updated 07:25 am EDT, Wed August 6, 2008
HP Touch Notebook in 18 Mo
HP intends to have a notebook with a touchscreen display on the market within the next 18 months, the company has told the Wall Street Journal. The company was one of the first to introduce a mainstream, touchscreen desktop in the TouchSmart series but now says that it sees enough interest in the format to be one of the first with a portable PC offering a heavily touch-driven interface. The company has already introduced a tablet PC for the mainstream through the tx series but still depends on a stylus inside a conventional interface and would like to change the interface to a more natural one for future devices.
"We see touch as the almost preferred method for nontechnical users," says HP's Personal Systems Group CTO Phil McKinney.
The company has already hinted these plans but has now set a timetable that would put the release of the future notebook design before 2010, confirming that HP will use a custom interface rather than wait for the release of Microsoft's Windows 7, which will make touch input a standard feature.
Apple is believed to have helped spur this interest in touchscreen devices through the iPhone but itself has remained silent on a touch interface for its computers, choosing instead to use multi-touch trackpads with more complex gestures.