A Touch Pen accessory from Targus allows for touch input on non-touch panels.
Microsoft can squawk all it wants about Windows 8 being equally well suited for non-touch desktops as it is for touch-capable notebooks and tablets, but we know better. The user interface is clearly intended for users to poke and swipe, and that's great if you own a Windows 8 tablet or a fancy new touch-capable laptop PC, but it's not so groovy for existing systems. Should you scrap your system and buy a new laptop? Well, that's certainly an option, though it's not a very cost effective one. Targus demonstrated for us another solution using its Touch Pen device, which transforms ordinary laptops into touch-sensitive devices.
The Touch Pen works its mojo by communicating with a magnetic receiver that attaches to the side of a laptop. It needs to be calibrated, a simple process that requires touching the four corners of the display so that the receiver learns the laptop's boundaries, and then you're ready to rock Windows 8 like a touch ninja.
Speaking of touch ninjas, Online Editor Jimmy Thang saw a demonstration of how it works in Lenovo's suite at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which you can view below. What's promising about this device is that you don't need to learn new gestures like you do on some touchpads and mice. Just tap, swipe, and use the Pen as an extension of your finger.
See for yourself, and be sure to check back often throughout the week for more CES coverage and videos. You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel at MaximumPCMag.