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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: Yeah but Apple will still be first
By robinthakur on 11/20/2008 10:35:18 AM , Rating: 3
I agree with you that touch control on a laptop is pretty worthless on today's OS's, however credit where credit is due, and Apple has popularised multi-touch through integrating it with their iPhone version of OSX.

Integrating it with the main version as successfully through the glass track pad is not quite there yet but I am fairly confident that when they do, it will be generally done a bit better than this effort. What is the point of multi touch on a windows laptop until the OS supports it natively with 7? Apple at least has more control over the total package than MS do, and can therefore ensure that the experience is seamless.

In point of fact, the reason that Asus (who were the first) didn't trumpet it from the rooftops is that its not all that useful currently. Your bashing of Apple for the one button mouse and their successful approach to marketing marks you out as decidedly anti-Apple - or shouldn't they market their products to the best of their abilities? HP will probably market this as multi-touch "Just like the iPhone" because that's their best hope of sales.

I also agree that we mustn't invent any other methods of input until we invent mind control as they would eventually be outdated </sarcasm>

For me personally, the thought of fingerprints on my iPhone, let alone my monitor, makes me shudder...;)

By 306maxi on 11/20/2008 10:50:58 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not anti-Apple. I happily use my old U2 G4 iPod hooked up to the head unit in my car and it works well and I have no complaints really.

My complaints about Apple are mainly that their marketing is sometimes misleading and at times can be unjustifiably negative towards the competition. The I'm a Mac ads are a great example of this. I've played around with an iPhone and it's just not as good as a phone as my N95. I don't even need to look at my phone to send a text but you can't do this with an iPhone due to the lack of tactile feedback. Sure it's got a nice screen but the first one didn't even have 3g which is pretty much standard on all smartphones from the last few years.

You make a good point about Apple having control over the whole platform. This is true and it's one of the issues Microsoft will always face as manufacturers will happily put substandard parts in their devices which compromise the user experience which will be especially important with regards to multi touch devices.

Mind control has already been done. There have been a few articles on dailytech showing devices which interface with your PC and allow you to have a degree of control. It's something that's going to happen and has already been invented.

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke
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