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Early Look At Acer's Iconia Dual Touchscreen Device

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the inconvenience-of-a-table-with-the-weight-of-a-laptop dept.

Portables 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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DHS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34358940)

Fuck

Well... (3, Insightful)

Tobenisstinky (853306) | more than 3 years ago | (#34358956)

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

Re:Well... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Well... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#34359086)

With a European release price of 1,500 euros, I'm guessing that that'll be a "no".

Which is disappointing; but may actually be a good thing. Touch responsiveness and LCD visual quality in off-axis use are two of those variables which are difficult to swiftly quantify; but where money talks, and there is a low end too low to be worth delving into. The prospect of using two LCD panels at 90 degrees off axis, with only the touch sensitive system they could afford after cramming an entire computer and two LCDs into a $500 sale price, sounds like about as much fun as trying to sandpaper your eyeballs in an early-90's VR rig...

Re:Well... (2, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34360144)

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!

Re:Well... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34359068)

Great, like the iPad but with the awkwardness of a laptop and the lightweight construction reminiscent of the Osborne I.

Just thought I'd help out a bit.

Re:Well... (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34359116)

And a library of software that takes advantage of it equivalent to a pre-2007 smartphone...

Re:Well... (1)

Cederic (9623) | more than 3 years ago | (#34359448)

Hang on. You're suggesting that access to software running on the most popular home OS ever is a bad thing?

I'll accept that the base of software supporting touch-screen input is lower, but I don't see many two-screen apps for the iPad either..

Re:Well... (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#34360572)

But.. the iPad only has one screen, why would they do that?

iPad + VGA (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34360708)

the iPad only has one screen

Even if you use the VGA cable?

Re:Well... (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 3 years ago | (#34359246)

lightweight construction reminiscent of the Osborne I.

Admit it, you've never even seen an Osborne 1 except in pictures.

Re:Well... (3, Insightful)

dfghjk (711126) | more than 3 years ago | (#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... (0, Troll)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34360224)

For a notebook with ONLY a 14" screen, 6.1 pounds is a boat anchor territory.

6.1 pounds is 17" - 18" desktop replacement territory.

14" screens are not all that great to work with. They're SMALL, in comparison to 17" or greater. A 17.4" display has more than 50% more screen area than a 14.1". That's screen area that isn't broken up by a hinge and two bezels.

Buy a single 17" or 18" instead. For less money, you can get one with 1920x1080, 8 gigs of ram (instead of 4), 1 tb of storage (instead of 64o gigs), and an i7 (instead of an i5).

And if you STILL need more screen space, plug up to two external monitors.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34492326)

I just weighed my Acer Aspire 1350 laptop, it is getting on a bit, I think nearly 7 years old, but without the battery (it died and I don't know where I put it) it comes in at ~7 pounds and it only has a single 1024x800 14" screen. It may be on the heavy side, but not overly so.

If I had the money to waste, I'd definately get one of these, not because it's practical (it isn't really for most uses) but because I am a geek and I think a dual touchscreen device like this would be a great toy to play with and show off.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34359106)

Nonsense, the Gigantic Nintendo DS form factor will be the next big thing on the fashionable geek circles.

Re:Well... (4, Insightful)

grahamlord86 (1603545) | more than 3 years ago | (#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... (2, Insightful)

arivanov (12034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34359666)

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.

You do not type by touch, but by position (2, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:You do not type by touch, but by position (2, Interesting)

caseih (160668) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:You do not type by touch, but by position (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34360212)

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.

I have not found it so, and it's the way I also use trackpads... if you had to elevate your whole hand, that would be tiring but your hands can naturally hover without much strain if your wrists are settled comfortably. I also have found that sometimes I rest pinky fingers on the sides of the screen which keep the hands off the screen.

The indents on keys can help typists find home positions but on a small device you can use other cues like location of the edges. Just because traditionally you've based initial position around F and J keys does not mean there are not other home cues that work as well.

Re:You do not type by touch, but by position (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 3 years ago | (#34381950)

Sigh.. the bumps are on my 'd' and 'k' keys, not 'f' and 'j'. Yeah, I know keyboard have used the latter keys for a long time, but 'd' and 'f' make more sense, since those center your hands on the home row. (I realize you can probably argue the opposite that the index finger is likely more sensitive than other fingers. It still seems more natural to center my hands over the various keys.)

Re:You do not type by touch, but by position (1)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 3 years ago | (#34362024)

Exactly my thoughts. My aunt (in her younger days) could be looking at the material she was copying from, typing 140+ words per minute, and carry on a conversation at the same time.

See, sometimes you have to type something from a source other than just your own thoughts. At my job we write on paper out in the field, and then at the office our secretaries have to type that information into computers.

Re:You do not type by touch, but by position (1)

Rob Y. (110975) | more than 3 years ago | (#34360262)

Well, that's really dopey. Of course you don't 'feel' the keys in the sense of feeling the letters, but how do you think 'typing by position' works? Once you find your home keys, the feel of the keys lets you know you're still in position. Otherwise, there's nothing to keep you from drifting out of alignment with the 'keyboard'.

Re:You do not type by touch, but by position (1)

antek9 (305362) | more than 3 years ago | (#34361686)

Otherwise, there's nothing to keep you from drifting out of alignment with the 'keyboard'.

Well, you could try screwing your wrists to the bezel, with the added bonus of feeling like a real saviour.

Re:You do not type by touch, but by position (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34360306)

The thing is that touch typing does NOT involve feeling keys

I learned how to touch-type in school, and I can tell when I miss a key by feel. Without that feel feedback, I would be seriously slowed down.

Part of the reason is that I allow my hands to roam over the whole keyboard - for me, that's faster than using the "correct" finger all the time to type the "right" key. I'd rather not lose the speed advantage that the extra feedback gives me, and have to debug more code because of stupid typos, or type slower because I'm forced to do it the "right way."

Also, there are times when I'm NOT watching the material I'm typing, at least not 100% - like when I'm trying to finish something and reply to a question at the same time - I'll start talking while finishing up, then give the person my whole attention - but that means first acknowledging that they're there, which means, if you're polite, looking at them.

Also, often I'll be looking at something on the second monitor while I'm typing - I'm not going to do an imitation of a bobble-head just because my keyboard no longer gives me tactile feedback. Sure, if I only used one screen, your argument might make some sense, but I've been using dual monitors for more than 2 decades. Why would I want to cripple myself by using an inadequate input device?

I have to disagree. It might work for you, but for me, and probably for many others who have developed their own style over the years, a non-tactile keyboard is going to just be another source of errors.

-- Barbie

I also use an alternative style (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34360798)

I have to disagree. It might work for you, but for me, and probably for many others who have developed their own style over the years, a non-tactile keyboard is going to just be another source of errors.

I started with traditional touch typing, but because that is not really great for coding (which uses a lot of special keys) I also allow my hands to roam. I don't have any problems on an iPad keyboard, I can type really quickly - because your hands are just as informed by where the edges of something are, as they are individual keys.

You have a good point about typing when not looking at output, that may have issues as I don't tend to do that much. But again I would state that muscle memory is far more of a factor than most people think in ability to type quickly. I really do think kids used to typing on virtual surfaces from a young age will have no trouble typing just as fast as any traditional typist.

Re:You do not type by touch, but by position (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#34360412)

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?

Yes, I really am. Every time I move my hands, there is a small amount of drift, and the shape of the keys and the tactile feedback lets me subconsciously correct this. If you don't believe me, try typing with a projection keyboard (or read reviews of them if you can't get hold of one), without looking at it. You start off fine, and a few hundred keypresses in, you start to make errors, which gradually become greater until you completely reset your hand positions. There's a reason why all keyboards have bumps on the f and j keys (or their locational equivalent with non-QWERTY layouts) - so that you can replace your hands on the home row without needing to look. Most touch typists suffer a small but detectable slowdown or loss in accuracy if these are not present - think how much greater it would be if the entire key shape were missing.

Re:Well... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34360108)

The problem with them is also that most advanced typist type purely by touch

Haptic feedback [wikipedia.org] works well on my android phone. Maybe it could be improved beyond using a single phone vibration device.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34359284)

Or a giant Nintendo DS? :P

Re:Well... (1)

sdavid (556770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34359398)

Exactly. All the disadvantages of a laptop and a tablet rolled into one.

Re:Well... (1, Troll)

Garridan (597129) | more than 3 years ago | (#34359606)

Are you kidding? I think this thing looks awesome. I started out on an IBM keyboard with the 90dB click, requiring 20lbs of force to depress the keys. But something changed, and I found that I really like low-feedback keyboards. This is the ultimate low-feedback keyboard. But that's just the keyboard!

As others have no doubt pointed out, this is gonna make an awesome book reader -- but the size of a magazine! Ok, if your girly arms can't take the weight, that's a valid complaint. But I'm a rock climber, and I don't mind carrying a laptop in my backpack wherever I go.

Moreover, the interface options are through the roof with this. As a programmer / mathematician, I'd love the extra real-estate for reference materials.

Granted, there still isn't good multi-touch support in Linux, so I probably won't buy one. But I'm excited nonetheless.

Re:Well... (1)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 3 years ago | (#34360198)

Actually, it reminds me of the Courier that Microsoft was rumored to be developing. Here's a concept video [youtube.com] for anyone not familiar with the device.

This thing would just be a lot larger, and probably not as flexible, but it's similar.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34361598)

I've seen no less than 3 previous Slashdot stories showing a dual screen design laptop with one of the screens showing a touchscreen keyboard in a concept/demo image.

This idea is nothing new, and every single time it shows up, it gets slammed. I suppose Acer is the first to ignore how unusable such a device really is, and ship it anyway.

At least the courier eschewed touchscreen keyboard input in favor of pen input. (Nevertheless, pen input still sucks for many people. I mean if humans with our superior pattern matching skills can't decipher my handwriting, a computer has no chance.)

Re:Well... (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 3 years ago | (#34362184)

Tested a similar form factor yesterday in the shop (http://us.toshiba.com/computers/laptops/libretto) and have to say its no so awkward to have additional space for displaying things if you like and or alternatively a keyboard.

Re:Well... (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 3 years ago | (#34362248)

The most awesome thing is the 3 hour battery life. Under ideal conditions I'm sure.

Re:Well... (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 3 years ago | (#34362966)

Mostly it is just that. I want dual touch screens with one being AMOLED and the other being eink. Both of them need to accept touch. I can live with both of them being the size of a paperback. I want it to be a phone via speaker, earbud or bluetooth.

As it is my current smartphone is more powerful than every computer I had in the 80s and 90s combined. This should be faster. :)

Re:Well... (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 3 years ago | (#34362990)

Mostly it is just that. I want dual touch screens with one being AMOLED and the other being eink. Both of them need to accept touch. I can live with both of them being the size of a paperback. I want it to be a phone via speaker, earbud or bluetooth along with all the amenities, wifi, tethering etc.

As it is my current smartphone is more powerful than every computer I had in the 80s and 90s combined. This should be faster. :)

Re:Well... (1)

IronSight (1925612) | more than 3 years ago | (#34363668)

Since this was developed by acer, I am also going to assume the build quality will be on par with a crushed beer can. WTF is this thing, I don't know if they are trying to rip off nintendo DS or the ipad. No keyboard!! you touch the screen here instead! I'm sure it works just peachy with all the touch based software designed for it. And I'm sure the rest will be making you want to murder someone. I can just see someone trying to play a fullscreen video game on this thing, it messing up and the user having to hard reset the thing since they can't ctrl+alt+delete and pull up a task manager. And when I mean the game or whatever messing up, it taking both screens or something and not working with the virtual keyboard very well. A desktop/notebook OS on a tablet that looks like a notebook... what a head trip.

porn perfect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34359026)

no more sticky keys

Re:porn perfect (1)

beatbox32 (325106) | more than 3 years ago | (#34359328)

I'm sure an app will be made to simulate that, for the pr0n nostalgic...

Great for *viewing* things... (1)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 3 years ago | (#34359050)

...for activities that involve a lot of typing, not so much. IMHO even the short travel of typical laptop keys are much nicer than hitting virtual keys on a touchscreen.

Btw - how's that flexible 'dual' screen laptop coming? You know, where you flip it open 180 degrees, to have a single screen surface.

Re:Great for *viewing* things... (1)

nametaken (610866) | more than 3 years ago | (#34359136)

If they changed up the software on this to make it work like the Microsoft Courier, and advertised for those use cases, they'd have a winner.

Re:Great for *viewing* things... (2, Interesting)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34359204)

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.

Re:Great for *viewing* things... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34360354)

With so many usb and wireless devices, nobody uses a docking station any more.

Printers? usb and wireless (I saw a wireless COLOR LASER on sale for $99.99 Huh???? $99.99? Amazing).

Networking? You already have wireless if you have a laptop, and you probably have either a 100mpbs or a 1gbps ethernet port too.

External displays? vga, svga, hdmi - you probably have at least two of those 3 options.

External keyboard and mouse? Plug them into your external monitor's usb hub, along with any other usb devices, like external storage, then just plug the hub into your laptop usb connection. Two wires - video and usb - to rule the all :-)

Docking stations are so 1990.

-- Barbie

They've instantly alienated two groups... (1)

digitalPhant0m (1424687) | more than 3 years ago | (#34359084)

Two groups of people that will definitely overlook this one; Unix admins, and coders.

Re:They've instantly alienated two groups... (3, Interesting)

BigDXLT (1218924) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Almost.

Re:They've instantly alienated two groups... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34359186)

I'm going back to school.
All this touch screen input will be a boon for the chiropracticioner.

Re:They've instantly alienated two groups... (3, Funny)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 3 years ago | (#34360854)

Yes, Star Trek had an awesome user interface. It's called "plot". You push whatever you feel like, and the computer automatically does whatever the script says should happen next. Sadly I don't think even Apple has quite that level of control over its users' lives yet. ;)

+1 Funny (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 3 years ago | (#34361978)

Wish I had mod points

Cool, almost like a new car (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34359132)

.. that has had its steering wheel replaced by a pair of haptic gloves that lets you feel like you are holding a steering wheel and move your hands just like you are holding a steering wheel at only 3x the price of a car with a steering wheel.

6.1 pounds = Hefty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34359182)

Gaah what wimpy whiney weak-livered wusses!

So, if the iPad is an giant iPhone... (1)

brouski (827510) | more than 3 years ago | (#34359628)

The Acer Iconia is an giant Nintendo DS?

pretty good (1)

glebovitz (202712) | more than 3 years ago | (#34359724)

Besides:

1) The price

2) The OS / Software

3) The Weight

4) The Reputation of the Manufacturer

I'd say it is a pretty good product.

keyboard bumps on the touchscreen (3, Insightful)

aclarke (307017) | more than 3 years ago | (#34359756)

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:keyboard bumps on the touchscreen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34359940)

A good virtual keyboard should be able to adjust itself to where the user puts his/her fingers down. I've down enough typing in my life to put both of my hands down almost exactly onto the F and J keys without looking. A virtual keyboard could put the F and J where my index fingers land on the glass. At least put ASDF where my left hand lands, draw the rest of the keyboard and let me make a minor adjustment with my right hand.

Re:keyboard bumps on the touchscreen (1)

Jartan (219704) | more than 3 years ago | (#34360074)

It seems to me that the better way to go is just have the software put home row wherever the user sets his hands down.

Re:keyboard bumps on the touchscreen (1)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 3 years ago | (#34360862)

That sounds like a great user interface. I'm sure nobody would have any problem figuring out how to type on a device that didn't display a keyboard until they started typing.

Re:keyboard bumps on the touchscreen (1)

Degro (989442) | more than 3 years ago | (#34361296)

That's not very imaginative. The horizontal screen could show a keyboard in default position when untouched, but when it detected palms down first it could automatically reorient.

Re:keyboard bumps on the touchscreen (1)

aaaantoine (1540357) | more than 3 years ago | (#34370586)

It seems to me that the better way to go is just have the software put home row wherever the user sets his hands down.

As an extension of this, the virtual keyboard could be split in half, and each half of the keyboard can orient according to how the user puts his fingers down. That way, people can type whichever way is most comfortable for them.

Now all this pipe dream needs is some sort of dynamic bump map that can be raised according to on-screen texture.

Re:keyboard bumps on the touchscreen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34362446)

If not it would be easy enough to make one. Those screen protectors could be cut into shape quick enough to outline every key. Yet flat enough you could still use it like a touchscreen.

Re:keyboard bumps on the touchscreen (1)

zesh (1055974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34362880)

There are stickers with bumps on them that provide tactile feedback to users' fingers intended for use on iPhones and iPads. It's a product called "Tactile+Plus" made by a Japanese company called Nosho-An which you can see shown in the following image:

Tactile+Plus image [imagehyper.com]

Reapplicable versions of these stickers that can serve as bumps for the F and J keys. They can also be sold with the computers themselves and let users customize the position of the bumps themselves should they want to use non-standard or different sized virtual keyboards (think of virtual keyboards on Linux etc.)

Two handed touch screen input. (1)

Jartan (219704) | more than 3 years ago | (#34359944)

It's about time someone tried this. The idea of using an onscreen keyboard is dumb though. Now that they have a touch screen big enough for both hands to spread out on they should of come up with a better way to do touch text input. I bet the end result will at least get within shooting distance of keyboard speed. For those times when you just have to sit down and type out some code there is always the USB port.

Dynamic bumps on a flexible display (1)

vikstar (615372) | more than 3 years ago | (#34361614)

is there a flexible display technology capable of providing a small bump per key dynamically when a virtual keyboard is loaded onto the screen. Perhaps a small physical keyboard hidden beneath the screen that gets raised mechanically when the keyboard is displayed, and for bonus points allows depression when the key is pressed.

mo3 Up (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34361824)

clothes Or be a [goat.cx]

This all sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. (1)

mattcsn (1592281) | more than 3 years ago | (#34362118)

First of all, you can only find them on barren planets in the Neutral Zone - that alone will stir up a possible confrontation with the Romulan Star Empire. Second, every time you put another piece of technology near one, it'll zap the second gadget with a transmitter-probe that'll screw up the second gadget's OS.

I just hope that Acer has the good sense to allow manual closing of the probe launch bay doors. If there's no way to trigger a reactor explosion with backwash from the rockets, we're all doomed.

Best tablet in 10 years, but must cut nails (1)

ninjagecko (1948930) | more than 3 years ago | (#34363334)

* Best tablet in 10 years: I challenge anyone to find a tablet in the last 10 years that has larger than a 1400x1050 screen -- much less a *touchscreen* tablet, with a *decent processor*. I would have been willing to pay $4000 for such a device, but with PC makers thinking they can get away with low resolutions, I have never had an opportunity to. But now it has come. At 1366x768 x2, it is about as good as the 1600x1200 touchscreen you could have hoped for (assuming use in dual-screen display mode). And as a bonus, you don't have to move your hands from the "keyboard" to the "screen" in order to touch a GUI element. Wait until some API is exposed on Linux, and then you'll get interesting gestures (e.g. smashing your palm) to toggle keyboard input on and off and/or temporarily mirror the top screen to the bottom screen, letting you quickly move between the display being a mouse and a keyboard. * Custom keyboard = godly: Want to replace your Caps Lock? Sure. Want a shorter spacebar? You got it. (I once searched for a month to find such a keyboard... finally found some type of oriental keyboard, but unfortunately it suffered from key ghosting and thus was useless.) Tired of checking screenshots before buying laptops, to make sure that the Fn key is not where the Ctrl key should be, that the backspace and enters keys are large enough, etc., etc., etc.? (Or perhaps annoyed at the lack of Lenovo BIOS options to switch the Ctrl and Fn key?) Your wish has been granted. * But you have to cut your nails if you're a fast typist: If the technology is not sensitive to touch (e.g. resistive) but rather (e.g.) to capacitance, you will need to make sure your nails are cut very short very often (unlike a physical keyboard where you have a bit more leeway), or you won't trigger an input event. Looking at it another way: this technology has the added benefit of forcing society to be more preened. A double win.

depends on how much typing you do (1)

alizard (107678) | more than 3 years ago | (#34363524)

the ergonomics of a flat panel virtual keyboard with no resilience sounds great if you either do very little typing or always wanted to experience RSI for yourself.

However, this might have interesting uses for non-typing intensive applications. Imagine this as a substitute for a conventional control panel with the controls where the keyboard used to be and the system schematic on the top display.

Use vertically (1)

kentsin (225902) | more than 3 years ago | (#34369546)

Even the designer fail to use it correctly.

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