05:20AM (#23126410)

            I think Apple's track record is decidedly mixed; they have committed awful usability blunders in the past. I think on balance, they are no better than FOSS.
            I would have to disagree with that one.

            Usability is something MacOS hammers Linux into the ground for right now. Hardware add-ons just fscking work, which is far more than can be said for Linux.

            Granted, a lot of that is to do with hardware manufacturers refusing to release specs. But I've got a whole pile of examples here where specs are available, drivers have been written and yet still the resulting UI is so clunky compared to Windows or Mac equivalents that it is almost painful to use.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by markdavis (642305)
              >Usability is something MacOS hammers Linux into the ground for right now.

              Usibility in Linux is just fine. I have seen lots of people use it with no problems.

              >Hardware add-ons just fscking work, which is far more than can be said for Linux.

              Um, I can walk out RIGHT NOW and lay my hands on hardware designed for MS-Windows and watch it fail miserably under Mac-OS. That doesn't prove much. If your point is that Mac-OS supports more hardware than Linux, I would agree. If your point is that Linux has li
              • by grm_wnr (781219) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @06:33AM (#23126648)
                Well...

                >two keyboards, wireless mice, an ipod
                Standard equipment that would cause a riot if it wasn't supported. Yes, even the iPod.

                >an external DVD drive, a pocket USB hard drive, an SD card, a USB memory stick, and my camera
                All the same class of equipment, USB mass storage devices. They likely even use the same driver. Well, maybe not the DVD if it's burner.

                But still, try something more challenging, like a sound card or an unusual video card.
                • by markdavis (642305)
                  True, they are mostly HID or mass storage devices (plus DVD writer). But aren't those exactly the types of devices that are going to be used the most on something like the EEE? I don't see the need to plug a USB "video card" into the EEE. It has it's own display and already supports an external VGA port :) Ditto with a USB "sound card".

                  I am sure there are going to be people trying to plug in things that don't "just work" as the original comment went. But most of the stuff won't "just work" under MS-Win
                  • by grm_wnr (781219)
                    The Eee is certainly one of the more (most) usable Linux systems out there, which is of course helped by its limited hardware expansion capabilities. But I thought we were talking about Linux usability/hardware compatibility in general now.
                • Linux supports more devices on more architectures than any other OS. And, if I recall correctly, it's not even close. The latest sound cards and "unusual" video cards (from Best Buy?) are not a good test of hardware support. They only test market share.
                  • by grm_wnr (781219)

                    The latest sound cards and "unusual" video cards (from Best Buy?) are not a good test of hardware support. They only test market share.

                    Uh huh. So you recommend measuring market share in the way that makes your choice of OS looks best, not in terms of how much it "benefits" (as in, perceived usability) the general public? Yeah, I bet telling people that they can run Linux on old Sun or Alpha workstations will certainly make them flock to it in droves, after all, it's so compatible with everything. Face it, geek cred is just not the same as street cred.

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                Um, I can walk out RIGHT NOW and lay my hands on hardware designed for MS-Windows and watch it fail miserably under Mac-OS. That doesn't prove much. If your point is that Mac-OS supports more hardware than Linux, I would agree.

                I dont understand what your saying, there's a lot more MS windows type hardware than Mac. Also theres alot of hardware that windows/macos wont run on but linux will. Or are we only talking peripherals here, in which case there are weak spots on the linux front, e.g webcams, external sound cards, etc. (also a couple of places where it beats both mac & windows)

                Standard equipment that would cause a riot if it wasn't supported. Yes, even the iPod.

                Even though Apple deliberately try to break support with every version they release?

                • by grm_wnr (781219)

                  Standard equipment that would cause a riot if it wasn't supported. Yes, even the iPod.

                  Even though Apple deliberately try to break support with every version they release?

                  It's BECAUSE Apple breaks compatibility. Nothing gets Linux coders to code faster than being locked out of desirable hardware for no good reason. They will make it work just to spite Apple.

                  P.S. This is mostly joking but there IS some grain of truth in it if you think about it.

              • by Fred_A (10934)

                If your point is that Mac-OS supports more hardware than Linux, I would agree.
                Very debatable. It might have changed with the coming of the intel Mac but when I used my iBook G4, finding compatible hardware that wasn't Apple branded (except for stuff that used generic protocols such as Mass Storage) was fairly difficult.

                Finding a compatible webcam was pretty much impossible.
              • I brought over a dozen different things and plugged them into [an Eee PC] and they all worked perfectly, instantly. This included two keyboards, wireless mice, an ipod, an external DVD drive, a pocket USB hard drive, an SD card, a USB memory stick, and my camera. None required any user intervention AT ALL to use

                Except for the iPod, all of those have protocols that are completely specified by USB.org, either USB HID or USB mass storage. It appears you left out printers and scanners, which were my biggest roadbloack the last time I tried to use Linux.

            • by yelvington (8169) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @06:52AM (#23126718) Homepage
              These discussions are chronically unproductive because they attract postings from True Believers who aren't capable of seeing the flaws in their Chosen Products and have no significant, current real-world experience with the alternatives.

              The Macintosh UI is a rat's nest of bad design decisions and inconsistencies.

              So is the Windows UI, and so are the several Linux desktops.

              They all suck. Get used to it.

              I use a high-end Powerbook as my primary work tool every single day. I have a couple of XP machines sitting around the house (old desktop, wife's Vaio laptop), have run Linux since kernel 0.96 or so, have a Linux-powered Nokia 800 in my pocket, and have installed Ubuntu on the computers of my kids and their grandmothers. (Vista has been banned from my presence.)

              All of them, including the Macintosh, fall apart under scrutiny when it comes to UI. (Why is the menu bar on a DIFFERENT MONITOR THAN THE ONE I AM USING? This is not single-tasking 1984! Why do I drag something to the trash can when I don't want to delete it? And what idiot actually thinks Finder is a decent way to launch applications? And why is it so slow? And, and, and....)

              And when it comes to hardware, the general rule on the Mac is that it Just Works only if you buy pricey Apple-branded add-ons.

              Anything else is a complete crap shoot. Odds of getting my USB hard drive to work on a Mac are slim and none, yet it Just Works with every Linux system I've tried. Without touching configuration files (I don't even know where they are any more).

              On balance I like my Powerbook a lot more than the dead Windows Compaq it replaced, and it's infinitely more secure. But there are all sorts of Linux features it doesn't have, such as the very slick virtual filesystem that lets me mount my webserver folders via ssh/sftp, and I miss the vast quantities of software for Linux. And, because I have to work with Exchange, I'm really frustrated with the Mac's calendaring. So it's entirely possible that when my Mac dies, the replacement will be a Linux laptop, especially now that the Eee has the multitouch pad.
              • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

                by El Icaro (816679)

                (Why is the menu bar on a DIFFERENT MONITOR THAN THE ONE I AM USING? This is not single-tasking 1984! Why do I drag something to the trash can when I don't want to delete it? And what idiot actually thinks Finder is a decent way to launch applications? And why is it so slow? And, and, and....)

                And when it comes to hardware, the general rule on the Mac is that it Just Works only if you buy pricey Apple-branded add-ons.

                Anything else is a complete crap shoot. Odds of getting my USB hard drive to work on a Mac are slim and none, yet it Just Works with every Linux system I've tried. Without touching configuration files (I don't even know where they are any more).

                Go into System Preferences, then Displays, then click on the tab with the two screens. Drag the menu bar to the one you want, it'll turn into the main screen.

                You drag files *and* volumes into the trash because you want to "get rid of them" (it even turns into an eject button to make he transition easier). It's kind of an abstact concept (not to mention these wacky 'windows' and 'icons' and 'buttons'... crazy kids), but it works. Finder is fast enough for me, I wish spotlight was a bit quicker though.

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by yelvington (8169)
                  Manually relocating the menu bar from one monitor to another does not fix the problem. I don't WANT a "main screen." On a multiscreen, multitasking system where I might very well have 18 apps running at the same time, the damned menu bar should be with the application I'm using at the moment, and the only reason it's not part of the application on the Mac is a poor 1980s design decision made permanent by arrogance. And that's the problem: The Mac UI engineers are fanbois of their own work, incapable of seei
        • by TheNetAvenger (624455) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @06:05AM (#23126552)
          This is what Apple does a lot - take something reasonably old and obvious, make it look spiffy and actually usable for someone without a CS degree, then sell (and market) it as the Hot New Thing.

          This is giving Apple too much credit even.

          The Multi-Touch implementation that Apple has used on the iPhone and iPod and Macbook, are EXACT UI multi-touch concepts 're-introduced' at the TED conference a couple of years back. (I think the demonstration may even be online now for people that didn't attend.)

          The TED demonstration put together some cool new ways of using multi-touch ideas for working with photos, zooming in/out etc. And in the TED presentation, the presenters gave the presentation as a spark to get people involved in using the technology, but some of the UI gestures they came up with were off the top of their heads as the admitted and needed to be refined or possibly done better.

          Sadly, Apple even copied these multi-touch gestures, not even expanding on the ideas presented as was expected by the presenters at the TED conference. (So not only did Apple copy the ideas, they copied them exactly, not even expanding the features that were made up for the conference to try to inspire better gestures and usage.)

          Microsoft also had a few multi-touch demonstrations several years back, along 2002/2003 timeframe when the TabletPC was the new cool thing.

          The TED conference presentation was a blend of new ideas, old ideas, and a few MS ideas, etc.

          Microsoft's surface also borrows from the TED presentation, although MS has polished some of the gestures and UI concepts, building on their work from earlier and adding in some TED concepts, and actually refining some of the rough ideas that Apple copied from TED. The surface computer is more than multi-touch though, as it can 'see' through the display, and is not limited to tactical input, so it can recognize objects, barcodes, even paintbrushes, etc.

          So, ya, you are being way to generous with Apple, the only thing they have done that is new or cool is the marketing that gets people like the parent poster to think Apple created this stuff and gets their loyal fans to look down on other people implementing 'Apple's Technologies'. Geesh...

          • by grm_wnr (781219)
            I'm not that familiar with Multitouch, and maybe it's a bad example, but I stick to my point. I was more commenting on the fact that this is, basically nothing new. The best example would be, in my opinion, OS X itself. I think few people would disagree with the opinion that it's the most Joe Sixpack-compatible *nix out there.
      • The Apple patent in question relates to specific gestures, such as pinching to zoom, which the EeePC supports under Linux. I don't know whether Apple will license the patent or if Asus will challenge it. It doesn't seem like the kind of thing that is sufficiently novel to be a valid patent, but who knows these days.
      • by dfghjk (711126) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @08:48AM (#23127206)
        "Apple's real contribution with multitouch was to use just a little bit of it and integrate it well, but that's not patentable."

        What is patentable will surprise you.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by naveenoid (1183365)
      Isnt it obvious?? MS pinched the idea :P
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Does the 900 fix the problems experienced in the 700 series like the built-in flakey SDHC controller (which is only spec'd for SD cards, but sometimes works for SDHCs) or the loud fan problems of the 702s?
  • keyboard is king (Score:4, Insightful)

    by timmarhy (659436) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @02:41AM (#23125920)
    nothing defeats the keyboard for easy and speed of input.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Facegarden (967477)

      nothing defeats the keyboard for easy and speed of input.
      Unless you're not typing... There are lots of ways to define the word "input". You're using a mouse aren't you? Clearly it beats the keyboard some of the time... Similarly, track pads are better than keyboards for mousing around, and multitouch track pads are better still, i can imagine. Remember, this is Slashdot, you have to be painfully specific and accurate or someone will call you out. -Taylor
    • by Raineer (1002750) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @02:55AM (#23125976)
      I've really gotten away from using a mouse for anything, if I can help it. I have gotten too used to using a laptop and just being too lazy to drag out the bluetooth mouse. It's really difficult to claim anything can be faster than keyboard, as by the time most people finish wiggling their mouse to the target the keystrokes are overwith.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Facegarden (967477)
        Ehh, unless you're doing lots of web browsing, which is mostly scrolling and clicking. I know you can use the arrow keys and such, but really, that just sucks. I use keyboard shortcuts left and right, and i use the keyboard more than most (us nerds not included) but some things are better left to other input devices. -Taylor
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bazonic (463550)
        >> It's really difficult to claim anything can be faster than keyboard

        I take it you are not a user of Photoshop (insert favorite image/video editing software here).
    • That entirely depends on what you're doing. I do most of my file management from the shell since it's typically way easier and faster, however if you need to move a number of arbitrary files from one directory to another I'd much rather select them from the directory in KDE then type each filename out in the shell. Also I really doubt freehand drawing in a graphics program would be quicker from the keyboard unless maybe you're going for that Etch-A-Sketch look.
  • Umm... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Facegarden (967477) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @02:47AM (#23125946)
    Damn, 3 comments and no one mentioned anything about the phrase "vertical stroking motion". I'm impressed. I kinda wanted to wait and see how long it would be before someone else mentioned it, but it've screwed that up now... -Taylor
  • Was it the first or the first non-apple branded laptop, since apples now run windows? I have not tried multitouch on a macbook air, so I am curious.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Facegarden (967477)
      I think they mean first commercial laptop SOLD with XP installed... and even then, i don't think generic drivers exist, so i would bet the macbook air with XP installed wouldn't actually take advantage of the multitouch. -Taylor
    • by markdavis (642305)
      What an irrelevant statement! My Linux laptop runs MS-Windows just as easily with VirtualBox. And VirtualBox is both free AND open source (AND pre-integrated in my Linux distro).

      A more interesting question or statement would have been to ask if MS-Windows running in a virtual machine under Mac-OS can use the multitouch pad on the Apple laptop.

      Despite the lack of mention in the article mentioned, Linux does make use of the multitouch on the EEE too. I think that is far more newsworthy.
  • by julesh (229690) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @03:10AM (#23126026)
    a two-finger vertical stroking motion allows you to scroll up and down through documents

    I had an acer laptop about 4 or 5 years ago that supported a similar gesture for scrolling. This is nothing new. The rest of it, perhaps, but scrolling gestures have been around a while...
  • Terminology (Score:5, Funny)

    by PingPongBoy (303994) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @03:22AM (#23126060)
    Multi-Touch is kind of unimaginative, when you consider the alternative: Fondle.

    Now consider a computer that responds to touch all over. The intent of the user tends to be a bit vague however.
  • biased bullshit (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nguy (1207026) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @03:39AM (#23126114)
    By using Windows XP, users can sidestep many of the software and hardware compatibility issues that plague the Linux version. We've encountered numerous devices that don't work with a Linux Eee because of driver issues, including some USB disc drives, printers and TV tuners. You simply don't get these problems with a Windows-equipped Eee PC 900.

    That's biased bullshit. There are plenty of problems trying to get hardware to work on a regular Windows XP machine, and it only gets worse on an Eee PC. Imagine first time it asks you to insert the driver CD, displays its 800x800 configuration dialog, or requires "Windows Vista or better".
  • by 1 a bee (817783) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @03:43AM (#23126128)
    Rather than this windows XP gimmick (which according to the article, they had to sacrifice hardware to keep price parity with the Linux version), I would have liked to have seen the Eee series' SSDs be easy to attach and detach. Then you could conceivably run a given operating environment on multiple Eee platforms. I use a portable OS on a USB called FaunOS [faunos.com]. The logic of centralizing my operating environment on a single detachable device has sunk in for me. Now with the Eee PCs, I think it would be cool if Asus packaged a detachable SSD so that you could unplug it from the Eee in the kitchen, and plug it back in to the Eee in the bedroom. Best of all, each of my kids could have their own SSD, so that we wouldn't muck around with each other's OS's. I could probably pull this off with FaunOS [Google search] [google.com], but I think it would have been much cooler if I could use the Eee's SSD like I'm using the USB.

    --
    the glass is half broken

    • by am 2k (217885) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @04:49AM (#23126326) Homepage

      I think it would be cool if Asus packaged a detachable SSD so that you could unplug it from the Eee in the kitchen, and plug it back in to the Eee in the bedroom.

      I think you're missing the point of an ultra-portable subnotebook.

      • I think you're missing the point of an ultra-portable subnotebook.

        Perhaps he is but it would be cool to have your OS and all your work in a removeable drive that you can transfer between devices easily. Oh wait - you already can with USB disks and Damn Small Linux or FaunOS or whatever.

      • Not really. You could use the same disk in another machine that was less portable (something on your desk with a nice big screen, for example) and just pop it in the EeePC when you wanted to leave the desk.
        • Surely you can do that anyway? or does bios + grub not support SSD. besides imaging how many users would forget to put the SSD in and then think the EEE is broken, Or how many times in rush people would pop out your SSD without fully shutingdown your desktop and fsck you EEE,
          or the fact that if you want to use your EEEs OS outside of the EEE you would need to ship a whole lot more drivers and then have no space left for files
  • I'd still rather have the Linux version with an extra 8 gig of memory.
    • by Petrushka (815171)
      An extra 8 GB of storage is nice. Even better, though, would be double the battery life, which is the eee's main weakness (2.5 hours in realistic scenarios, without using wireless, and if you're careful).
  • Thanks (Score:2, Funny)

    by JamesRose (1062530)
    But I still haven't got bored of my keyboard nipple yet ;)
  • IMHO Trackpads and 'nipples' suffice for an emergency when one leave one's USB mouse at home but...

    For me the interaction just plain sucks, particularly when selecting text or drag and drop.

    Workaholics on public transport trying to cram an extra 20 minutes into their day, and I see them plugging numbers into excel, may see some benefit in such input mechanisms.

    If I had to pick an ultra-portable, I'd ditch the conventional hinged keyboard altogether. 1 docking station keyboard and mouse for work, 1 for

    • by jbengt (874751)

      "IMHO Trackpads and 'nipples' suffice for an emergency when one leave one's USB mouse at home but..."
      IMHO, USB mouses are useless on the train.
  • Wouldn't the article be just as accurate to say it is the first commercially sold Linux laptop to support multitouch? I think it is interesting that such technology would first show up in something (non-Apple) primarily designed to run Linux, not MS-Windows.
  • Lenovo's had multi-touch in their tablets [ibm.com] since last October, and Dell's Latitude XT [laptoping.com] since last late November when it released.

    I know it's slick to hype the Eee PC, but it's about 6+ months late to this party...

  • by Railek (1275890)
    I don't get why people have trouble remembering actual breakthroughs until someone like Apple buys out the technology - multitouch has been out for YEARS on Windows, Mac OS X, and I believe Linux.

    The REAL inventer of the technology is Fingerworks, who had a whole lineup of the products - everywhere from full keyboards (Touchstream SP/LP) down to "small" 8"x6" multitouch surfaces. They even had a replacement keyboard for iBooks that replaced the ENTIRE keyboard with a multitouch surface.

    Their gestures ar

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