Touching your Device Screen

I popped into PC World  yesterday evening after a client meeting in Plymouth. PC World is now the only physical PC superstore in the UK since the loss of Comet in January. I wanted to check out a Windows 8 laptop, and in particular a touch screen one. Why have a touch screen on a laptop? Good question and one that I have been grappling with as the time has come to upgrade my travelling office which currently comprises:

  • Dell Studio laptop with a super high resolution 15.6 inch  screen running Windows Vista (nice PC but weighs a ton)
  • Acer AspireOne Netbook with a high resolution 11 inch screen running Vista very slowly (but it lasts 8 hours on a charge and is super compact)
  • iPad (the original one that I won at an E-Learning Network event back in 2010)
  • iPhone 4

So back to that touch screen question. Steve Jobs (my eulogy here) said that they would never catch-on. His view was that no one will find using a touch screen in an upright position comfortable.

You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not gonna be pleasing to the user. Tim Cook from Apple on convertible tablet PCs

Well I’ve been playing and I’ve come to the conclusion that a touch screen really adds to the laptop experience. In fact since I’ve been using an iPhone and iPad I am now in the habit of touching ALL screens just to see if they respond or not! I had great fun in PC World seeing if the the laptops on display would respond to my delicate touch. Not many responded but the ones that did were a revelation. So many things we need to do are just better done with a touch gesture. Accessing photos was magical. So were a lot of scroll and zooming actions. Interacting with e-mail and calendars and tasks was also really intuitive. Obviously I was limited in what I could achieve on the demo machines in the store but overall having a touch screen seems like the way to go – especially for tablet junkies. The only downside is that it has to be a Windows PC. Touch screens are a glaring omission from Apple’s line-up. Will this change now that Steve Jobs has gone? I think it probably might.

See also: Surprisingly, touchscreen laptops don’t suck

Here is my fave touch screen PC from my visit to PC World – the Asus VivoBook S400CA 14-inch at only £599

asus touchscreen laptop

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