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Touchscreen laptop/PC, the future?
Old 01-31-2013, 05:38 PM   #1
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Touchscreen laptop/PC, the future?

We have a Windows Vista desktop PC, an iPad and DWs ancient Dell WinXP laptop. So with replacing the laptop in mind, I spent some time this afternoon playing with a Surface, and Windows 8 laptops with and without touchscreens. I came away thinking laptops with touchscreens will take over, as some industry critics have stated in the past few months. Having a keyboard, a mouse/trackpad and touchscreen is completely intuitive and ideal, at least if you've gotten used to an iPad or any touchscreen smartphone. We'll see, but it made perfect sense when to use which (keyboard, trackpad or direct screen) to me...

http://www.theverge.com/2012/11/30/3...indows-8-apple

Touch-screen notebooks: My 2-year-old makes the case for Microsoft’s Windows 8 - GeekWire

Acer: Touch-screen laptops will be everywhere soon | Microsoft - CNET News
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:45 PM   #2
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Back in the '70s touchscreens were dismissed in favor of mice in part because touchscreens are tiring to use on a large display - all that reaching. Smaller displays, like those on tablets, are a better match.
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Old 01-31-2013, 06:04 PM   #3
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Back in the '70s touchscreens were dismissed in favor of mice in part because touchscreens are tiring to use on a large display - all that reaching. Smaller displays, like those on tablets, are a better match.
"Gorilla arm" is addressed in the links above...
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:06 PM   #4
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My phone has both a touch screen and a physical keyboard. Personally, I think that is a good combination and hope this trend continues.
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:54 PM   #5
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I just bought this last week:

Asus S200E-RHI3T73 11.6" Multitouch Touch Screen Laptop | Staples®

I love it! I paid $400 after the $100 Staples coupon.

Before this, I have been using Windows XP and I have a very short exposure to a touch screen device (a short bout setting up DW's Kindle Fire HD). I hate typing on the Kindle's keyboard. So this is a big change for me. Easy to learn though.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:06 PM   #6
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So with replacing the laptop in mind, I spent some time this afternoon playing with a Surface, and Windows 8 laptops with and without touchscreens. I came away thinking laptops with touchscreens will take over, as some industry critics have stated in the past few months.
Were there any applications or use cases that seemed particularly compelling for you? I skimmed through the first article and it didn't seem like there were any use cases that I could see myself leveraging. In fact, some of the ones they present like the pinch and zoom only seemed relevant because trackpads are not very good on most laptops (pinch and zoom works very well on a mac laptop and I love the gestures on my magic mouse).
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:20 AM   #7
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Back in the '70s touchscreens were dismissed in favor of mice in part because touchscreens are tiring to use on a large display - all that reaching. Smaller displays, like those on tablets, are a better match.
Back in the 70s??
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
"Gorilla arm" is addressed in the links above...
Quote:
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Back in the 70s??
gorilla arm
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:27 AM   #9
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Were there any applications or use cases that seemed particularly compelling for you? I skimmed through the first article and it didn't seem like there were any use cases that I could see myself leveraging. In fact, some of the ones they present like the pinch and zoom only seemed relevant because trackpads are not very good on most laptops (pinch and zoom works very well on a mac laptop and I love the gestures on my magic mouse).
The first link (which I had not read beforehand) described my experience pretty well. I am sure I fell into intuitively knowing when to use keyboard, when trackpad, and when touchscreen because I've used PC keys/mice for decades and an iPad now for 1˝ years. I think a lot of people have gotten used to (multi) touchscreens now through smartphones and/or tablets - otherwise this would be a much harder transition for users.

I played with photos, IE, Bing, Word, Excel and some sort of news app (didn't catch what it was), among others. I also toggled between the Win8 live tiles and the old style Win desktop (I am sure the latter is to avoid spooking long time Win users since the Win8 live tiles is a considerable different UI for MS).

Again, I am not saying touchscreen is best for all functions - it's definitely NOT. It just seemed to be a natural complement and improvement for some uses to the old keyboard & mouse/trackpad. Like the linked authors noted, when I try out a new unfamiliar PC/laptop these days, I usually find myself touching the screen early on to see if it's touch enabled.

We'll see, just my opinion based on about 45 minutes experience with several devices (all Win8), and the links provided seemed to be along the same lines. If we buy a replacement laptop, it will almost certainly be touchscreen enabled now. And DW despises Apple PCs (after being forced to use one when she went back to school 10 years ago or so), so it would almost certainly be Win 8. YMMV

We'll see if Apple integrates touch in their laptops, I am betting they will in time. I know Jobs & Cook have said 'NO' - just as Jobs said there would never be a smaller iPad (2010) or a larger different format (16:9) iPhone than the original 3.5".
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:12 AM   #10
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For composing, I want a keyboard. For navigating and drawing, I want a touch screen. There's not much I like about mice or touchpads... they're perhaps okay for very precise pointing operations for which my finger is too blunt an instrument.
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Old 02-01-2013, 10:43 AM   #11
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When I was w*rking we had a bunch of Toshibas with swivel screens that turned them into tablets. They were used for machine control. There was minimal data entry for this application and touch screens would be ideal for this. From an ergonomic point of view you don't want to be reaching a lot in a desktop environment.
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:12 AM   #12
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Back in the 70s??
Yup, touchscreens were around in the '70s, at least that's when I started w*rking with them. Screens that accept input via light pen existed ever earlier, the 1950s I believe.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:23 PM   #13
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One area I could see using a "touch" screen would be something like the wacom cintiq for photo retouching:

Wacom Cintiq 22" Pen Display DTK2200 B&H Photo Video

But it's very expensive and I would guess that it has pencil tip resolution (not sure if it uses a different technology than the touch displays in ipads/laptops but I imagine so).
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:36 PM   #14
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Back in the '70s touchscreens were dismissed in favor of mice in part because touchscreens are tiring to use on a large display - all that reaching. Smaller displays, like those on tablets, are a better match.
+1

Although I find my needs best met by smartphone & laptop. YMMV
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It Depends
Old 02-02-2013, 08:56 AM   #15
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It Depends

Before smartphones and tablets came along, desktops and/or laptops were about the only PRACTICAL choices we had. What has happened in the last few years, is that smartphones and tablets can do many if not most of the things we used to need PCs for.

I think it depends on whether you still need a PC because you have a software based need. For example, I'm an amateur photographer/videographer. While you can get smartphone or tablet apps that can do some editing, they can't do what I need; the screens are too small, not enough memory and they don't have the graphics processing capability.

OTOH, my iPad and iPhone allow me to do lots of other things I never used to use my iMac for - such as GPS, messaging and facetime.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:59 AM   #16
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:05 AM   #17
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I agree with this. There are tasks I prefer to do on my PC. And there are other tasks I prefer to complete on my iPad or iPhone. Both approaches complete each other.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bUU
For composing, I want a keyboard. For navigating and drawing, I want a touch screen. There's not much I like about mice or touchpads... they're perhaps okay for very precise pointing operations for which my finger is too blunt an instrument.
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:01 PM   #18
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I just got a Windows 8 Dell 'ultrabook', which is a convertible laptop/tablet. It's the Dell XPS12 that has the screen that 'spins' and flips to become a tablet. Like others, I didn't want to give up the functionality of a 'real' laptop with full keyboard, especially for w*rk-related stuff but also just to do more complex things like managing spreadsheets, doing complex functions in documents, etc. But I also was craving a tablet to just do casual browsing, play games, read books, and use all the fun apps available and that I currently just do on my smart phone (which I'll presumably have more time to do as I ease my way into ER/ESR).
So far I really love the combination for my purposes. I can have virtually all my cake and eat it too, and only have to carry the one device instead of two (of course, I also still have my smartphone, too). I have read that some people complain that the combo-ultrabook is too heavy for a tablet, but I mainly use mine while sitting down, and have it in my lap, so it hasn't been a problem. And then if I come upon something I need to do with the (real) keyboard, I can just switch it out without missing a beat. I'm willing to sacrifice the weight just to have an 'all-in-one' (and honestly, I don't know how much 'weight' I'd be saving if I had to lug around two separate devices).
As for Windows 8 and the "Metro" interface (which is where you do most of the 'tablet' stuff), it is quite different and I'm still learning it --- but honestly it's not that complicated and a few hours of messing around and you can do what you need to do. And as mentioned above, there is also still the 'regular' Windows desktop for all the more traditional things I need to do for w*ork, managing personal finances, etc.
All in all, I'm really happy with the choice -- we'll see whether I still feel that way after the honeymoon phase, but hope so! :-)
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Old 02-02-2013, 05:58 PM   #19
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I recently wanted to replace my notebook and really wanted a touchscreen but they didn't have the power that I wanted in any touchscreen. So I still have to manage to make do with a desktop, notebook, iPad and Android Phone (yes I use all of them)
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:17 PM   #20
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SMurray, you have just the device I've been looking at. Thanks for writing your impressions so far. Please share more when you get the chance. Things I'm interested in is trying to work on spreadsheets while sitting in my easy chair. Yes, no? I've always done that sort of work at a desk and find it hard to move away from that model...but if it really can be done this ultrabook / tablet sounds great.
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