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Portables Hardware Technology

Early Look At Acer's Iconia Dual Touchscreen Device 68

iONiUM sends in news of an early glimpse at Acer's upcoming Iconia laptop, on which they've replaced the keyboard area with a second 14" display that accepts multi-touch input. "The upright display acts as the primary display, while the display that remains parallel with the surface generally serves as a navigation panel, alternatively displaying a roomy on-screen keyboard, a touch-wheel and other on-screen touch controls, or even an extension of what's displayed on the primary display. The latter option effectively provides a dual-monitor mobile device for presentations or studying complex spreadsheets across both monitors, or viewing one document in one monitor, and another on the second monitor. The two monitors make the Iconia a hefty device — at 6.1 pounds it's unlikely to be the device you throw in your bag for your commute." Engadget has some pictures and a video of the device.
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Early Look At Acer's Iconia Dual Touchscreen Device

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  • Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tobenisstinky ( 853306 ) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @02:39PM (#34358956)

    Great, like the iPad but with the awkwardness of a laptop.

  • Re:Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by grahamlord86 ( 1603545 ) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @03:29PM (#34359230)

    I'm not so sure... The problem with Tablets and touchscreen phones is that while you have the freedom of having a custom input (virtual keyboard, handwriting recognition, virtual gamepad...), the input interface and your hands get in the way of what's on the screen.

    Most smart phones loose the best part of half the display as soon as the virtual keyboard is visible.

    The twin-touchscreens allow you to have the freedom of custom input that can change to be anything you want, but even if you cover the lower screen with a full size keyboard (which might be the first virtual keyboard not to suck), you still have a completely clear upper screen to look at.

  • Re:Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by arivanov ( 12034 ) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @04:31PM (#34359666) Homepage

    The problem with them is also that most advanced typist type purely by touch. I never look at the keyboard when typing and having something that changes under my fingers or requires looking all the time is definitely not welcome.

    There is another even more entertaining aspect - security. If the API to change the layouts is not locked down enough you can do all kinds of funky stuff compared to which XSS is a child's play.

  • by aclarke ( 307017 ) <.ac.ekralc. .ta. .maps.> on Saturday November 27, 2010 @04:42PM (#34359756) Homepage
    On a touchscreen like this that can be used for a keyboard, I wonder if they considered putting bumps on the glass panel where the F and J key go. It seems to me that that might help touch typing quite a bit on a touch keyboard, while not being terribly annoying when used for other purposes.
  • Re:Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dfghjk ( 711126 ) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @05:29PM (#34360086)

    By sarcastically repeating the inane criticism offered in the article? How is 6.1 pounds heavy? It's lighter than a Macbook Pro 17 despite considerably more screen. It's only 1/2 pound heavier than a MBP 15 despite nearly double the screen space. 6 pounds has never been heavy for a notebook.

  • Re:Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara.hudson@[ ... m ['bar' in gap]> on Saturday November 27, 2010 @05:36PM (#34360144) Journal
    Besides, pretty much everywhere you go, there's going to be a spare, decent-sized LCD hanging around if you need a second screen. It's not like they're $999.00 apiece any more.

    So the "read your spreadsheet across 2 screens" scenario is pretty much DOA - you can wander into most offices and just plug a lighter laptop into a spare screen (and as more office workers switch to laptops, more are already using their old screen as a second screen, so again, just the natural hardware refresh is killing the market for this in offices).

    At home? In bed? 6.1 pounds? That would be like lugging a copy of the Oxford Dictionary to bed to read. At 6.1 pounds, it adds new meaning to the term "heavy reading".

    Take a lighter laptop and rotate the screen 90 degrees, then use your laptops' remote to navigate. Problem solved for free!

To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus