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Displays Input Devices Portables

Acer Dual-Screen, Multitouch Laptop Leaks Out 77

Posted by timothy
from the mind-the-smudges dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A 15" laptop from Acer that is currently in production features dual-multitouch displays, one for the main display and one as the keyboard/mouse. It has a 2.67GHz Intel Core i5 processor and runs Windows 7. No release date or pricing information yet as this unit is still heavily in production/testing phases." Replacing a keyboard with a touchscreen sounds like a mixed blessing to me, but not everyone agrees. Witness the (great big) Kno dual-touchscreen e-reader, and the Toshiba Libretto W100 dual-screen mini-laptop, now shipping in Japan.
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Acer Dual-Screen, Multitouch Laptop Leaks Out

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  • by ChipMonk (711367) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @11:58AM (#33553102) Journal
    It's a tried-and-true way to generate buzz, and it's been around a lot longer than Twitter and Facebook.
    • by Idbar (1034346) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @12:03PM (#33553138)
      That works for Apple. Why not let other companies generate buzz?
    • by EnsilZah (575600)

      I'm not really sure what you're suggesting to take that grain of salt with, as long as this has the same specs as the final product what difference does it make if the leak was intentional or not?

      • by ChipMonk (711367)
        Not the contents of the leak, but simply calling it a "leak". Releasing this information is probably deliberate, not inadvertent.
    • by andrikos (1114853)

      Salty water leak?

    • It's a tried-and-true way to generate buzz, and it's been around a lot longer than Twitter and Facebook.

      So has this idea of using two facing screens on a notebook computer. When I first read about the Xerox PARC Dynabook (the original GUI) project in BYTE in 1984, being a kid, I took the idea literally - wouldn't it be cool to have a computer like a book?

      Notebook computers were far in the future at that point, so my design was modeled on regular books - two facing screens. I considered plasma screens - col

  • Trackpad? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Isn't a virtual trackpad kinda redundant?

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday September 12, 2010 @12:13PM (#33553208) Homepage Journal

    If you could make it open flat and seamless then I could see having a big one, otherwise the libretto seems more useful.

  • by hex0D (1890162) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @12:14PM (#33553228)
    Didn't we all learn the importance of tactile response in a keyboard around the time of the Timex Sinclair?
    • by Idbar (1034346) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @12:17PM (#33553238)
      Perhaps some people don't care about tactile response (besides I know some people that look at the keyboard every time). I'd be more interested how does the battery plays a role when this type of keyboard is idle.
      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by gmuslera (3436)

        People care first about "oh, shiny!" before actually testing it. And then convince themselves that they didnt make an horrible mistake, that they really prefered it to be that way, or change their using habits to its limitations.

        Is not that bad. It could turn web 3.0 to social mostly for tech aware people, the others won't leave content (comments, blog posts, etc) as much because is uncomfortable with their devices, or move people from facebook to twitter because they have to type less to participate.

    • by Myopic (18616)

      I do without it on my Fingerworks keyboard. Yes tactile feedback is important, but sometimes other features can overcome it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Locutus (9039)
      but since then, schools completely dropped the ball on teaching 10 finger touch typing. Tactile response is only important when you're looking at fast, efficient, and correct typing and that is not what seems to be important any more. I had to shake my head when I read how Google's new live search was supposed to increase effectiveness because of how many milliseconds people take on the search line. They completely left out the fact that most people today have to look at the keyboard( virtual or real ) to t
    • This is one of the reasons I probably wouldn't buy such a computer. A removable, transparent silicone-rubber mat, with holes corresponding to the touch screen keys, while not perfect, might make a difference to a touch-typist like me, since you could at least find the keys by feel. But I've never seen or heard of such a thing, even for the iPad. Does anyone know if something like this exists?
    • by mcrbids (148650)

      Nontactile keyboards - making 100 wpm touch typists into 20 wpm hunt-n-peck typists since 1981!

      BTW: The Time Sinclair 1000 was my first computer! I learned BASIC on that sucker, and even programmed a working game of Monopoly into it! (It ran out of memory, only having 16k, so I took out all the user inputs. ("Do you want to... ?" questions took up much text) It was also non-graphical. You'd start by stating the # of players, their names, and then it would just.... go until it told you who won.

      Assumptions: a

  • Yummm battery (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 12, 2010 @12:16PM (#33553236)

    So let's take a keyboard that doesn't consume battery and replace it with a backlit LCD touchscreen that consumes battery and has no tactile feedback or home key detents. Ok, I'll buy a few of these.

  • Seriously, WTF? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Touchscreen keyboards are worthless for those who know how to type properly.

    Touch as a supplemental control method works, but as a primary or only input method for data it is strictly a marketing gimmick intended to maximize sales to the clueless masses.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Touchscreen keyboards are worthless for those who know how to type properly.

      Protip: that's not the target market.

      Touch as a supplemental control method works, but as a primary or only input method for data it is strictly a marketing gimmick intended to maximize sales to the clueless masses.

      Gee, why would a business want to "maximize sales to the clueless masses"?

      The world doesn't revolve around you. Not every product is being specifically created for your consumption. Nobody at Acer is going, "Fuck

      • by macshit (157376)

        Touchscreen keyboards are worthless for those who know how to type properly.

        Protip: that's not the target market.

        What is the target market though? I'd wager that people that don't really type much would be much happier with something like an ipad, with its "occasional" onscreen keyboard, and would hate the clunky almost useless lower portion of this thing. People that do type a lot, on the other hand, are not going to accept this abortion of a keyboard-replacement.

        This thing looks like the random output of a "what do we do to compete in the rapidly shifting laptop/netbook/pad marketplace?" brainstorming session. B

  • Too bad.. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Too bad it's an acer and will most likely fail within 2 seconds past the warranty...

  • Libretto (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Myopic (18616) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @12:27PM (#33553318)

    Does anyone have one of those Librettos? That's the first time I've seen it, and I can't quite tell if it's incredibly awesome, or puny and lame.

  • I don't look at the keyboard when I type, so what's the advantage to using this over that of just switching between virtual desktops? You would definitely save a lot of battery life without the second screen. I can only look at one screen at a time (unless you want to kludge stereoscopic vision in somehow). It would be nice to use the bottom part as a drawing tablet, but that would receive limited use by a niche audience. You could use the top screen as such anyhow, and if a normal laptop had a multi-to
    • There's no value, obviously. It's silly to put a screen where you never look.

      The purpose of replacing a keyboard with a screen isn't to create an inferior keyboard, but to eliminate keyboard-type actions altogether. It's an attempt to bring Start Trek The Next Generation style interfaces into the real world, a trick that only the iPhone has mastered.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        Unfortunately, it's foolish to fixate on a show where the primary purpose of the given interface was to save money on the props budget.

        If we could have done away with the keyboard, then it might have happened during the 20+ year reign of the mouse.

  • The kind of dual screen device I'd be tempted by would be like a regular netbook/laptop but on the bak of the normal scren there'd be an eInk display.

    Ovbiously, only one display at a time could be active.

    • by tomhudson (43916)

      The kind of dual screen device I'd be tempted by would be like a regular netbook/laptop but on the bak (sic) of the normal scren (sic) there'd be an eInk display.
      Ovbiously (sic), only one display at a time could be active.

      Nah, this is the "new new" social web - you hold it vertically and leave the back active so you can share what you're doing with the whole world, instead of just the NSA.

      And you can stand in front of a mirror if you want "dual-screen" mode.

      You'll also get to play games like "Remove

      • Nah, this is the "new new" social web - you hold it vertically and leave the back active so you can share what you're doing with the whole world, instead of just the NSA.

        My worry was that the only thing more embarassing than sitting on the train reading about linux device drivers while showing midget pr0n to the rest of the passengers would be to have the screen the other way round.

        But I think you should be more tempted by a device that does "speel-chicking" (spell-checking for the rest of us :-)

        You should

  • at least try to improve on it! Touchscreen with pictures of keys != keyboard.

  • No hardware keyboard, a portion of the usable screen dedicated to the touch keyboard, not continuous display (if you want to display something big, and eventually something enables the lower screen to display part of it), It gives that the surface where you actually type at different angle where you read, and well, you can fold it.

    Make me remember the mockups of the XO 2.0 (or 3.0?) that were around a year or 2 around, with 2 screens, but was mostly a continuous display, and were meant for children. The l

    • For this thing to become more than a complementary device it needs some future technology.
      I've been thinking about an ideal device like this but then it would have to be made from thin flexible material to prevent breaking it in two and the size should be about two A4 pages. With high enough resolution it doesn't have to be a continous screen.
      Given the current state of technology such a device might just be available in another ten years or so.
  • I hope they're going to fix that before it goes into production.
    And what is leaking? Some kind of fluid?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The contents of a book is only words and pictures.

    If you choose paper to store your words and pictures, you can either do it in roll form or in a stack of pages form. You can bind those pages together if you wish, the result being the books we know today.

    A book uses both sides of a page because it would be moronic not to do so.

    An eBook reader uses dynamic display(s). Putting two screens on an eBook reader is as stupid as wanting to put 500 of them on a hinge to emulate real books. It's a dynamic display, yo

    • by DMoylan (65079)

      2 screens are necessary for some ebooks. i've been using ebooks regularly since i got a palm iiix. it's small display was great to carry a few books and read them when i got a chance. in 2010 however i have a large collection of ebooks and screens a5 like the 5-7" ebook readers deal with most of them nicely enough. even on my phones (iphone 3g or htc hero) simple text is easily read.

      except pdfs. i have a lot of rpg gaming manuals that are scans of the manuals in pdf format. some are readable on an a5

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      Putting two screens on an eBook reader is as stupid as wanting to put 500 of them on a hinge to emulate real books.

      You say stupid, I saw awesome.

  • Tell me when I proper company starts making these things and I'll take a look at them.

    Everything I ever brought from Acer broke. That includes 9 out of 10 TFT monitors I brought for work. It's just not worth dealing with them.

  • "No release date or pricing information yet as this unit is still heavily in production/testing phases"

    Nice that they're being given some free market research here isn't it ?

    For something that may not actually exist, possibly not quite as transparent as the MS Courier but until I can buy one I'm not in the slightest bit interested
  • Leaks out? (Score:3, Funny)

    by ascari (1400977) on Sunday September 12, 2010 @02:08PM (#33553864)
    Dual screen leaks out? Acer still uses Liquid Crystal Displays?
  • ...the hardware might be nice but the software is not up to the task. At least that's what they said on the review of the Toshiba Libretto. They said Windows 7 is built to be used with a mouse and using a touchscreen instead of it is not a very good idea.
  • There hasn't been a lot of change in laptop design in the past fifteen years. With the success of the iPad I think we're about to see some major changes to the laptop interface. So companies are building out their IP portfolio as both offensive and defensive weapons for any future litigation.

  • I remember long ago when there was a fabled and expensive keyboard discussed. I don't know if it ever got marketed, but it was to use small OLED displays on the face of every key. Among the problems with this keyboard is that it would be prohibitively expensive.

    But think of a multi-touch display doing the same thing? On top of that, if one wants a tactile feel, I am pretty certain that a physical device could be placed over the second touch screen to give that feel... what's more, one with lenses that he

  • Leaks out?!?

    Isn't this the same device that CNET recently did a video podcast about? I think so. I watched it yesterday, but it was a week or two old at least.

  • Not sure if it fits perfectly the definition of Irony, but I nevertheless find ironic the "tactile" marks on the f and j keys. Some graphical designer as either a miss placed sense of humor or a miss placed understanding of what he does. Don't know which is more likely.

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