Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Input Devices Portables Hardware

Toshiba Demos Dual-Touchscreen Netbook 132

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the two-for-the-price-of-two dept.
Lanxon writes "Toshiba has announced a trio of new devices that it's hoping will shake up the somewhat stagnant notebook PC market. The most interesting is the Libretto W100 — a clamshell device that comes with two screens in place of a screen and a keyboard. Both screens are identical, measuring 7-inches diagonally, and are touch-sensitive. An onboard accelerometer allows you to use it in landscape or portrait configuration, and Toshiba's pre-loaded a boatload of specialist software that'll let you get the most from the device — including a range of virtual keyboards. It runs Windows 7, is powered by an Intel U5400 processor, and comes with 2GB of DDR3 RAM, a 62GB SSD, and the usual array of connectivity options, including 3G."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Toshiba Demos Dual-Touchscreen Netbook

Comments Filter:
  • I cant wait till they make this pocket sized. It would do nicely as a smart phone form factor.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by daid303 (843777)

      Guess you are looking for an openpandora then? http://openpandora.org/ [openpandora.org]

      • Not exactly pocket sized but a step in the right direction.
        • The Pandora is the same physical size as my Nokia 770, which fits comfortably in jacket pocket. It doesn't, however, have two screens.
      • You mean that thing that has been "about to ship" for years now?

        Until I see one in real life, I am just going to assume it was a giant scam engineered to get thousands of people to send them hundreds of dollars apiece.

        • by daid303 (843777)

          They are shipping now. Yes, it's taking much longer then they planned (3x as long I guess) but they are shipping.

    • I cant wait till they make this pocket sized. It would do nicely as a smart phone form factor.

      If they reduced it still to a wallet, with e-IDs and ability to swipe CCs [mobilecrunch.com], then it would get FAR more interesting. Of course, I would not bet that Toshiba could do this (more like Apple, HTC/Google or HP/Palm).

  • Sure reminds me of what it was supposed to be, minus the stylus.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by am 2k (217885)

      And minus the software, which is kinda the most important thing (of the Courier and touch devices in general).

  • But for a netbook it's somewhat puzzling. Nobody wants to do that much input with a virtual keyboard. On the other hand, adding touch to an ordinary netbook form factor running Android would make a lot of sense. HP has announced one as a Compaq but I don't know if it's hit the channel yet, and further, I will never give HP my money again after the nightmare I had with an EliteBook (We're talking a $2500 machine here) with a defective GPU and a service contract (apparently also defective)

    • by mlts (1038732) * on Monday June 21, 2010 @10:03AM (#32640294)

      It just seems like a niche product, and the niche is quite tiny.

      For a netbook/laptop, a virtual keyboard won't cut it for a long typing session.

      For a tablet PC, it is a bit unwieldy, and there are a lot of good alternatives on the market. The iPad comes to mind for a general function device. The Kindle or Nook come to mind for an e-reader that is easy on the eyes and doesn't burn batteries. And for general computing there are laptops which have the screen fold back so they can double both as a touch screen, and a regular laptop with a keyboard.

      I am sure that there are some uses for it that come to mind for dedicated applications (control surface for music production, various embedded tasks), but for a general purpose device, there are a lot of form factors that are a lot more ergonomic.

      • by Foofoobar (318279)
        Well consider this...

        Apple has already patented this and they have introduced devices to market for a generation where people will be used to typing without a keyboard on their portable devices. This will not be something foreign or new. And with OLED technology, it does not need to affect battery life and can act as a secondary (albeit lower res) screen.

        Technology changes and those who scoff at the changes are usually the older generation who doesn't want to change. And they usually end up being thos
        • by oakgrove (845019) on Monday June 21, 2010 @11:42AM (#32641896)

          Technology changes and those who scoff at the changes are usually the older generation who doesn't want to change. And they usually end up being those engineers who are unable to adapt.

          A touch screen keyboard is not better than a hardware keyboard for a "creation" device. No matter how used to the touch screen keyboard a generation of people might be.

          Technology really only changes when a newer technology is developed that is actually demonstrably better than the previous technology.

          Take the LP record. There were several technologies developed that were supposed to supercede it in the marketplace (8 track, cassette) but it was only the CD that actually won the day. The CD was going to be replaced with DAT, SACD, DVD-audio but it is now only going the way of the dinosaur because of mp3's and digital distribution. And the mp3 may even have seen its best days now thanks to streaming services. The point is, just because a new technology comes along that may have a few advantages doesn't mean it is The Future(TM). It has to be significantly better, meaning, functionally, aesthetically, cheaper, easily marketable, etc. I don't think I'll be turning in my mouse and keyboard anytime soon despite being a member of "the older generation who doesn't want to change."

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by DragonWriter (970822)

            A touch screen keyboard is not better than a hardware keyboard for a "creation" device.

            A touch screen input system may be better for creation tasks if it has appropriate customizations for each task. A hardware keyboard is ergonomically better and provides better feel and feedback, so a general "touch screen keyboard" that copies the limitation of a hardware keyboard (same layout for all tasks) won't be very good. But something that adapts to tasks may be very good for "creation" tasks (particularly those t

            • by oakgrove (845019)

              A touch screen input system may be better for creation tasks if it has appropriate customizations for each task.

              Absolutely. On paper, that makes a lot of sense. However, in reality, we've had touch screen creation oriented tablets for a while now. Aside from verticals, the software you speak of hasn't moved very many units. So, sure, you can write something and put it out there and say it's the best thing ever but it has to sell. It hasn't so far, what makes you think that's likely to change?

          • by hedronist (233240) *

            I'll second that opinion. With 37+ years in this ridiculous industry I've lost count of the number of Next New Things® that turned out to be ... a yawn. People get invested with a particular way of doing/using/thinking-about things and they only move when the pain threshold of the Old Way gets too high, or the New Way is so clearly superior. Most of us have neither the time nor money to chase ever Shiny New Object that comes along.

            My desktop mouse is classic example of this: I am still using a Micros

          • by steelfood (895457)

            A touch screen keyboard is not better than a hardware keyboard for a "creation" device. No matter how used to the touch screen keyboard a generation of people might be.

            Nothing's quite as good as the Model M for typing. But if you give a touch screen haptic feedback where the screen can produce artificial texture, then it's good enough for most people that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. I'm not saying this Toshiba device has haptic feedback, but maybe it should.

            Technology changes, but there are intermediate steps and branches that may not catch on. Especially when things are limited by an artificial barrier (DRM and price fixing in the case of SACD's and DVD-Audio),

        • Apple has already patented this and they have introduced devices to market for a generation where people will be used to typing without a keyboard on their portable devices. This will not be something foreign or new. And with OLED technology, it does not need to affect battery life and can act as a secondary (albeit lower res) screen.

          Just because it won't be "foreign and new" doesn't mean it will be better.

          Technology changes and those who scoff at the changes are usually the older generation who doesn't want to change. And they usually end up being those engineers who are unable to adapt.

          I don't mind one bit if the "newer generation" forgoes physical keyboards for virtual keyboards. In fact, I welcome it. It means that we "older generation" will be more valuable because we can type faster, more accurately and be less prone to typing injuries. Nothing would please me more than to be clacking away on my Model M while some kid thumps away at a dead spot on his virtual keyboard.

          • by Foofoobar (318279)
            Really? Can your keyboard play movies and act as a drawing tablet enabling you to see what you are drawing as you draw it? Wow, you're right. Keyboards are so much better... click click click. Don't worry grandad, I'll stay off your lawn.
    • The dual digital screens for reading a novel are not an advantage at all. They actually make it more cumbersome to deal with.

      You have dual open pages in a paper book because of the way pages are bound, there is no advantage to carrying over this paper artifact to digital except in rare cases.

      With a digital reader you simply page instantly to the next page, no need to have two screens, look at one, then the other, then page them both.

      This is one of those niche ideas that looks cool at first but in reality ha

      • by ckaminski (82854)
        I would say this is a definite advantage of a dual-screen ereader. In a book, if I want to look at the page printed behind the one I'm currently working on, I do a lot of flipping. In a two screen ereader, I could see both of these pages side by side, an important feature when taking notes or working math problems, for example.

        This would be a significant improvement no books and e-readers in general. Remember a lot of content spans two pages. Maybe I'm better off with twice the resolution screen, perhap
    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      But for a netbook it's somewhat puzzling. Nobody wants to do that much input with a virtual keyboard.

      Notebook keyboards these days aren't really any better than a touch screen; both my old IBM laptop and my new netbook have flat keyboards, and as they'll have USB ports you can always plug a real keyboard in for typing more than a few lines; that's what I di with the netbook.

      I will never give HP my money again after the nightmare I had with an EliteBook (We're talking a $2500 machine here) with a defective G

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Notebook keyboards these days aren't really any better than a touch screen; both my old IBM laptop and my new netbook have flat keyboards, and as they'll have USB ports you can always plug a real keyboard in for typing more than a few lines; that's what I di with the netbook.

        That is a load of dingo's kidneys. Even the microscopic keyboard on my EEE 701 can be touch-typed upon, and my hands are big enough to where I can depress the control keys of the average desktop keyboard with the thumb and pinky of either hand without pressing any other keys. I just barely can't do it on this Dell keyboard with media stuff (looks to be made by Lite-On). But only a Vulcan ninja is going to touch-type on one of these things. I suppose if you played tones which changed pitch based on keying ac

    • by oakgrove (845019)

      sounds like a great e-reader form factor

      I'm not even sure I buy that. I use my Sony e-reader while lying in bed all the time. I lay on my back and read some, then I lay on my left side holding the ereader in one hand and read some more. Then I lay on my right side and so on. The sony is just a few ounces, has a battery that lasts for weeks, generates no heat, and an e-ink display. I can't imagine how a dual touch screen laptop is going to be anything but a pain in the ass as an ebook consumption device.

      • by CCarrot (1562079)

        I can't imagine how a
        dual touch screen laptop is going to be anything but a pain in the
        ass as an ebook consumption device.

        Actually, this form factor *could* be exactly what I was looking for in an e-reader, when I was looking around a couple of years ago.

        It would 'look' and 'feel' much more like a paperback, and having the clamshell design for an e-reader is, to my mind, perfect. When I'm done reading, I close the 'book' and the screens power down, no hunting for some easily-loseable (and bloody expensive to replace) slip cover to protect the screen, no fumbling with power buttons, or wasting the battery until the auto-power-

        • by oakgrove (845019)
          The idea of a clamshell form factor for an e-reader is compelling, I'll admit. However, practically speaking, what are you really talking about? Twice the price. Twice the weight. I typically hold paperbacks by the top when I'm reading so the e-reader would have to be pretty light. That's not happening with this device.

          Since we're on the subject, though, the ultimate e-reader is basically a book with about 50 or so "pages" that change based on what you want to read. This solves the problem of being

    • The strange part is that according to the article in addition to this touchscreen netbook using Windows 7 they released one with Android...but left out the touchscreen part:

      The AC100 is a little larger and more traditional. It's got a keyboard and a trackpad, but weighs just 870g, with a 10.1-inch display. It's 21mm thick, and will be running Android 2.1, placing it in a strange middle ground between mobile phone, a tablet and a netbook.

      Oddly, it doesn't have a touchscreen -- just a traditional TFT. Cont

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Look you can't compete with the iPad at the same price points. You have to undercut the iPad. The iPad is a reasonable tablet device with a lot slickness and though put into it. Unless you are truly better than the iPad you cannot charge the same price.

    You have to be 1 order of magnitude cheaper (base 2 is fine). You need to be half the cost of the an iPad. This means that a competitive tablet has to be $350 USD or less.

    If you're not even close to an iPad, your upper bound is $200 USD.

    I have an EKEN M001, i

  • by rbanffy (584143)

    Great.

    Now we can recreate a complete ZX80/ZX81/Atari 400 experience with an emulator. And now I can have a Symbolics keyboard for programming.

    Seriously: A virtual keyboard for extended usage is something that remains to be tested. It will require some clever mechanisms to compensate for fat fingers and some feedback for touch typists. I would not discard it as impossible.

  • Sadly lacking the Microsoft Courier OS. Oh well. Any Nintendo DS emulators out there for Windows 7?
    • Any Nintendo DS emulators out there for Windows 7?

      I know you were being sarcastic, but no$gba [emubase.de] does DS games in the more recent releases. I haven't tried it for DS games, though. The author is currently MIA, though, so there haven't been any releases in 2 years.

  • by Culture20 (968837) on Monday June 21, 2010 @10:16AM (#32640466)

    An onboard accelerometer allows you to use it in landscape or portrait configuration

    What about Battleship(R) configuration? It would be interesting if it can be used by two people simultaneously. And there had better be an off-switch for that accelerometer. The thing I have hated most about my iPhone is that I can't read anything when laying down on my side.

  • Not a bad idea... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by augi01 (1209002)
    but I'd rather have one large screen as opposed to two smaller screens. But then I guess I'd have an iPad, wouldn't I?
    • by Nerdfest (867930)
      ... except you can run anything you want on this one.
      • by samkass (174571)

        ... except you can run anything you want on this one.

        Really? Ok, then! I'd like to run one of the hundreds of thousands of iOS apps on it! (Or even one of the 50 or so I've downloaded so far.)

        • by tepples (727027)

          I'd like to run one of the hundreds of thousands of iOS apps on it!

          Then get the source code and port it.

          • Then get the source code and port it.

            That would be a waste. iOS was optimized for very specific mobile hardware, not generic PC touchscreen hardware. In other words, you'd get all the restrictions of DRM and not having enough swap memory, without any of the benefits of a long-lasting battery charge. It would be just as a bad idea as porting Android onto it (although, both are technically doable).

            If you want run something from Apple on there, run the Mac OSX (the recent touch-enabled version). That would be a much better idea (although, prob

  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Monday June 21, 2010 @10:23AM (#32640544) Homepage Journal

    a boatload of specialist software

    Anyone else read that as a buttload?

  • by UpnAtom (551727) on Monday June 21, 2010 @10:23AM (#32640548) Homepage

    7" touch sensitive screens and the best thing they can think to put on it is a flat, non-feedback QWERTY keyboard that was originally designed to avoid keys sticking on typewriters [earthlink.net] and has caused millions of cases of RSI [wikipedia.org]. The new input device has to be:

    1. 1. Fast. Really fast.
    2. 2. Comfortable/ergonomic.
    3. 3. Work with 1 or 2 hands/thumbs.
    4. 4. Not require large amounts of concentration - inputting text should be a largely subconscious activity.

    It's notable that Wii has done remarkably well with an obvious yet new input device, in spite of going backwards a generation in graphics capability.

    Swype [slashdot.org] and SlideIT [mobiletextinput.com] look pretty cool, especially if they allowed optimised keyboard layouts. What else is possible?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ledow (319597)

      QWERTY doesn't cause RSI. Using a keyboard badly, or the wrong kind of keyboard, causes RSI - as well as carrying on when something hurts.

      QWERTY was supposedly designed to slow down typists (though finding *definitive* references to that reasoning is tricky). However, it doesn't mean that it's any more difficult to type on once you've been trained. As always, a 100wpm typist could jam up any typewriter anyway, and even in the computer age QWERTY doesn't slow a professional typist down (The Dvorak stuff i

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Eevee (535658)

        QWERTY was supposedly designed to slow down typists (though finding *definitive* references to that reasoning is tricky).

        Because that's a myth. QWERTY was the fastest design that was come up with based on the limitations of the existing hardware of the time. The funny key layout? That's to spread apart the commonly-used hammers so they wouldn't jam on the typewriter.

      • by UpnAtom (551727)

        QWERTY doesn't cause RSI. Using a keyboard badly, or the wrong kind of keyboard, causes RSI - as well as carrying on when something hurts.

        And what proportion of users of this new laptop do you think will be using the virtual keyboard 'well'?

        QWERTY was supposedly designed to slow down typists (though finding *definitive* references to that reasoning is tricky).

        This is a less credible point than the one I already made.

        However, it doesn't mean that it's any more difficult to type on once you've been trai

    • by t7plus (1769250)
      TFA says that the second screen can display different types of keyboards, included one designed for 2 thumbs when being held that way.
  • What's that I hear? Two screens aren't enough for you.
    Well we're giving you three screens. That's right three! A tertiary screen on the back of your screen so everyone can that you're only browsing the hippest websites around.
    What's that? Three screens not enough? Well we've put a revolutionary new fourth screen on the bottom. So your wang can instant message your friends too!
    Shit, you want screens, we'll install them in your colon! Just please buy our gadget! I need the allowance to buy my soul back.
  • Seems honestly like they copied the courier minus the only thing that actually made the courier work. The active digitizer.

    Have fun taking notes with your fingers. Sadness.

  • Swyper would be great on this.

  • I'm waiting for something like this, preferably a little bigger, to take notes in class. With a pen. And hopefully good hand-written equation to LaTeX conversion will come with it.

    If you've ever had a remotely mathematical class you would know keyboards just don't cut it. And don't give me that Lyx-with-micros crap- I need diagrams too.
  • "Natural Keyboard" emulator I'm looking forward too. Perhaps you just bend it back on it's spine, like your dad told you not to do with books.
  • Big is all the rage now:

    First, it was a hip-hop thing and Flava-Flav upsizing his watch to wear across his chest, then Apple upsized the iPhone to the iPad and now Toshiba upsizes the DSi.

    What's next? Cars? Barbie action figures?

  • "-- including a range of virtual keyboards. It runs Windows 7,"

    Yawn...

  • I have been waiting for this type of device for a long time... I think it's probably better off in a 5-6in version but thats minor. However, I'd like to see 2 additional things:
    1. one screen using color e-ink. I want at to be able to go down to 1 screen with no backlight for high ambient light or low battery uses. Make it the keyboard side. I don't care. Just give me the best of both worlds.
    2. An operating system optimized for touch that still includes the underlying OS strength. Android. Rooted iOS.
  • "Sir, Apple has released the iPad, it's eating into our sales what will we do?"

    "Apple's selling a lot of iPads? Then we'll make a DOUBLE iPad!"

  • Guess how many years a workable os run on this magically device?

    How many years a workable note taking program available?

    How many years your I.T. department migrate the app to that un-magically-old-aged device?

"Floggings will continue until morale improves." -- anonymous flyer being distributed at Exxon USA

Working...