Print 24 comment(s) - last by B3an.. on Nov 20 at 11:05 PM

The multi-touch computer is HP's first foray into multi-touch notebooks

Hewlett-Packard has introduced a new laptop computer with multi-touch technology, a first time attempt at a multi-touch system for the computer giant.

The TouchSmart tx2 laptop lets owners use hand motions instead of using a keyboard or mouse while manipulating photos, images, music and other applications.  

HP's tx2 weighs 5 lbs. and ships with Microsoft Windows Vista, 12.1-in. LED screen, rechargeable digital ink pen, and is powered using the AMD Turion X2 Ultra dual-core processor.

Multi-touch technology has been made popular by the Apple iPhone and other similar handhelds.  In fact, some analysts and Apple backers expected Steve Jobs and Apple to be the first company to release a Mac laptop with multi-touch features.

Asus initially beat HP to the punch with a multi-touch notebook PC, but the tx2's screen is able to pivot, while the Asus offering cannot.

"Breezing through web sites and enjoying photos or video at the tap, whisk or flick of a finger is an entirely new way to enjoy digital content on a notebook PC," said Ted Clark, HP's Notebook Global Business Unit VP and general manager.  "With the introduction of the TouchSmart tx2, HP is providing users an easier, more natural way to interact with their PCs, and furthering touch innovation."

The tx2 supports the following different modes:  PC, display and tablet, and users can use a stylus to write on to the screen in tablet mode.  The screen can pivot 180 degrees so someone sitting across the table can easily look at the screen.

Microsoft doesn't plan on including touch technology into Windows until Window 7, which is tentatively scheduled to be released in 2010.

The HP TouchSmart tx2 is available immediately with a starting price of $1,149.

HP's latest laptop release comes shortly after the company announced it saw a large rise in profits over the same period last year.  Despite falling to No. 2 in the U.S. computer market to Dell, its fourth-quarter revenue increased 19 percent up to $33.6B at a time when other companies are struggling.

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RE: Half a solution
By Master Kenobi on 11/20/2008 10:14:13 AM , Rating: 2
Windows 7 will be out in June/July 2009.

RE: Half a solution
By 306maxi on 11/20/2008 10:36:44 AM , Rating: 2
I thought it was meant to be out later in the year or is June/July just the RTM date?

Either way I'm just happy as long as it's a solid release and most importantly marketed well so as not to attract the same amount of criticism as Vista did a lot of which it didn't deserve.

RE: Half a solution
By psonice on 11/20/2008 10:47:55 AM , Rating: 3
Vista deserved every last drop of criticism when it was released, what with the huge system requirements, big ugly bugs, serious lack of decent driver support, and the rest. I had to evaluate it for our company network, it got a big fat rejection.

You can certainly say it doesn't deserve all of the criticism now though, as the worst of the bugs are fixed and the drivers are pretty stable. The hardware has mostly caught up with the OS too. The damage has been done though, and vista has a really bad reputation. People would start respecting it more over time, but it's better for microsoft to get win7 out fast (but not so fast that it's full of bugs please!)

RE: Half a solution
By 306maxi on 11/20/2008 10:54:03 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry but I don't agree.

Huge system requirements - An E6600 (or equivalent) and 2gb of RAM have been cheap enough for most people since launch.
Bugs - OK I'll give you that one. The file transfer performance bug still isn't totally sorted either.....
Driver support - Wasn't as bad as people say and was mainly creative and Nvidia's fault.

You're right though, the damage has been done and Windows 7 needs to be solidly marketed to make a proper impact.

RE: Half a solution
By psonice on 11/20/2008 11:27:23 AM , Rating: 2
For the average reader of a site like this, the requirements weren't bad. But for the average man on the street with a year old budget PC, you're looking at 1gb of ram, perhaps a pentium4, and an intel onboard GPU. "Vista capable", but you wouldn't want to actually use it for long. For business, the situation is the same or worse.

For the drivers: it was hit and miss, which was the whole problem. For me, some PCs ran fine, others were crashy, and in one case we had a couple of brand new systems that wouldn't even install vista. They were vista certified boards from a decent brand, with nothing extra plugged in, and the installer failed because of the graphics drivers (it was intel 950 to blame, hardly a rare GPU!) We had to buy separate video cards just to install it, then remove the cards when later drivers were installed.. crazy.

RE: Half a solution
By 3DoubleD on 11/20/2008 5:00:56 PM , Rating: 2
Vista runs perfectly fine on a P4 system. The HTPC system my dad put together years ago is based on a 3.x GHz Dual Core P4 that he uses for HD free to air captures and blu-ray playback. With 2 GB of memory, Vista runs perfectly fine. My dad through in 2 GB more because it was cheaper than dirt and wanted to see if Vista superfetch would make it go even faster, but the difference was very small for the common tasks (ripping, recording, viewing, ect). Anyway, if a 3 year old P4 based system can easily run Vista there was no excuse for poor Vista performance unless you were a) stupid, b)a bum on the street (in which case you had no computer so your Vista performance could not be improved).

On a side note, I never understand when people make a big fuss about using uber low power CPUs for HTPCs, it is totally unnecessary. The Silverstone case contains 6 hard drives, blu-ray player, 8600GT, and the aforementioned P4 with stock heatsink. Whisper silent and no heat issues, even though the shelf it is on is half recessed into the wall with some other AV equipment. I can't think of a more extreme example of a power hog CPU in a cramped environment. You would have to make a huge effort to make a system loud enough to bother you during HTPC usage.

Sorry for the random rant... it was somewhat related.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay
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