Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Displays Portables Input Devices Intel Hardware

Touchscreen Laptops, Whether You Like Them Or Not 398

Posted by Soulskill
from the give-the-people-what-they-may-or-may-not-want dept.
An anonymous reader writes "With CES all wrapped up, an article at CNET discusses a definite trend in the laptops on display from various manufacturers this year: touchscreens. Intel and Microsoft are leading the way, and attempting to grab the industry's reins as well: '... just to make sure the touch message was crystal clear, Intel issued an edict to PC partners during its CES keynote: all next-generation ultrabooks based on its "Haswell" chip must be touch.' With tablets and detachable/convertible computers coming into the mainstream, it seems the manufacturers have something to gain by condensing their production options. The article says, 'What does that mean to consumers? Your next laptop will likely be touch, whether you like it or not.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Touchscreen Laptops, Whether You Like Them Or Not

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 13, 2013 @08:24AM (#42573825)

    To heLL mit touch-screen!

  • by innocence18 (897646) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @08:27AM (#42573829)
    It's nice to have there as an option if you want it, if you don't care for it, don't use it.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Nossie (753694)

      removing the start menu was an 'option'?

      Not heard that before - I wish Metro was an option, which unfortunately in its current state - it's not.

      • by innocence18 (897646) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @08:40AM (#42573865)
        We're talking hardware here, not software, not Windows. Try to stay on topic....oh...this is /. As you were.
        • by Nossie (753694)

          Oh I'm sorry - did they mean it will come with an option for XP tablet edition or Win 8?

          If not then my comment is perfectly valid. Cant have the hardware without the OS to support it.

          • by innocence18 (897646) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @08:48AM (#42573919)
            Relax! I'm sure you'll be able to install your favourite version of Linux on it, and then cry about how the hardware makers won't release open source touchscreen drivers for you even though you don't want to use it.
            • by Nossie (753694)

              Well I'm writting this now on Win 7 - even though, I admittedly use Windows mostly for games these days. I just cant bare to move to Win 8 :-/ and I believe by the time it's a viable solution (another year maybe?) something else will have came along.

              I run a mixed house of unixes, I expect my screens to get bigger in the future - not smaller. I might not be your average joe that's quite happy with a *tablet*, but I'll certainly NEVER get out my seat to touch my 30"+ screen

              I believe Microsoft have screwed t

          • As a matter of fact, Windows 8 Pro allows for a downgrade to Vista (dunno why anyone would do *that*) or 7, possibly even XP (again, no real reason to do it).

            Besides, if the start button and Windows 7-style start menu are all that you're missing, there's plenty of alternatives to bring them back.

            • by Nossie (753694)

              You bring up some good points, however I don't think even the stardock alternative brings back the fluid feel of Windows (never thought I'd have those words in the same sentence!) The addons just feel clunky and if I do a fresh install I lose my desktop???

              Maybe I just don't want to support a company that actively disables things to force customers to use something else? I'm half holding out that they will relent for SP1.

        • by pepty (1976012) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @10:47AM (#42574633)
          Could we get Intel to issue an edict to PC partners that they quit using crap trackpads on their laptops, ultra or not?
          • by WaywardGeek (1480513) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @11:26AM (#42574889) Journal

            Seriously, what's with all the crapy trackpads? It sounds like decent trackpads for Windows are just now making it into the market, but why did HP, Dell, and others burden us with such horrible interfaces for so long?

            Anyway, my 2 cents about TFA: we all need to go back and rework our software to take advantage of touch screens. I work mostly in the EDA space. Zoom and pan have been a pain in every schematic and layout editor in history. With a mouse in the right hand for drawing lines and rectangles, left hand can flick and pinch the screen to move and zoom at the same time we're drawing or resizing shapes. Even web browsing is better with a touch screen laptop, and it's going to be awesome for gaming. Metro, Gnome 3 Shell, and Ubuntu Unity will all seem a little less stupid in a touch environment. The interface with the computer remains a weak point for computing. We keep getting stuck in a mode where we just decide we're happy with the status quo, and continue for years without innovation on the interface side. We just get used to what we know... how many of us old geezers like me still use vi (ok, vim... and it's waaay better than vi)?!?

            I applaud Microsoft and Intel for their decision to finally lead. Someone has to. Here's a quote from a marketing guy at a major PC manufacturer to me: "We don't innovate. Instead, we wait for others to prove that a market is big enough to be interesting, and then crush them with our manufacturing prowess." Well, someone has to innovate, and for a decade, it's been Apple. With Intel finally growing a pair, maybe we can look forward to more great things down the road. I still have linen paper in my wallet, and type on a keyboard designed before computers existed. Someday, maybe we'll enter the information age and start using new technology.

      • I've had Windows 8 for three months now and I haven't used Metro in two and a half months. Sure, it takes a whole 30 seconds to find a Start menu replacement and another couple of minutes to install and configure it how you like it. Yes, it sucks Windows doesn't have one by default that you can turn on, but it's no big deal to get one yourself. Personally, I like having the choice of numerous Start menu replacements - most of which have an option to boot right to the desktop. And don't start bitching about

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by macs4all (973270)

          I've had Windows 8 for three months now and I haven't used Metro in two and a half months. Sure, it takes a whole 30 seconds to find a Start menu replacement and another couple of minutes to install and configure it how you like it. Yes, it sucks Windows doesn't have one by default that you can turn on, but it's no big deal to get one yourself. Personally, I like having the choice of numerous Start menu replacements - most of which have an option to boot right to the desktop. And don't start bitching about how you need a third party software... Windows has been the only OS that's built from the ground up by one entity (MS) for at least ten years.

          So, in order to make Windows 8 USABLE, you have to run around and find third party apps and haxies to turn in back into Windows 7?

          Lovely. That's fine for you; but what about the OTHER 95% of Windows 8 purchasers that DON'T know how to do all that? (And yes, there are plenty of people that couldn't find and/or install the proper apps and find and/or change the proper settings).

          • by EdZ (755139) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @11:24AM (#42574877)

            That's fine for you; but what about the OTHER 95% of Windows 8 purchasers that DON'T know how to do all that?

            They take 5, maybe 10 minutes to learn how to use the start screen, then carry on? It's not exactly complex: it's a start menu that stretches over all of you screen, rather than just the left 1/5. Don't want to navigate tiles (or navigate nested submenus)? Press start, type in the first few characters of the program you want, hit enter, and voila! Same as 7 and Vista.

      • by gbjbaanb (229885) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @09:06AM (#42574037)

        but the OP has it right - I didn't mind at all when flatscreen displays were cheap enough to replace CRTs, and no-one minded when they were replaced throughout the entire portable PC range.

        In this case, touch-screens will simply be a cheaper option than the standard flatscreen, so manufacturers will install them.

        Now... the problem comes when silly old Julie Larson-Green (of Ribbon and Metro infamy) comes along and says "hey, changing all that old working stuff with anything new will make me look good" and puts a table interface on all PCs. Nor if Shuttleworth sees this and thinks that the mobile interface is taking over the world and so all desktops need roughly the same interface too (to be fair to Ubuntu, their desktop interface isn't designed to be touch-only unlike Metro).

        Just don't blame the hardware manufacturers for software 'designers' mistakes.

        • by Nossie (753694)

          I just think that being so destructive with the GUI is pretty much Microsoft throwing their userbase under the bus in a sacrifice to catch up with apple - which - if at all appears to be VERY slow. With this much change to the setup, companies especially will consider whither remain with Win 7 at the best or switch to another OS entirely - because they know they will have to train it out to all the desktop users.

          I can't wait until every screen is a touchscreen - regardless of what it's on. But encouraging

    • by mupuf (2617831) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @08:38AM (#42573857) Homepage

      Oh, it is a big deal.

      There are two technologies for touch screens:
      - Resistive: It means adding an extra layer on top of the screen, reducing the brightness of the screen or increasing the backlight resulting in a lower battery life.
      - Capacitive: As far I know, it is only possible on current screen's surface. It would need some sort of glass like on smartphones. This increases the price of the laptop and makes it more susceptible to breaking if the glass is of poor quality.

      The end result in both cases is a higher price ... for no purpose at all. But I guess the average joe would like to have a detachable keyboard and get a tablet.

      • If it takes a capacitive touch screen (the only type that makes sense for most devices these days) to get a decent slab of glass on most laptop screens, I'll take it and might even use it.
        I'm not buying another laptop without some decent glass covering the screen - two screens with uneven backlighting and god-knows-what-the-hell-this-is dirt that won't come off are enough for me.

      • by mpe (36238) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @09:02AM (#42573999)
        There are two technologies for touch screens:

        - Resistive: It means adding an extra layer on top of the screen, reducing the brightness of the screen or increasing the backlight resulting in a lower battery life.
        - Capacitive: As far I know, it is only possible on current screen's surface. It would need some sort of glass like on smartphones. This increases the price of the laptop and makes it more susceptible to breaking if the glass is of poor quality.

        The end result in both cases is a higher price ... for no purpose at all.


        There's also the matter of the screen wearing out. Even perfectly clean fingers are abrasive. People also frequently wear jewelry containing very hard materials on their fingers. Never mind a layer of glass you'd really want mono-crystaline diamond!
        • by Nossie (753694)

          Really? even with glass? I never thought of it that way even though I guess phones and tablets are all hardened but the only screens I've seen wear out are the ones with the squishy stuff underneath (and yes I realise that's possibly one of the worst 'technical definitions' ever.

        • There's also the matter of the screen wearing out. Even perfectly clean fingers are abrasive. People also frequently wear jewelry containing very hard materials on their fingers. Never mind a layer of glass you'd really want mono-crystaline diamond!

          Cell phones seem to be doing ok... my phone's a year old and there's no wear visible on the screen at all, though there is some grease that I have to wipe off from time to time. Gorilla Glass is quite nice... :)

          You're correct that the glass will eventually wear out, but the timelines that people usually keep a laptop are such that it's not likely to affect most of us. And those that it will affect, the screen's replaceable. There are also polymers that can be spread on the glass to restore a clear finish, b

      • The end result in both cases is a higher price

        The end result will be grease stained glossy screens that are unreadable outdoors or near windows.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Confirmed !

          I work as a hardware designer for a company that needs an outdoors viewable touch screen.
          It's really a lot harder than it sounds.

          Main problems are reflections. Reflections come from each and every interface between a transparent material and air. If you look closely, you will see two superimposed reflections when you look through your home window (two interfaces air-glass and glass-air). These add up, so a double window pane will have 4 reflections.

          If you add a touch interface to your LCD you wil

      • by abigsmurf (919188)
        If you are seriously worrying about how hard wearing the screen on a laptop is... you probably should take a good look at how you treat your laptop or consider buying a rugged laptop.

        Sure it'll add extra cost, just like the bluetooth that most people don't use, the ethernet that most people don't use and probably dozens of other of ports and hardware features that add cost but aren't used by the majority of users.
        • by Grishnakh (216268)

          Gorilla glass and touchscreen hardware (the glass and sensor part, not the electronics part on the motherboard) are probably one of the highest-cost items in a modern mobile device. Other electronic parts are generally dirt-cheap in comparison, especially anything that's on silicon.

          Now, consider that if gorilla glass for a cellphone or tablet is expensive, imagine how much it's going to cost for a 17" laptop screen. It won't be cheap. I predict a bunch of AMD laptops without touchscreens taking over the

      • by Technician (215283) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @10:14AM (#42574401)

        If I understand this, at least Intel specified this only for Ultrabooks, not netbooks or laptops or off brand lightweight laptops. This is no different than the Centrino specification that specified the CPU, chipset, and WiFi standard to be met.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centrino [wikipedia.org]
        The standard in Intel's case applies only to Ultrabooks tm. This does not block competitors. You still can get laptops, netbooks, convertibles, and lightweight laptops without the Intel tm branding of Centrino tm or Ultrabook tm.

        This is not an all laptops will be touch screen any more than Centrino made all laptops contain Intel tm processors.

        It means if you want a traditional laptop, it won't be branded as an Ultrabook tm.

      • by EdZ (755139)

        The end result in both cases is a higher price ... for no purpose at all.

        Not necessarily. Manufacturing at economics-of-scale level has some weird idiosyncrasies. For example, it's cheaper to pay a few pennies more per panel to put touchscreens in every model in order to save the cost of having two production processes set up in order to make models with and without touchscreens (which would either require a totally different lid moulding, or manufacture of a separate mechanical shim to take up the extra room and prevent flex). Additionally, it may become more economical, for si

    • Very few people use all of the options on their cars either. I don't use AM radio, but it's nice to know it's there if I ever want to.

      Once you get above the base model, most options are packaged together... if you want the built-in computer, you may be forced to also get the sunroof. It's a way of cutting costs.

      • by Pembers (250842)

        Very few people use all of the options on their cars either. I don't use AM radio, but it's nice to know it's there if I ever want to.

        Agreed, but (unless the radio is very badly designed) having circuitry for AM reception doesn't interfere with FM or digital reception. Whereas a touchscreen is an extra layer of stuff between your eyes and the pixels, which reduces image quality or has to be compensated for. A better car analogy might be that the air conditioning is always running, and the "off" switch just diverts the air flow to the outside of the vehicle...

        • by nschubach (922175) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @11:49AM (#42575057) Journal

          I'm typing this on a Nexus 10 tablet, which uses a gorilla glass capacitive screen.

          These touch screens are nothing like the old pen or push driven touch screens that have a layer of visually intrusive technology to enable touch. In fact, this may be the best looking display in my house at this time. I can honestly say that for a touch added device, there's no visual impact at all.

    • by MitchDev (2526834)

      Yeah, and how much more will these touchscreens cost compared to regular laptops?

    • Yeah, at least the screen is away from the fingers and hands, not like the touchpad which caused many problems prior to the auto enable/disable feature. Minor gripe but still it has been a long standing low-grade headache.

      Also not as bad as reflective screens. Almost impossible to get an anti-glare laptop since the reflective ones sell well in the store despite clear user preferences for anti-glare over the long term.

      You are correct: hopefully we can just use it / not use it as appropriate without any usa

    • by Patch86 (1465427)

      Are touchscreens free? I frequently buy hardware on price, and there are plenty of people with less money than me who I'm sure count the pennies in a purchase. If a laptop is £350 without a touchscreen, how much does the touchscreen add to the price?

      Anything except "rounding error" would make this unacceptable. I don't like touchscreens; I barely tolerate them on tablets and phones, and I certainly have no use for them on my laptops. I run Linux on my hardware usually, and unlike Windows 8 my distros

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      Except this "option" will take a good $150+ out of your wallet. let us be glad that AMD is still in the game and for the vast majority the chips they make are long past "good enough" because i don't know about everybody else but i don't want to end up stuck with an overpriced "feature" I'll never use, an OS that I think is a step backwards, and the whole thing made to please Wall street and not me.

      You can get a really nice AMD Fusion quad laptop for around $400, picked up a couple for customers and I have

  • by phayes (202222)

    For this consumer & everyone I influence it means that thes laptops will not be bought. Touch & vertical screens do not go together.

    • a) You don't have to use it.

      b) It actually works in some situations. Especially when you'd normally only have a touchpad.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      Is simply having a touch screen that bad? Just ignore it, even disable it if it offends you that much. No one is forcing you to use it, not even Windows 8.

      I never use the Bluetooth on my laptop. It's mere existence was not a deal-breaker.

  • What? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Psicopatico (1005433) <psicopatico@NoSp ... delrutto.zzn.com> on Sunday January 13, 2013 @08:30AM (#42573835)

    Only touch-screen enabled notebooks here?
    Sorry, no sale for you.

    My money will go to the manufacturers who will provide "old school" displays.

    • Re:What? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Sponge Bath (413667) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @09:04AM (#42574017)

      My money will go to the manufacturers who will provide "old school" displays.

      Here's your VT100 sir.

    • That's your choice. My money will go to whoever offers me the best price for the specs I actually want. If that happens to include a touch screen, ok then. There's no reason I have to actually use it just because it's there.

      By the time I'm ready to replace my current laptop, I will probably not have a choice about touch screen. At that time, I'll be looking for a 11.6" or 12.1" laptop with enough grunt to run e17, a browser, and my chat clients, which should be doable in a $200 netbook. (it's just about doa

  • by SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @08:33AM (#42573841) Homepage

    From experience I haven't found anything worse than a desktop or laptop with a touch screen. They are ergonomically bad, after 10 minutes I get pain in my wrists and elbows. The only place I have found desktop sized touch screens to be useful is when stood up, for example at a point of sale.

    Also, my desktop monitors are too far away to touch when sat down, the screen is a good 6-8 inches further than my reach so they have to be moved uncomfortably too close which doesn't just hurt my neck and eyes, but I have no room to fit my keyboard in front of the screen on my desk when bought closer. When lounging with my laptop the screen is either too close when sat down or when semi lying down too far to touch. Don't get me started on finger smudges.

    • All it needs is a single case of work related injury and no business is going to buy anything slidy interfaced unless you can pick it up. Result warehouses full of unsold shit laptops.

    • From experience I haven't found anything worse than a desktop or laptop with a touch screen.

      From experience I know you are spouting wild hyperbole.

      They are ergonomically bad, after 10 minutes I get pain in my wrists and elbows.

      OK, so use the touchpad. Oh, you're complaining about laptops with only touch for pointing input? Why didn't you say so?

      My lady has a Fujitsu Lifebook T900 with the combo digitizer. When I am demonstrating something to her I can lean over her shoulder and touch the screen, which is fantastic. And the system folds over into a tablet, which is great for art since it has a Wacom/multitouch digitizer.

      Don't make the mistake of thinking that touch is bad, because it isn't. Exclusive touch is bad on a device with room for another input device.

      • by ranulf (182665) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @10:50AM (#42574659)

        When I am demonstrating something to her I can lean over her shoulder and touch the screen, which is fantastic.

        Personally, I hate it when someone touches my screen and leaving behind smeary fingerprints when they're trying to point to something. It can only get worse If they actually get to control my system by doing that...

        That said, there are occasions when it'd be handy, but it's not something I'd want the majority of the time.

    • Better still - offices are obliged (here, anyway) to follow ergonomic guidelines for health and safety. Guidelines which are quite clear in not permitting office workers to sit too close to the screen, as this may cause eyestrain potentially leading to more serious conditions. So, touch on desktops in a business environment is dead in the water.

    • by devent (1627873) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @09:01AM (#42573983) Homepage

      It's because you are not the targeted consumer.
      I notice now for a while that everyone (Google, Apple, Microsoft, Intel,) is moving to consumption-only PCs. The "app-markets", touch for everything, 16:9 monitors, Secure Boot, DRM schemes for video and audio output.

      Touch is good for video, music, and games. It is horrible for production or creating of content. But neither the big IT companies nor the big publishers want you to create anything on your computer. They want you to be the consumer-only, like TV.

      It's a sad thing, the imprisonment of the PC user. From a business perspective it makes perfect sense. The IT players are now big, they divide the market under them. They do not want a free computing experience. If they would have their way, they would make laptops now without mouse or keyboard.

      It's really ironic. Now that every home have more computing power then anyone needs and Smartphones are moving to have the same computing power then desktop PCs and the individual have more and more information to their fingertips, the user is more and more enslaved. Copyright laws, the direction of the IT and entertainment industry.

      I'm so glad right now for GNU/Linux and the open source community. I think in 10 years it will be the only force to ensure that I can still plug-in my keyboard and mouse to my laptop/desktop and do whatever I want with my devices.

    • by tverbeek (457094)

      At my day job we have a fleet of laptops used by field workers. For several years we've been buying them TabletPC machines so they can do checkbox selecting and such more efficiently than with a trackpad. A year and a half ago the latest hardware refresh came with touch suppport as well. We showed it to them. And I can tell from watching them when they come in with tech problems, or even just looking at their screens, that they aren't using it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    What might make sense is if "monitors of the future" could be used either vertically or horizontally (or to basically generalize, 0 = degree = 90). Then you could place the monitor at 20 degrees and use touch for drawing things/poking screen on those applications that support touch, or for standing over the monitor to review a design of some kind (CAD, structural diagram, etc). Then put the monitor back upright when its time to crank out a document or write some code.

    It does not have to be an "either/or" si

  • Please. I like my wacom tablet, my X41tablet thinkpad and my galaxy note 2.

    On a big screen, i want a pen, not a finger

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      On a big screen, i want a pen, not a finger

      If you have a big screen, you'd better hope your pen is huge.

      Seriously though, what *I* want is both. They exist, but they're small so far.

      • On a big screen, i want a pen, not a finger

        If you have a big screen, you'd better hope your pen is huge.

        I thought that, like expensive cars or guns, guys got big screen laptops because of how small their pen is.

  • by jamesl (106902) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @08:47AM (#42573915)

    The anti-touch commenters here echo the comments of anti-mousers decades ago -- "Not for me." We know how that worked out.

    1. Until you work with a touch enabled laptop, you have no basis for comment about touch enabled laptops.
    2. Until you work with a touch enabled desktop, you have no basis for comment about touch enabled laptops.
    3. After experiencing touch enabled laptops and desktops, different people will have different opinions but nobody should feel obligated to force their opinions on others.
    4. I have two months experience using a touch enabled laptop computer and I love it. Your mileage may vary.
    5. I have no experience with using a touch enabled desktop computer so I have no comment.

    People are different and different people use computers in different ways. Some are amenable to touch and some are not.

    • The anti-touch commenters here echo the comments of anti-mousers decades ago -- "Not for me." We know how that worked out.

      Well, yes. Some people still don't like the mouse. Some use it anyway out of necessity, others bend over backwards to avoid using it.

    • by ubersoldat2k7 (1557119) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @08:55AM (#42573945)

      I've never tried a touch screen laptop/desktop but what I'm pretty sure (and also every one of my coworkers who for some reason comes to stick their fingers in my display) is that I DO NOT LIKE FINGER PRINTS IN MY SCREEN.

      I can handle finger prints in my phone or tablet because I use them for a few minutes but when you're staring to the same screen for 8 hours straight, I can't handle it.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        I've never tried a touch screen laptop/desktop but what I'm pretty sure (and also every one of my coworkers who for some reason comes to stick their fingers in my display) is that I DO NOT LIKE FINGER PRINTS IN MY SCREEN.

        My experience touching the screen of a Fujitsu Lifebook T900 with the combo wacom/multitouch digitizer is that you really don't see the fingerprints. Whatever coating they used is a winner. It might be a problem in direct sunlight, but this display isn't daylight-viewable; you can have it with wacom+multitouch+indoor, or you can have wacom+outdoor, but that's it. But I typically don't use a laptop outdoors, and when I do I position myself so that the sun isn't creating screen glare. Unfortunately, the best

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        Sounds like you need some kind of blunt, pointy instrument to replace your finger. Kind of like a pencil but without the lead. I don't know if you have ever tried pottery but the little stylus tools they use for that would be ideal I think.

        You could even have two and use them like chopsticks for multi-touch.

    • Starting in 1984, I worked at Digital Techniques, who made the TouchCom series of "public access" touch-screen computers. Touch-screens are intuitive for accessing information, but for creating anything we generally used a Summagraphics tablet.

      Could you get much work done if someone were holding their hand in front of your screen, and their finger utterly obscuring everything around your cursor? Even if that someone is you...

    • by Hatta (162192) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @09:12AM (#42574063) Journal

      The anti-touch commenters here echo the comments of anti-mousers decades ago -- "Not for me." We know how that worked out.

      CLI is still superior to the GUI from where I sit. How exactly did you think it worked out?

    • by tverbeek (457094)

      Our field staff have touch enabled laptops.
      Most of them do not use the touch capability.

    • nobody should feel obligated to force their opinions on others.

      ha ha ha ha! New here, are ya?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    You can just not use the touchpad. The real problem is the disappearance of matte screens. I hate glossy.

    • You can just not use the touchpad. The real problem is the disappearance of matte screens. I hate glossy.

      Seconded. Surely the gloss camp always says how glossy makes the colors come out better, but you can get good color with matte too, if you want.

  • by crow (16139) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @08:53AM (#42573939) Homepage Journal

    I want a touch monitor on my desktop at work. I want to program the computer to play a loud "stop touching me" every time one of my cow orkers touches it. Maybe I can finally stop having fingerprints all over my screen.

  • I really don't care. I recently bought a new laptop (my previous one had lasted almost six years) and I deliberately bought one with a touchscreen. More than that though, it's a Lenovo X230 tablet, so the screen can rotate and become a tablet. It's a Wacom screen, and comes with a pen (touching it with your filthy dirty fingers will achieve nothing in the way of interaction with the OS).

    My new laptop is good. Most of the time it works as a laptop, but sometimes I whip out the pen and use it for pointing. So

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      More than that though, it's a Lenovo X230 tablet, so the screen can rotate and become a tablet. It's a Wacom screen, and comes with a pen (touching it with your filthy dirty fingers will achieve nothing in the way of interaction with the OS).

      You know, these days they have tablets with both wacom and multitouch. If you bring the stylus near (while it is not in the holder, of course) then the touch is disabled. This is about twice as enjoyable to use as a stylus alone IMO. Touch is great, touch-only is bad.

  • Intel seems fixated on the idea that users want some sort of convergence device that combines a tablet with a traditional PC. They see the iPad's sales numbers and think: "If only it had a keyboard and ran a PC OS..."

    Adding a touch screen to an ultrabook doesn't address the fundamental flaw in such an approach: users interact differently with touch screen devices than PCs. Slapping a touchscreen on top of an OS that isn't really geared to the way users interact with a tablet device won't address that; all

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Intel seems fixated on the idea that users want some sort of convergence device that combines a tablet with a traditional PC. They see the iPad's sales numbers and think: "If only it had a keyboard and ran a PC OS..."

      Intel is not the only one. That has been a dream of some users since time immemorial. The problems as I see them are twofold. One, intel processors with cojones are power-hungry heat monsters. There exist very powerful and functional convertible tablet PCs, but they are fat and ugly. There are sleek and slim tablet PCs, but they are weak and powerless. Two, PC operating systems are crap for tablets so far. OSX had to be changed so much as to be virtually unrecognizable, ditto Linux, and Windows still stinks

    • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @09:37AM (#42574185) Journal

      WATCH TV Commercials, it is how the designer envisions their products to be used. Take cars. Have you seen a single car ad where the advertised car is in a traffic jam? No? Then that car SUCKS at it. Isn't shown in a crowded city with LOADS of other cars, cyclists and pedestrians leaping out of the way for the advertised car? Then it SUCKS at city driving. Doesn't talk about safety or road handling (as in sticking to the road as opposed to speeding) then said car will kill you.

      Now look at Intel and even MS commercials for how they see their new products being used. Windows 8 is ALL about media CONSUMPTION, Intel is all about meetings, light choices, consumption, trivial work flows. That is how they envision their computers being used, not for just sitting down for 8 hours and getting some boring but necessary work done.

      http://oldcomputers.net/oldads/old-computer-ads.html shows you how old ads pointed at the business applications of a PC, what it could do for your business. Look at modern PC ads... where is the productivity?

      Well, it is there... if you world is like the world of "Friends" where a dozen white people spend about 5 second a day at work yet can afford spacious apartments in the heart of Manhattan, then the Intel/Windows ads reflect your work flow. Nice for you. The rest of us sit behind a computer screen, hopefully a big one and enter data all day long. Doesn't matter if that is actual data, code or image designs, we have to do a LOT of it to pay our bills. And then holding your hands up in the air HURTS. Not inconvenient, not different, not going against muscle memory, actually fucking bloody HURT.

      Try it right now, READ JUST this story, holding your arms in front of you. If you manage it for longer then 5 minutes, you qualify for the navy seals. And that is not entirely a joke, part of military training is pain exercises like holding your arms up for a long time, they tend to add weights because it looks though but just holding your arms stretched for long enough hurts.

      The reason Windows/Intel want you to work this way is because their marketeers LOVE the idea that using a computer is about making a few choices "that picture, that point on the presentation" and the rest is thinking sitting around work. It is NOT, Star Trek STILL isn't real, using a computer for most of us is barely different from sitting at an assembly line putting components in place. Just think about it, just typing this post is just sitting and hitting keys in the right order. Where do I need to touch the screen? What part of this work flow is improved by having a touch screen? Having to raise my hand to hit the preview button?

      If you screen setup is right, the preview button is JUST under eye-height because the line you are typing on should be at eye height so you don't have to bend your head down. That means you have to lift you hand 20 centimeters on my setup. That is NOT convenient.

      If you are thinking of buying a touchscreen, take your existing PC/laptop and just pretend but NOT for 5 minutes, for a month, day in day out, every working hour.

      If you then still think it is a good idea, go ahead.

      Want more proof? The Wii. Sold massively, then failed on selling games because hard core gamers do NOT want to swing their hands around for hours at end. It WORKS for casual use. Is your PC use casual? No? Then get a Wii Gamepad Pro and leave the touchscreens to the TV world were you can earn a living without ever going to work.

  • Nope Nope Nope (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gelfling (6534) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @08:56AM (#42573957) Homepage Journal

    My company would rather go to Lenovo or Toshiba and pay them more for custom built machines that have stripped down functionality to give to the drones than hand out laptops that could be perceived as having features that directors and executives have. Like the 'pilot project' we're running for iPads for higher middle managers and executives while Corporate has ALREADY announced that iPads don't meet Corporate security standards.

    • by vlm (69642)

      could be perceived as having features that directors and executives have

      Not having touch means much better picture quality and longer battery life... I could see the drones getting sore elbows from using the touch screen and having to stare at greasy fingerprints and shorter battery life, while the execs get a superior non-touch screen experience.

      One killer feature touch phones have that touch monitors and touch laptops have is I rub my phone on my belly before using it to wipe off the top layer of grease. This scales up to tablet size. Not gonna work on a laptop / monitor o

      • by gelfling (6534)

        To say nothing of the obligatory shrieking from CNN with a story about how touch screens are going to kill your baby with contact germs and chemicals. You know that's happening.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Not having touch means much better picture quality and longer battery life...

        What the hell are you talking about, and also, what the hell are you talking about? Digitizers draw very little power, and they interfere with image quality very little, if the difference is even perceptible.

  • I can't count how many of my business coworkers stick their grubbies right onto the LCD display to point out some word or graphical feature. Why they do this I can't figure (they forgot there's a mouse?), but if new machines all have touch-response, they're going to be in for a bit of a surprise :-)

  • It's all about (Score:5, Interesting)

    by overshoot (39700) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @09:02AM (#42573997)

    Keeping up the price of the final product. If the production cost gets to the point where it's totally dominated by the CPU and operating system, the competitive advantage for ARM or other processors running Linux becomes compelling. Therefore, load up the basic system with enough other high-cost features to hide the "Microsoft tax" and "Intel tax."

    Those of us who remember netbooks will recognize the intended series of events.

  • by yurik (160101) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @09:05AM (#42574023)

    The reasoning on Intel's part seems to be that unless the laptop gains as much usability and "coolness" factor as the recent tablets have, Intel will be looking at a considerable laptop market shrinkage. And since Intel is by far better positioned in the laptop as oppose to tablet market, it is as critical for them as it is for Microsoft.

    On the other hand, what Intel seems to be missing is that the screen resolution also plays a significant role in user's device appreciation. Microsoft does not seem to have as much say about this (strangely), but Intel could have added minimum resolution to the list of their requirements.

  • ... i can install linux on it and all hardware is supported by it (and not just one distribution, there are several touch optimized linux distributions/desktops that could be more fitting for you for that devices). Booting also android could be good too

    ... I can use (better yet, they have it installed) other pointing devices so i can choose when use the touchscreen

    ... could be turned into mostly a tablet for consumption only tasks

    If only runs windows 8 are good but expensive paperweights for most uses.

  • We've had Panasonic Toughbooks at my job for years with touch screens. We never used the touch screens much when working in the office, but the it's often very useful when you're out in the field or at some place other than your desk.
  • by Mister Liberty (769145) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @09:50AM (#42574269)

    touchscreens may be literally out of reach.

  • Like it or not (Score:5, Interesting)

    by markdavis (642305) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @09:55AM (#42574291)

    >"Your next laptop will likely be touch, whether you like it or not."

    So all laptop/notebook/netbook/ultrabook/whatever-name-is-in-vogue models will:

    1) Be more expensive
    2) Be considerably heavier (glass is not light)
    3) Be more fragile
    4) Have lots of screen glare (yep- glass)
    5) Have something else that can malfunction
    6) Have a larger bezel (which is more wasted space)

    Because that is what you get with touchscreen technology right now. Thanks again, Microsoft/Intel, for "leading the industry" because choice is a bad thing.

  • by cynop (2023642) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @10:10AM (#42574375)

    ...after CES everyone was saying "Your next TV will likely be 3D, whether you like it or not", but this year everyone is classifying 3D TV as a passing fad, and an unimportand factor when it comes to consumer. I'm pretty sure that unless touchscreens enhance by a signifant degree the user experience, we'll see the same thing happening again.

    Just because manufacturers have found a new gimmick to sell, don't mean that we have to follow them around like sheep

  • by GrantRobertson (973370) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @02:04PM (#42576037) Homepage Journal

    OK I guess it wouldn't be /. if it weren't for all the false dichotomies and people talking out their ass. But this just gets tiresome.

    I have had a Tablet PC since about 2003 or 2004. Maybe longer, I can't remember. I will NEVER go back to a regular laptop. Never once have I gotten the dreaded "Gorilla Arm Syndrome." Why? Because no one in their right mind would actually use a touch screen in an entirely vertical mode and throw out their mouse, forcing them to do everything with the touch screen. That nonsense is just the ghost of Steve Jobs talking, in an attempt to discredit anything Apple hasn't (yet) been able to capitalize on.

    Most of the time, when I use my Tablet PC, I tilt the screen way back like a drafter's table. I can then comfortably read the screen, type, use my finger to do quick, less-precise things (like scroll or hit a button), use the active-stylus for more-precise things (like selecting text or drop down menus or drawing curves in Illustrator or handwriting), and even occasionally use the mouse for even-more-precise things (like drafting or adjusting those curves in Illustrator). Sometimes, I will even use the track-pad, though I often turn it off. I move back and forth between all the tools at my disposal just like any other craftsman who actually has the wherewithal to learn how to use more than one tool at a time. I have watched people use the extra large track pad on Mac laptops, with all those handy finger gestures and I wouldn't mind adding that to the mix as well. Especially for times when I am trying to do a lot on a laptop-sized screen.

    The point is that more options are better. Anyone who says otherwise is full of shit.

    So, if all laptops will soon have touch-screens, then the price of those touch screens will come way down. Everyone will get used to using them however they work best for them and then it won't be new any more. GAWWD, I'm old enough to remember the frikkin mouse-vs-keyboard wars. Oh wait a minute... there are still some morons who keep claiming that they are the macho stud coder because they never touch a mouse. When you listen to them type it sounds as if they are typing a million characters a minute ... each key pounded like the fate of the world depends on it ... until you take a look and see that almost half of all those keystrokes are the freaking backspace key.

    Holy crap people! Get over yourselves! You you are all computer nerds. You will never be macho except by comparison with some other computer nerd who is slightly less macho. Stop posturing over which tool or product is the absolute best, denigrating all the others lest someone see your preferred tool as less cool. Just use what works for you, give the others a try once in a while, and get the hell on with your lives. All this touch-screen vs mouse nonsense is like a bunch of carpenters arguing over which is better: a saw or a hammer.

Between infinite and short there is a big difference. -- G.H. Gonnet

Working...