Touch-sensitive computers haven't really taken off for a number of reasons – but mostly because they're unwieldy compared to our traditional keyboard and mouse input devices.
That trend is changing with smaller devices such as the iPhone. Now with capacitive touch technology becoming mainstream and software catching up (thanks to Windows 7 Touch Pack), touch-centric computing could be the next big thing – at least that's what Lenovo is banking on.
Lenovo today announced that ThinkPad X200 Tablet PC and slim and powerful ThinkPad T400s laptop, both with multitouch screens. Lenovo is also introducing SimpleTap, an application that it believes will bring simplicity to the multitouch screen experience.
"We see now as the right time for multitouch screens on PCs," said Sam Dusi, vice president, worldwide ThinkPad product marketing, Lenovo. "With touch screens increasingly becoming part of more devices we use routinely and continued improvement of the technology including the integration of touch in the upcoming Windows 7 operating system, the environment for making touch part of our Tablet PC and ThinkPad T400s laptop experience couldn't be better. We've also extended the touch experience with SimpleTap to make frequent hardware-based functions touch-enabled and simple."
SimpleTap allows users to use touch to alter certain system settings, such as volume, and launch shortcuts to applications by just touching an on-screen tile.
What sets the new Lenovo Thinkpads apart from other touch-sensitive tablets is its support for four finger gestures. Of course, that'll mean a lot of touchy-feely to a laptop screen. Those of us who hate people pointing at things on our screen by physically touching it will be somewhat relieved to know that there will be an anti-fingerprint coating helps keep smudges at bay and the screen clean.
The ThinkPad T400s with the multitouch screen and the ThinkPad X200 Tablet with the multitouch screen are available now with starting at $1,999 for the ThinkPad T400s with the multitouch screen and $1,654 for the ThinkPad X200 Tablet. SimpleTap will be available for download after October 22.