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Input Devices Portables Hardware

Toshiba Demos Dual-Touchscreen Netbook 132

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."
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Toshiba Demos Dual-Touchscreen Netbook

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  • 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 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.

  • by daid303 ( 843777 ) on Monday June 21, 2010 @10:17AM (#32640472)

    Guess you are looking for an openpandora then? []

  • 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 [] and has caused millions of cases of RSI []. 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 [] and SlideIT [] look pretty cool, especially if they allowed optimised keyboard layouts. What else is possible?

  • Re:Windows 7 (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 21, 2010 @10:43AM (#32640916)

    I'm gonna bite.
    The fact you can use Windows 7 as a non-touch OS doesn't make it not support touch.
    I'm using it (right now) on a tablet convertible.
    The on-screen keyboard is the best I've used, work well on my 8.9" screen.
    The ability to scroll seamlessly on every window with a scrollbar by dragging up and down works well.
    Large buttons.

    Other than a mobile interface (iOS, android), it''s really quite workable.

  • Re:Windows 7 (Score:1, Interesting)

    by ( 1563557 ) on Monday June 21, 2010 @10:57AM (#32641164)

    nyctopterus meant they are using an OS GUI that was not made for, or geared toward, 'touch' user interaction. Windows 7 may have some features that work with a 'touch' device but it certainly isn't "made for touch". The Windows Phone 7 OS would probably have been a better choice.

    I strongly disagree with the concept that an OS isn't "made for touch." The OS is there to help you do things, like run software. I hardly think that today's modern OS can be put to blame when a given device's software is not "up to par" for the expected experience.

    As anecdotal evidence, I can use WindowsXP/Vista/7 without a mouse or touchpad. I can get by in many programs and procedures without the mouse. The invention and the widespread usage of the mouse has no relevance to what the OS will or will not allow. Mouse drivers and software are the glue that binds the new device to the OS. If it doesn't do a good job (I have yet to get my hands on this dual touchscreen beastie), I hardly think the OS is to blame.

    Oh, and I should also briefly mention that I am in no way suggesting that new input/device paradigms don't rise and fall, and that those paradigms don't influence design in areas such as the OS. I am merely stating my opinion that it's a flawed premise to blame the OS when a device/software doesn't do what it's expected to.

Disraeli was pretty close: actually, there are Lies, Damn lies, Statistics, Benchmarks, and Delivery dates.