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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.'"
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Touchscreen Laptops, Whether You Like Them Or Not

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  • What? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Psicopatico (1005433) <psicopatico@ac[ ... com ['cad' in ga> on Sunday January 13, 2013 @09:30AM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 13, 2013 @09:43AM (#42573891)

    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" situation. A monitor flat on the desk with touch has some practical uses But at 90 degrees touch is useless.

  • by ubersoldat2k7 (1557119) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @09:55AM (#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.

  • Nope Nope Nope (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gelfling (6534) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @09:56AM (#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.

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

    by overshoot (39700) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @10:02AM (#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 mpe (36238) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @10:02AM (#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 SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @10:37AM (#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. 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.

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

    by markdavis (642305) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @10:55AM (#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 Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 13, 2013 @11:16AM (#42574419)

    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 will double or triple the amount of reflections on your screen depending on the number of glass layers. That is a HUGE problem outdoors. You can beef up the brightness of the LCD, but there is no arguing that the sun is a very powerful light source. The so called "ambient contrast ratio" drops to bellow 2:1 even for the most expensive 2000000:1 contrast ratio LCDs.

    The required solution is to "bond" the touch onto the LCD with optical grade glue. That in turn adds quite a hefty cost to production, which will be paid by the customer. Cheapo manufacturers will of course not do that, so you will end up with a laptop that is completely unusable outdoors.

    Of course you also need an anti fingerprint treatment on top + some anti scratch treatment (gorilla glass). More things to be paid for by the customer!

    I know what I'm talking about and I, for one, will not be spending my hard earned money on extravagant touch laptops any time soon...

  • by nschubach (922175) on Sunday January 13, 2013 @12:49PM (#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.

An optimist believes we live in the best world possible; a pessimist fears this is true.