Laptop makers not convinced about multi-touch yet

Do_not_touchA touch screen on a notebook is something that you either think is the cat’s meow or that it’s something that just drives up the cost of the device.  Kevin and I have used many, many touch-enabled devices including the iPhone but don’t find much benefit from putting touch on a notebook.  We’ve stated that touch technology doesn’t offer much benefit to larger screens as there is no task inherently better when performed by touch as opposed to traditional mouse and keyboard.

That’s not always a popular view and it gets even cloudier when you throw multi-touch into the equation.  Apple showed us how cool it can be to put multi-touch on a handheld device, especially when the software is tweaked to make full use of the technology.  Since the iPhone debuted there has been excitement to get multi-touch on notebook computers.  What we haven’t seen is a use that would make that technology a better way to interact with a notebook possessing a screen larger than handhelds.

Wired has published an article that looks at multi-touch technology and how laptop makers are not feeling the love to put it on their products.  A number of good reasons are given including what we’ve said before, until a specific need is served by having multi-touch capability on a notebook then it’s just so much buzz.

Multitouch, which lets users control applications through gestureson a screen, may not be the best interface for laptops because of thesize and placement of the screen. In addition, there’s littleintegration between touchscreens and most software.

"You don’t see a lot of touchscreen notebooks because it is notintuitive to reach up and start touching the screen when there is agood keypad," says Paul Moore, senior director product management atFujitsu, one of the world’s biggest laptop makers.