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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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  • Re:Well... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 27, 2010 @02:44PM (#34358982)

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

    I see it as an awesome reader - showing two pages at once, for one thing.

    Or reading text on one side with diagrams on the other.

    And if they can sell it for $500, it'll sell like hotcakes.

  • by BigDXLT ( 1218924 ) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @03:11PM (#34359144)

    Yup. Smartphone and Ipad users are being trained to type on touch screens so this will naturally be aimed at them. Can't stand typing anything on touchscreens myself, I needs me some tactile feedback, but there's another generation of kids who never watched Star Trek TNG that are going to be able to actually use smooth glass panels for input.

    I almost envy them.


  • by camperdave ( 969942 ) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @03:24PM (#34359204) Journal
    What is the problem with hooking up a bluetooth keyboard/mouse to a tablet, or using a docking station. Use the on-screen keyboard for your coffee shop/public transit scenarios, and a docking station at home/work.
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @05:07PM (#34359916)

    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.

    It does not change "all the time" The keyboard for typing would remain fixed.

    The thing is that touch typing does NOT involve feeling keys. You would be seriously slowed if that were the case, with any keyboard. Pay attention to how you type next time - are you really feeling for keys or are your fingers hitting the exact location of the key you are trying to type? Touch typing is way more about muscle memory than about feel. I can already touch type on an iPad screen pretty rapidly, because the key area is so large. It just needs to be stable so the screen is not moving out from under you.

    What may bother some people more is the lack of give in the keys, but that doesn't bother me at all. You just learn to strike the surface more softly than you would otherwise. And it's not like you don't get feedback from watching the material you are typing.

  • by caseih ( 160668 ) on Saturday November 27, 2010 @05:33PM (#34360124)

    I disagree about not needing to feel the keys. Why is it called "touch typing" if touch is not involved?

    As I type this now, I am positioning my fingers by muscle memory, yes, but the nice indent on the tops of the keys help my fingers find the center of the keys. Without them I might hit between keys. Also my forefingers sit on the keyboard and feel the little nubs that mark the home keys. This way I know I'm starting from the right position. All the while I'm not needing to look at the keyboard, but the feel definitely improves the accuracy and speed. I'd say that touch typists do need feel and some sort of feedback. That's why they call it "touch typing" after all. Both of these things are why touch typists in the past loved the IBM keyboard. It had a great and accurate feel, and excellent feedback (the click).

    All this is is part of why I despise the chicklet keyboard. I lose all sorts of accuracy because it's much harder to quickly know if you're on the center of each key or not. The only benefit the chicklet keyboard has is the reduced amount of key travel. As far as reduced-travel keyboards go, Lenovo's laptop keyboards are by far the best.

    I'm not quite a touch typist, but I can type pretty fast, and I have tried the iPad (lying flat on a desk of course), and I can type okay with it, but it's not great. Also it cannot tell the difference between resting my finger on a key and "pressing" a key. Makes typing very tiring. Back in the day they would teach typists to hold their wrists up, but even then the fingers could rest on the keys. Holding both hands off the surface except to "type" would seem to be exhausting.

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