HP Gets All Tactile With TouchSmart tx2 Launch

The TouchSmart tx2 features a 12.1-inch display and convertible design that lets it be used as a PC, display or tablet. Users can navigate the screen using more than one finger simultaneously, using what HP describes as "capacitive multi-touch technology."

HP, which launched its first touch-screen PC back in 1983, views touch as a way to make it easier for users to work with digital photo, music, video and Web content, and the TouchSmart tx2 comes with the HP MediaSmart digital entertainment software suite.

Ron Perkes, vice president of product marketing at Tangent, a Burlingame, Calif.-based system builder, describes his company as "a huge believer in touch" technology, and has had success integrating touch with workflow applications in the manufacturing field.

While few touch-enabled apps exist for notebooks today, the falling cost of the technology could soon change that, Perkes said.

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"Whether or not notebooks are a good platform for touch, there will probably be applications for it," Perkes said. "And since touch is no longer commanding a huge premium, the question becomes, 'Why not?'"

Microsoft plans to add multitouch functionality to Windows 7, the successor to Vista, and at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference in Los Angeles earlier this month, several third-party vendors showed off their latest touch-enabled products, both of which underscore the fact that touch technology is starting to carve out a niche.

The TouchSmart tx2 comes preloaded with Windows Vista Home Premium, and HP is giving customers the choice of AMD's Turion X2 Ultra Dual-Core Mobile Processor or AMD Turion X2 Dual-Core Mobile Processor. The HP TouchSmart tx2 is available now, and priced starting at $1,149.