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Touchscreen Netbooks To Shine At CES 2009

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the touchscreen-sans-tablet-seems-a-waste dept.

Input Devices 109

i4u writes "The new generation of netbooks debuting at CES 2009 will add touch and have twistable screens to use them in tablet or notebook style. Intel is set to introduce a new Classmate netbook with a twistable screen and touchscreen at the CES 2009. Back in October Asus said it was planning to introduce touchscreen Asus Eee netbooks in early 2009. Asus is exhibiting at the CES Unveiled pre-show that takes place on January 6th. Expect the Asus Eee Touch to be unveiled then. Gigabyte has outrun all of them with the Intel Atom-powered M912V that has been on the market for a while. Adding a touchscreen is rather easy. More difficult is to offer a touch-optimized UI. Let's see what the netbook vendors are going to invest on the software side."

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Netbook business (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26244751)

The air in my house was hot and humid when I came home from work. A distinctive scent of onion musk was in the air and I figured that my wife had just cooked me a Mexican meal.

How sweet of her!

But, suddenly, I heard strange noises coming from down the hallway, from my bedroom. I heard the faint sound of female sighs and moans mixed in with a vibrant, low groaning much like that of a large dog or perhaps an ape.

I walked down the hall and noticed that the farther I went, the stickier and stinkier the air became. The noises became louder and I was able to hear that it was my wife who was doing the moaning.

A nervous sick feeling tightened my stomach into a huge knot as my brain was unable to comprehend what my senses were telling me.

I entered into a trancelike state, stoically finishing the eternal journey down the lonely, hot hall before twisting open the doorknob and when I opened the door I saw...no, God, no...my beloved, pure-as-snow wife was FUCKING A GODDAMN

[if your wife is fucking a large Great Dane, turn to page 254]

[if your wife is fucking a large nigger, turn to page 262]

Re:Netbook business (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26244855)

Great dane.

Re:Netbook business (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245657)

[if your wife is fucking a large nigger, turn to page 262]

Come January, all of America will be fucked by a nigger.

--
Captcha: leaking, just like the nigger cum will be leaking out of our collective asses.

gb2/b/ (-1, Offtopic)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26246487)

I have heard, Obama is busy choosing the White House cat, you will all look like total losers if it won't be Tacgnol.

Apple missed the boat (1)

Gruff1002 (717818) | more than 5 years ago | (#26244803)

I can't believe Apple didn't see this coming or did they? If only wireless internet access would have been around back in the time of the Newton.

Re:Apple missed the boat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26244849)

Macbooks are pretty. That's the problem right there. I have a colleague, that actually wipes his display each morning with a clean cloth. Imagine if that thing would have a touch screen!

Re:Apple missed the boat (2, Funny)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245095)

Macbooks are pretty. That's the problem right there. I have a colleague, that actually wipes his display each morning with a clean cloth. Imagine if that thing would have a touch screen!

He might want to do the ritual BEFORE turning on his mac?

Re:Apple missed the boat (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245143)

Just because Apple missed the boat doesn't mean OS X fans are left out in the cold. Just gotta be willing to get your hands dirty [electricvagabond.com] and deal with non-Apple-approved hardware.

Forget Apple...Lenovo missed it bigtime (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245765)

They had a chance at having a netbook so good that nobody would come even close - if only it had X-series-like formfactor (clit!) with option for sensibly shaped, beefy battery. Hell, I'd pay two times the typical asking price for netbook.

Instead...we have just another, uninspiring, ordinary netbook from them - the S10.

And I'm starting to see people working on netbooks with mouse attached (and carried all the time) just so they can be useable; it was a bit funny when most people with 15" laptops carried a mouse with them all the time, now it's simply sad and pathetic. Lenovo could be so much better here...

Oh well, I guess we can only thank marketroids at Lenovo for spoiling what could be the best truly portable laptop available... ;/ (it's hard to count regular X-series...they're totally overkill hardware spec-wise (so also price-wise) and underperforming battery-wise in comparison with potential of Atom platform...but hey, higher price margins! Higher short term profits!)

Re:Forget Apple...Lenovo missed it bigtime (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245997)

They had a chance at having a netbook so good that nobody would come even close - if only it had X-series-like formfactor (clit!) with option for sensibly shaped, beefy battery. Hell, I'd pay two times the typical asking price for netbook.

What, did they discontinue the X-series Tablet [lenovo.com] or something?

Granted, it's bigger and more expensive than what you (or I) would like, but it's still been the best small convertible tablet for the past several years now.

Re:Forget Apple...Lenovo missed it bigtime (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 5 years ago | (#26246601)

X-series had its place in a world without netbooks.

But now...it's extremelly hard to justify spending the asking price (especially since in my part of the woods it costs not 3x netbook price, but 4x; and that's X-61, X-200 isn't even available yet), when the only real distinguishing feature for me is Trackpoint and a bit better (in comparison to some great netbooks) keyboard (I don't even want a tablet)

Especially since it seems to be deliberate move not to cannibalise "proper" X-series sales.

Oh well...I guess I have no choice but to find some used X-4x...

Touchscreens (4, Insightful)

bradgoodman (964302) | more than 5 years ago | (#26244827)

Touchscreens - here's a technology that's been lingering for what, 20? 30 years?

Just because we can build them, does not mean we should. They never have been in mainstream use, and never will be.

The proof is in the actual usage.

The reasoning is simple. Touchscreen technology may be cool for a second, but having to raise your hands for an extended period of time (touchscreen) is exhastive and prohibitive, vs. lying them flat (keyboard, mouse) is easy to do for prolonged periods of time.

In conclusion, this may be just yet another round of "touchscreen fads".

btw - one possible good use would be multitouch with "surface" computing. But that would be more of a "tablet" or "surface" PC vs. a "laptop" - and that would be a bit more of a shift in overall UI (and hardware).

Re:Touchscreens (5, Insightful)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 5 years ago | (#26244873)

While I see what you mean, I partly disagree.

Touchscreens can be useful for certain tasks, such as... note taking during a lecture, or drawing something in a paint program. They're also handy on smaller handhelds where keyboards aren't feasible.

They're already super popular in cell phones. I don't see why they wouldn't be viable in a netbook, although I fully agree that there's basically no market for them on full size laptops.

Re:Touchscreens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26244909)

I have a Gateway CX2755 and love it. It is a larger version of what they are talking about here. The screen swivels around and it becomes a tablet. It is one of the few machines I have seen perfectly stable under vista and the handwriting recognition works impressively well. It is perfect for lying in bed and surfing or doing a little writing. I prefer to lay on my stomach, and with a conventional laptop, it strains the neck after a few minutes looking up at the screen. With a tablet, I lay on my stomach and look down. I can easily write on it (or use the speech recognition, which, when trained, also works really well under vista). Its one of the better investments I've made. My complaint about it would be that it is a bit bigger and heavier than I would like. A netbook with these advantages, but being smaller and lighter would be fantastic. They just need to work on the resolution of those damned monitors.

Re:Touchscreens (1)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245061)

although I fully agree that there's basically no market for them on full size laptops.

There are situations when it's more practical to tap the screen than fold up the keyboard - e.g. when reading documents in a cramped space of a plane or car. In fact most of the laptop use doesn't really require keyboard entry, just navigation - most of the time we are just consuming information, not producing it.

Re:Touchscreens (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26246677)

In fact most of the laptop use doesn't really require keyboard entry, just navigation - most of the time we are just consuming information, not producing it.

True, most PC users spend >= 75% of screen time outside of a text edit box. But that time spent producing is still significant; otherwise, what were you doing when you posted that comment?

Re:Touchscreens (2, Insightful)

TeraByte911 (1434819) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245345)

Touchscreens are popular in mobile phones because the way that mobile phones are used is conducive to touchscreens replacing more traditional forms of input.

For netbooks and laptops, however, the act of physically keeping your hand raised with a stylus in order to make effective use of the touchscreen would be a huge strain on your hand and arm.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome sufferers everywhere, rejoice.

Re:Touchscreens (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#26246045)

well, according to the articles and images, these touch netbooks have swivel/foldable displays [finalsense.com] like tablet PCs. so it'd be no different from the way you hold a pen/pencil when taking notes or drawing. and being netbook-sized, you'd be able to easily hold them in one hand like a book while holding the stylus in the other.

besides, unless you're gaming, doing graphic design, or performing some other task that requires constant pointing device input (like taking notes by hand), you wouldn't really need to keep the stylus against the screen that often. some kind of scroll wheel on the side of the netbook would probably suffice for reading web pages or ebooks.

personally, i think a netbook sized tablet PC would be great to have. the swiveling touchscreen makes it perfect for reading e-books. and for what other e-book readers cost, you'd also be getting full wi-fi, web browsing, and multimedia capabilities.

Re:Touchscreens (2, Insightful)

dargaud (518470) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247713)

I see touchscreens as useful only on netbooks, if you can turn the screen around and use it as a tablet. If you have to raise your hands every time, then the novelty will wear off fast (see 'gorilla arm [wikipedia.org] ' syndrom). I'd love something like that so I can read cbr comic books in bed. But keep your greasy fingers off my big main desktop monitor!

Re:Touchscreens (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | more than 5 years ago | (#26253793)

Please....
iPhone is NOT a cellphone. It is a PDA with convenient GSM(or whatever) module.
My primary concern with cellphones is that they make and receive calls, and do it good for a long standby/call time.

Touch done right. (2)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 5 years ago | (#26244881)

I think you are right that touch may not be the best input for all devices. But I can tell you that the iPhone is a great example of touch done right. I cannot imagine it without gestures ect. The Macbook Pro gestures are good too and highly useful. But I agree that the concept of dealing with touch on a 30 in monitor or een a netbook is hardly attractive. Touch has its place, and few companies seem to understand this.

Re:Touch done right. (4, Funny)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245131)

Yeah, I can't imagine an iPhone without a touchscreen either. Imagine trying to do everything with that one button it has!

Re:Touch done right. (3, Funny)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245371)

Yet, the diehards would convince themselves (and try to convince everyone else) that all they ever really needed was one button, anyways.

There is precedent...

Re:Touch done right. (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245973)

Worked well for the iPod... The 3g iPod (2003) was easily the worst iPod Apple ever made becouse it had 4 buttons and really only needed one. Granted the 1G and 2G also had multiple but they were located on the wheel which, while a pain was far better). Oddly enough once Apple went one button the iPod took off. Lets not forget that the iPhone really has quite a few physical inputs- the hold switch, the volume control and the various sensors (not sure if they count). I'm curious what key botton you think is missing? In almost 2 years I have yet to find an answer. Long before the iPod was around I had a Nomad- the overcomplicated interface was why they didn't storm the world. Even for the tech savvy simplicity is good when the difference is 5 seconds to find a song vs. 15. It adds up.

Re:Touch done right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26246189)

I'm curious what key botton you think is missing? In almost 2 years I have yet to find an answer.

A-Z, 0-9, Space, Enter, Shift, Ctrl, Backspace, Delete, Tab, Escape...

Re:Touch done right. (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 5 years ago | (#26252649)

Its not meant as a replacement computer, I personally find it slighly slower than say a Blackberry, but that is a more than worthwhile trade off when you consider how much screen real estate is gained. Frankly my typing speed is at most 10-15% slower, and again I don't write books with the thing.

Re:Touch done right. (1)

rxan (1424721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247071)

The 3G iPod was actually one of the favourites for me. One thing that bothered me about all of the models before and after it (touch included) is that the buttons are difficult to feel through a pocket. I hated using the remote control, so the third generation's seperate buttons actually let me change songs without taking it out of my pocket.

Re:Touch done right. (1)

mspohr (589790) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249945)

Actually, the iPod requires two hands to operate. One to hold it and another to touch the screen. This makes it more difficult to use than my Blackberry where I can operate it with one hand (same hand that holds it operates the thumbwheel). Significantly better especially on the bus, train, driving (I don't do that), etc.

Re:Touch done right. (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | more than 5 years ago | (#26252663)

I was referring to the classic iPods like the 1-5G ones, or the Nano.

Re:Touch done right. (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#26246021)

Yet, the diehards would convince themselves (and try to convince everyone else) that all they ever really needed was one button, anyways.

It's easy! You just input commands in Morse code!

Morse for teh win! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26249569)

One button is more than enough, given you are a telegraph expert.

Re:Touchscreens (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 5 years ago | (#26244907)

You are not supposed to raise your hands, you're supposed to twist and lay down the screen.
That still does not mean much, on a 8.9" touch screen there's only so much real estate for icons etc. The rest will depend on smart gestures.

Re:Touchscreens (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245205)

You are not supposed to raise your hands, you're supposed to twist and lay down the screen.

Ah, good. Instead of having aching arms, we can have stabbing neck pains from constantly bending down to look at a screen that's flush with the table. Much better.

Re:Touchscreens (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245907)

or you could just hold the screen in your hand the same way you hold a book when reading at a desk. unless you're holding the netbook up to your chest, it shouldn't be that uncomfortable of a posture.

and actually, the proper viewing angle for close work is downward at a 40 degree angle [novadesks.com] , allowing your eyes to focus better on objects near you.

Re:Touchscreens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26246159)

Lazy bastard, have you ever read a paper book?

How is that different ?

Re:Touchscreens (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26246641)

Lazy bastard, have you ever read a paper book?

How is that different ?

It's different in that reading a paper book doesn't require me to have an arm constantly lifted to manipulate its screen.

Re:Touchscreens (1)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247379)

It's different in that reading a paper book doesn't require me to have an arm constantly lifted to manipulate its screen.

Constantly? Do you scroll one line at a time?

These things are tablet-PCs with twist displays and a keyboard. You can use them like a laptop when you need to do a lot of input, or like a tablet when you're just reading. The touch screen is useful in tablet mode, when you would operate it very much like a paper book. Occasionally touching the screen to page down is not going to give you gorilla arm any more than occasionally turning a page would.

Re:Touchscreens (2, Informative)

omar.sahal (687649) | more than 5 years ago | (#26244941)

The proof is in the actual usage.

The above is true, you use your hands all the time to write play instruments etc. If these things are designed correctly then I don't see a problem, they have

twistable screens to use them in tablet.. style

Re:Touchscreens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26244943)

I agree. A few devices, though, have sparked a lot of intelligent new interface options.

Take, for instance, the HP TC1000/1100. On the side of the slate, there was a jog dial. It made using the slate almost effortless. You could scroll down web pages, change pages in your CBR comic book reader, etc. It wasn't fancy capacitive touchscreen technology, it was simply a $1.00 switch added to the device.

Slate designers need to actually think about ergonomics, not try to push space age technology on us "Just because".

Re:Touchscreens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245355)

The reasoning is simple. Touchscreen technology may be cool for a second, but having to raise your hands for an extended period of time (touchscreen) is exhastive and prohibitive, vs. lying them flat (keyboard, mouse) is easy to do for prolonged periods of time.

So close... and yet so far.

lying them flat

Just take your thin LCD display and lay it flat on your desk. Problem solved. All you need now are reliable touchscreen technology and an OS that makes good use of it.

Re:Touchscreens (2, Interesting)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245459)

You are thinking in traditional desktops, a vertical screen, a keyboard, and space. But think in them as tablets, with keyboards that can be unfolded, and you'll get a larger version of the G1, or a touchscreen Kindle, or things like that.

I dont think this models will have multitouch, but would have been a nice addition too.

Re:Touchscreens (1)

rxan (1424721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245495)

I agree and have the same gripes about touch screen technology. However there are some cases, as others have mentioned, when it is better to use a touch screen.

It is very cumbersome to use the trackpad on a notebook when it's on your lap in a confined place (ie: on a subway). The trackpad is simply too close to you. There are many times when it would simply be easier to reach to the screen and resize a window or select a button with my finger. This is why I wish my laptop had a touchscreen -- not for primary use, but for some cases where it is handy.

Re:Touchscreens (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#26246031)

It is very cumbersome to use the trackpad on a notebook when it's on your lap in a confined place (ie: on a subway). The trackpad is simply too close to you.

The IBM/Lenovo clit mouse solves that problem too, since it's in the middle of the keyboard.

Re:Touchscreens (1)

rxan (1424721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247015)

LOL I've never heard it called the clit mouse. I always called it the nub mouse.

Very true though, I love the nub mouse, too. Older laptops (mid nineties) had the nub mouse and I thought it was great. Some had a teeny trackball in the middle of the keyboard. But not many manufacturers offer the nub whom I know of, aside from Lenovo.

Re:Touchscreens (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#26248085)

LOL I've never heard it called the clit mouse. I always called it the nub mouse.

http://xkcd.com/243/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Touchscreens (2, Interesting)

jacksonyee (590218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245839)

I have actually found tablets useful in a variety of circumstances involving minimally trained workers and intuitive GUIs. They are extensively used in kiosk and POS interfaces for restaurants, front desks, and other such fields. Long before the iPhone came out, my Nokia N800 also ran very well with the touchscreen. You do need specially designed interfaces which are thumb and finger friendly, but once you have those interfaces built, it actually is quite intuitive to touch the screen to do something rather than to drag the mouse pointer all the way over. I'm not saying that you're going to use touchscreens for programming or server maintenance, but they do have their niche.

The one thing that has kept me out of the tablet market is the price. Why pay $900 (the best non-eBay price for the Gigabyte one above) when you can purchase an eeePC 900 for $350 with better stats? I hope these netbooks drive the price for touchscreens down a bit. I'd love to have a couple of 4" to 7" ones to play around with for Star Trek-style intercoms in the house.

Re:Touchscreens (1)

Nicolay77 (258497) | more than 5 years ago | (#26246129)

Touchscreen technology may be cool for a second, but having to raise your hands for an extended period of time (touchscreen) is exhastive and prohibitive

I would have to raise my hands to write in this kind of netbooks as much as I have to raise my hands to write in a piece of paper in my desk.

Re:Touchscreens (1)

the_digitalmouse (936859) | more than 5 years ago | (#26246527)

They never have been in mainstream use, and never will be. The proof is in the actual usage.

umm.. no, the clunky technology is the proof. That has changed over the last few years dramatically.

... having to raise your hands for an extended period of time (touchscreen) is exhastive and prohibitive, vs. lying them flat (keyboard, mouse) is easy to do for prolonged periods of time...

hello? brainstem? the article refers to *notebooks* or tablet PCs- you know, those things that rest on your lap or on a desk where *gasp* your keyboard rests?

A well-designed multi-touch tablet PC/laptop will be far more ergonomic and intuitive than a mouse and keyboard.

I regularly use an HP tablet PC and an HTC P3300 touchscreen pocket PC/mobile phone - no exhaustion or prohibition to-date! :)

Paper - I/O in one device (1)

simplerThanPossible (1056682) | more than 5 years ago | (#26246621)

The separation of I/O into the two components of the screen and keyboard is an artificial one. Consider paper.

However, typing text does seem to be an improvement on writing (speed, machine readable).

Re:Touchscreens (1)

Paradigm_Complex (968558) | more than 5 years ago | (#26246841)

The problems you've listed in regards to touchscreens only really exist if it's replacing other input such as a mouse or keyboard, rather than being used in conjunction with it. I take all of my notes on my eeepc... except things which have to be sketched like graphs in my math classes, where I have to pull out paper and pencil and doodle something which I inevitably lose. If I could have a quick and easy option to sketch on my subnotebook, then return to typing, it would be much preferable.

Re:Touchscreens (1)

heteromonomer (698504) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247967)

How is the parent being modded +5 insightful? Please RTFA and click on the links. And if possible, read the early reviews Netbooks like Gigabyte M812V and M912V. Who is talking about touchscreen monitors? We are talking about Netbooks being used like Tablet PCs. I personally have been waiting for touchscreen tablet under $700.

Re:Touchscreens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26249709)

How did this managed to be marked as "insightful"?

If you have to raise your hands to use a touch screen, you're doing it wrong. Touch screens are here to make PCs like digital notebooks, which is a proven "technology" (how old is paper?). Vertical touchscreens obviously aren't going to make it

I welcome these touchscreens netbooks, and it's about time. What's the point in having an ultra portable computer if you still are going to use it on a table?

Re:Touchscreens (1)

rea1l1 (903073) | more than 5 years ago | (#26250539)

Playing chess with someone sitting at the table across from you would be amazing on a touchscreen. Never again would the pieces "accidentally" fly!

There are TONS of uses for touchscreen tech, the most obvious one to me is multiple-person single-machine input, which the current system severely lacks.

Benefits with purely touchscreen inputs:
1) you no longer have a need to remember hot-keys
2) you don't have to screw with a mouse
3) games developed for it (incl RPGs) will be designed for less user input which means they can be played longer!
4) system menus just get a whole lot more fun and intuitive (think grandparents; example: iPhone)
5) solid state everything!

The major problems people claim:
1) your arms will get tired. To me this means:

Our arms will get more exercise and will learn to adapt to the input method; we'll develop something along the lines of a smaller touchscreen the size of the keyboard, like the Nintendo DS has, WHICH WOULD BE FUCKING AMAZING.

Now we have two screens, one large one for viewing and one smaller one for input that can be used as a keyboard, second screen, or cloned screen for direct custom GUI.

This system gives huge hardware maintenance benefits:
- No more broken/easy-to-break keys
- Easier to repair, interchangeable laptop part technology forming
- Much more standardized user input through a completely fluid platform. While most laptops have the generally same key placement, there are often a few keys arranged differently.
- When I hit shift/caps lock the "keys" actually change labels so there is no secondary little number in the key corners (of course this is completely changeable in User Preferences).
- More resistant to spills! Less little tiny parts to get stuff stuck in. AND easier to clean keyboard.

2) Higher power consumption from the second screen.

We'll have to wait for better battery tech or just use what we have. :P Not a major problem.

3) The touchscreen will get dirty and need to be cleaned regularly.

This is simply what happens with our oily skin, but throwing the tech out is the stupidest way of moving forward. It's simply another problem to solve, and the problem is our fingertips, not the screen here. So what will we do? Little finger tip covers! DUH!

4)There is no way to determine where your hands are located without looking at the input screen

Make all the screens with a transparent, though obvious "feel grid", maybe three vertical lines and three horizontal lines on top of the input screen so you can get a general feel of where your hands lie.

5)I like to rest my fingers on the keyboard when not typing, wouldn't this cause me to type keys accidentally?

Use pressure input. This can be done through software. As your fingers push down, more and more of the finger touches the screen. When a certain amount of the finger touches the screen in that area then it will accept it as input.

And in the end you will still be able to sync with your wireless bluetooth true keyboard!

and .. (1)

miknix (1047580) | more than 5 years ago | (#26244867)

.. what about that?

how long? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26244895)

how long until some crusty bitch claims that this is proof that 2009 is the year of linux on the desktop? faggot nigger.

Maemo (5, Interesting)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 5 years ago | (#26244905)

You guys should keep an eye out for what Nokia has in the pipeline for Maemo.

The "Hildon" desktop is optimized for touch usage, is open source and will be shipped with Ubuntu MID.

http://www.clutter-project.org/ will play an interesting role as well.

Re:Maemo (1)

jacksonyee (590218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245871)

As a fellow N800 owner, I really hope that Nokia will take some tips from the OpenPandora project to make Maemo 5 worthwhile hardware wise. The next tablet is going to have a hard time selling between their high-end smartphones and the low-end netbooks.

OMAP 3530 is a great chip, but unless they have the battery life and open features of the Pandora in addition to a 3.2 megapixel camera with video capture, Nokia will not be earning my money. You can literally drop a x264 encoded, dvd quality video onto the Pandora, take it to a friend's house, and play it on their television along with whatever games that you have on the system with a USB controller. I fear that Maemo will take a backside in the near future to Nokia's Qtopia and other projects.

Pandora vs. Maemo (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26246765)

I've heard good things about the Pandora PDA. But to stem the irrational exuberance:

You can literally drop a x264 encoded, dvd quality video onto the Pandora, take it to a friend's house, and play it on their television

As I understand it, PSP can play H.264 [mac.com] , and the PSP-2000 can do so with SDTV/EDTV output. So can an Aiptek camcorder that takes SD cards. And they're a lot easier to come by than Pandora, for which you'd probably be waiting 6 months for a 4-day preorder window.

along with whatever games that you have on the system with a USB controller.

Who makes native games for Pandora? You can't run ordinary Windows or Linux games because there'd be too much overhead emulating x86 on the Pandora's ARM CPU. Or are you talking about somehow copying your 8- and 16-bit game cartridges, arcade PCBs, and old Lucasarts floppies onto an SD card to emulate them?

Re:Pandora vs. Maemo (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247543)

But what resolution H.264 can you play on a PSP? The link says resolutions like 480x160 - quite tiny.

The Pandora has a very powerful processor backed by a very powerful co-processor. I suspect 480p H.264 - perhaps even 720p - should be feasible. Those Arm Cortex processors are approaching netbook speeds.

But you're right about availability. The Pandora is constantly being pushed back. I wanted to buy one last year, and I still do - but I'll have to keep waiting. :P

Games? Anyone. There's a few professional devs, and a whole lot of hobbyists trying their hand at making stuff. Most games are pretty lackluster, but every once and a while there's a great one.

Within a year there'll probably be a few dozen good quality games, which should let you have a couple hundred hours of enjoyment. ;)

Re:Maemo (1)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247771)

I fear that Maemo will take a backside in the near future to Nokia's Qtopia and other projects.

As I understand it, Maemo should not be going anywhere - their "Qt on Linux" activity still happens under Maemo brand umbrella.

Who actually wants that? (2, Informative)

dvh.tosomja (1235032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26244917)

I want longer battery life, smaler dimensions (just thiner will be enough), and fixed ergo-electro-mechanical bugs.

Re:Who actually wants that? (1)

freedumb2000 (966222) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245985)

I want one, if prices right (around 300) it will make for a great media center pc.

Already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245045)

Already!

They'll invest squat (1)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245093)

Adding a touchscreen is rather easy. More difficult is to offer a touch optimized UI. Lets see what the netbook vendors are going to invest on the software side.

Unless by some miracle, Apple releases such a thing, I'd say they'll invest hardly anything at all. Or at least less than what their marking department gets to play with. It's pretty clear, even after the iPhone has been out for a while, that most companies don't understand or care about the GUI of their devices to the same standard as Apple.

Re:They'll invest squat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26251567)

No, it's just that no other company has legions of fanboys that define "Good GUI design" as whatever Apple is doing at the moment.

I too fail to see the point (1)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245165)

I thought netbooks were most popular because they are cheap and good for basic utilities. Won't adding a touchscreen just raise the price? And on top of that, netbooks come with lesser RAM and a weaker processor, a touchscreen can't be good for that. Plus it will probably just take up battery life. And one more gripe, is there good touchscreen technology for Linux? I hope this isn't a boost for the XP netbooks.

Re:I too fail to see the point (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245195)

I thought netbooks were most popular because they are cheap and good for basic utilities. Won't adding a touchscreen just raise the price?

In theory a touchscreen could be cheaper because it is built into the screen, and both can be manufactured together in large quantities. Splitting UI into two devices (screen+keyboard) bites into economies of scale.

Additionally solid state devices are generally cheaper to make than devices with moving parts.

Re:I too fail to see the point (1)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245245)

And on top of that, netbooks come with lesser RAM and a weaker processor, a touchscreen can't be good for that.

Touchscreen doesn't really cause measurable cost in computing resources (think of it as yet another mouse).

And one more gripe, is there good touchscreen technology for Linux? I hope this isn't a boost for the XP netbooks.

Yes, Maemo (as I already posted). The low-power (and unaccelerated) arm hardware of e.g. Nokia N810 can do touch stuff just wine, and e.g. panning around the page in browser by dragging the stylus is smooth as ever. Plain-old-finger usage is a increasing priority as well, but of course it needs some practical considerations and porting in app-by-app basis (i.e. don't create monster dialogs that won't fit on screen when controls are of finger-friendly size). This, of course, is something Open Source apps are well suited for.

Re:I too fail to see the point (2, Interesting)

Repossessed (1117929) | more than 5 years ago | (#26246409)

Personally I want one because I can stuff them into my purse. A touchscreen is a big plus since the small keyboards and especially the mousepads are harder to use for me (a notebook in general thing). Price is more something to make it affordable than a feature, a bit higher isn't a dealbreaker.

Glad I held out so long now actually.

Where's my slate touchscreen net-tablet? (1)

BlueF (550601) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245189)

Never been a fan of convertible touchscreen laptops. Too heavy (and bulky) to be used as a tablet. Hell, even the few true tablet, non-convertibles PCs out there are too clunky.
http://www.motioncomputing.com/products/tablet_pc_le17.asp [motioncomputing.com]

What I'd really like to see is the MacBook Air in tablet only form. Something like an iPod Touch with a 10-13" screen, but just as thin (as the MacBook Air / iPod Touch). Apple, are you listening?!?

Failing this, how about something a little more down to earth:
http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/07/21/we-want-a-dead-simple-web-tablet-help-us-build-it/ [techcrunch.com]

dont feed the TechCrunch troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26246135)

Arrington had two consecutive post in july to which you link, then a message at the end of august and nothing since then.
Not a word.

By February we can openly call it vapourware.

you can't roll, bitch. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245247)

obama has his street niggers on the case. they'll bust a cap in your faggot ass, white boy.

Touchscreens will shine... (1)

chaim79 (898507) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245251)

Until people start getting fingerprints all over them, at which point the will smudge... yah... I want in on that...

Yeah, the start off shining (1)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245273)

And then come the finger prints....

its a shame the UI isn't there yet (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245363)

Neither windows or Linux "get" the touchscreen.

I see no point in having 90% of my screen practically useless at touching (list boxes which you need to aim at the tiny scrollbar, or buttons so small you have to pick really carefully).

These netbooks will sell well, but until the apps mature we will not see much benefit.

Re:its a shame the UI isn't there yet (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245517)

Uhh in gtk and qt apps you just up your text size and the whole ui grows. All modern browsers support full page zoom.

Re:its a shame the UI isn't there yet (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245577)

using qt4 designer, i cannot grab the property list by the item titles which already occupy 50% of the space, I have to grab the tiny little scrollbar.

Don't tell me to make it bigger when there is already a massive area which should be available for grabbing hold of already and there really is no reason to not use it.

You are right, browsers are closer but most desktop browsers so far don't do grab and scroll (though pdf usually does).

Re:its a shame the UI isn't there yet (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 5 years ago | (#26246403)

Firefox has about 50 different extensions implementing grab-and-scroll in various ways.

Re:its a shame the UI isn't there yet (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26246605)

In Windows, you can change the width of scrollbars using the desktop settings panel.

But, I do see what you mean, and adding "scroll window by dragging window contents" to all windows would be a nice option that would improve a touchscreen UI.

I think a 9" touchscreen netbook would bring down the price of GPS units a lot, though. If you can get a usable 9" netbook for

Multitouch gestures (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26246785)

I do see what you mean, and adding "scroll window by dragging window contents" to all windows would be a nice option that would improve a touchscreen UI.

It wouldn't even need any changes to apps. Some laptop trackpads, such as the one in my Eee PC, emulate a scroll wheel when the user slides with two fingers. I see no reason (other than possibly the gesture patents that Apple has reportedly sought) that this can't be implemented on a tablet.

Re:its a shame the UI isn't there yet (1)

rxan (1424721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247109)

Neither windows or Linux "get" the touchscreen.

As far as I'm aware, neither of them have even released an OS that attempted to "get" the touch screen yet.

Re:its a shame the UI isn't there yet (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 5 years ago | (#26248601)

that is my point :)

Because TouchPads SUCK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26245391)

I see lots of comments about people complaining that they don't see the point of a touchscreen. Well I wholeheartedly welcome a touchscreen netbook, because I absolutely HATE those little "touchpads" which I have to use to move the mouse cursor around with. I have an eeepc with the tiny keyboard that's really hard to type on. The touchpad annoys my far more than that tiny keyboard though, because touchpads are just plain difficult to use! I would much rather see a notebook with a trackball or something built in, than a touchpad.

A touchscreen will completely solve this problem though. No more sitting there trying to drag a file across the desktop when suddenly my finger hits the edge of the touchpad, and I have to try and swap in a different finger without dropping the file... with a touch screen, just tough directly where you need to touch, easy and effective.

Re:Because TouchPads SUCK (1)

Clover_Kicker (20761) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245683)

Someone should build a netbook with the IBM-style nipple mouse instead of a damn touchpad. Gotta be cheaper then touchscreens, and it works with today's UI.

Re:Because TouchPads SUCK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26249869)

I believe the more appropriate term is "clit-mouse"

http://xkcd.com/243/

Re:Because TouchPads SUCK (1)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 5 years ago | (#26249235)

Have to agree on this one, why have two 'touch-able' surfaces when one would be enough? To paraphrase Sun, the touchpad IS the screen.

It's not just a matter of making things bigger, though, to accomodate touch. Think of the scrollbar for example. Do you REALLY need a thicker scrollbar just to allow page up or page down? Do you need to give up all that real estate when you only need the fingertip to navigate! (Am curious how the iPod or iPhone does it, like for example a full page of google hits, or an image too big for the screen)

Touchscreens are here to stay (1)

Signeous (1235740) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245631)

@bradgoodman: I agree, the microsoft surface is an excellent example. touch is here to stay but not always on the screen. Touchscreens are great when executed correctly, just look at the iphone/itouch, now imagine it with the new microsoft behind the screen touch tech. As far as mobile devices go touch is where the action is. Touch opens up more screen real estate and allows for an input device that wont wear out quickly. One big problem with most of the netbooks is the usage of "desktop" operating systems on them, Granted they have mobile features but most of the time it doesnt cut it. The itouch browses the web just fine with meager system resources, with ubuntu being ported to ARM i can see an upsurge in cheaper net devices just another step below the netbooks of now(PDA 2.0?). All that would be required is a touch oriented lightweight desktop environment. As Canonical/Ubuntu seems to be trying to emulate OSX lately i could see it working very well.

Re:Touchscreens are here to stay (1)

GarrettK18 (1200827) | more than 5 years ago | (#26246995)

As a blind person, I get concerned when I hear that the latest new shiny tech gadgets have touchscreens. But such is the way of progress, I suppose.

I have an EEE 901 (the xp version), which has the following:

  • My screen reading software
  • Office 2003 (the Star Office 8 crap that ships with it doesn't read at all)
  • Firefox w/AdBlockPlus
  • PuTTY
  • Code::Blocks [codeblocks.org]
  • Winamp + XP Codec Pack

Now, if only sound that didn't go through Microsoft's DirectSound was played at the same volume as sound that was. This is really annoying when you're trying to listen to music and read Slashdot or something and the music totally dwarfs your text-to-speech software in volume.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is ... please, if you're going to put touchscreens on things, leave the keyboard and give an option to reduce or turn off touchscreen sensitivity. There's nothing worse than trying to type and getting thrown into a completely different app.

...Now, get off my lawn! *waves cane menacingly* No, I'm not old, that's just a fun meme

Reference: iPhone (1)

thanasakis (225405) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245677)

The iPhone is arguably one of the most successful touchscreen devices ever built. But, the whole deal is not the touch screen. There where touchscreens before, but they were not wildly popular.

But the software, that's something different. The guys that built it certainly went to great lengths to make sure that it is easy, responsive, fast and, most importantly, feel and look right in all aspects, like animations, feedbacks, font sizes, icons etc.

Today's computer GUIs are mostly optimized to be used by mice and keyboards. A great deal of thought must be given to every little detail if a paradigm switch is to be made to touchscreens, or the outcome is in danger of not feeling right to the user.

I haven't had the chance of paying with any of the tablet PCs available today, are they fun and productive to use, or are they just a pain in the butt? Would love to hear the opinions of fellow /.ers.

 

Return to Flybook? (3, Informative)

wikinerd (809585) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245761)

In short, they re-invented the Flybook [flybook.com] .

Re:Return to Flybook? (2, Informative)

Paradigm_Complex (968558) | more than 5 years ago | (#26247135)

One of the main selling points for "netbooks" is the price, usually around US$400-600. Flybooks are about five times that price.

Fujitsu (2, Informative)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#26245959)

Fujitsu's had a mini-notebook with a tablet twist-touchscreen for more than a year now.

Re:Fujitsu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26246095)

And actually has made a few generations of them. I've got the P1620 and it is a very nice computer and has more grunt than the Atom powered 'netbooks'. I can use it for real work, including GIS in the field.

Re:Fujitsu (2, Informative)

t0y (700664) | more than 5 years ago | (#26246413)

Cool stuff, but not in the same price range as netbooks.

E4! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26246161)

it was fuOn. If I'm started work on OpenBSd wanker Theo To yet another

Haptics devices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26246261)

Nobody seems to have touched on the main feature of touch devices. With a touchscreen, you have neural feedback on your pointer position. There is no other pointer technology available on the market that doesn't rely on optically tracking the pointer.
    While it's easy to say that you have to optically track your target (e.g. an icon) anyway, so why does it matter; removing that extra layer between you and the interface makes everything feel more intuitive. I own and use a Fujitsu P1120 with a non-swivel touchscreen and because of the connection I feel with it, I won't buy a netbook until I can get one with a touchscreen.

2 cents

Replace the keyboard with another touchscreen! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26246301)

Why not replace the keyboard with another touchscreen. Then the programs can present a customised interface. The mouse would be completely redundant as with the keyboard.

Why not notebad netbooks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26248575)

If touchscreen is so ergonomic why are there not so many touchpad-only netbooks?

Mouseless touchscreen is the only way to go for small form factors like pda/mobile-phone.

But for big enough netbooks, keyboards and mouse seems the way to go.

Unless something really innovative comes along...

Any ideas?

!Netbooks (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 5 years ago | (#26248873)

"Netbooks" were small, light, inexpensive, Linux based, solid state drive machines. Now they seem to be as large as regular sub-notebooks, more expensive, run (or force) MS-Windows, and have hard drives. I fail to see how these almost conventional sub-notebooks are "Netbooks" anymore. Adding a touch screen? Yawn. Here's an idea: Add yet a 1" even bigger screen and an internal optical drive!!! Wow! Innovative!!
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