After watching Captain Picard solving all those Victorian murder mysteries on the Enterprise’s holodeck, we have to say that staring at a basic, flat-panel monitor is sooooo 20th century. Wasn’t the future of television watching supposed to be way cooler than this by now? Yeah, it was, but don’t worry; those spiffy high-tech displays have only been delayed, not scrapped entirely. A veritable army of hard-working engineers have been laboring day and night to bring flexible phones, holograms you can feel, physical 3D interfaces, and touchscreen, well, everything to your living room, car and workplace sometime soon. And hey, we’ve got actual pictures to prove it!
With all-in-one (AIO) PCs driving most of the growth within the non-mobile computer market, it is no surprise that vendors are increasingly focusing on this lucrative category. Taiwan-based Asus is also constantly trying to raise its all-in-one game. The ET2700 is its latest play for dominance in the burgeoning market for AIOs. Hit the jump to see the ET2700 in action.
Fresh from the CES showfloor, Online Features Editor Amber Bouman checks out ViewSonic's lineup of three new All-In-One PCs. With options including a 22 inch multi-touch screen, and a Core i3 processor, these All-In-Ones are definitely worth a look. Check out the full video below:
Apple has been awarded a patent on the so-called "pinch-to-zoom" multitouch gesture today. Apple originally applied for the patent back in late 2006, and many have speculated that other manufacturers were slow to implement the technology for fear of Apple's lawyers. Still, the patent granted is limited in scope.
The patent describes a standard multitouch image manipulation, but part of the approved scheme involves a second gesture. Specifically, contact with the screen is broken, then new contacts are recognized to perform a second gesture within a predefined period of time. How long is that? It could be just about any length of time. This patent doesn't directly apply unless a timer is running to detect a second input.
This isn't going to be the end of multitouch on phones. It is however, more ammunition for Apple to use when they go after companies for infringement. How do you think Apple will make use of this patent?
Hewlett-Packard has announced two new all-in-one (AIO) desktops with an eye on the upcoming holiday season. The world's leading PC maker has embarked on a generational overhaul, or so it claims, with the new TouchSmart 310 PC. According to the company, the TouchSmart 310 is “the fourth generation of the HP TouchSmartPC.” Aesthetically, the multitouch AIO is markedly different from its antecedents. Actually, it is closer to the iMac than its elder cognates as far as looks go.
The 310 features a 20-inch touch screen, AMD Athlon II 240e dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM, a 1-TB hard drive, DVD burner, and ATI Radeon HD 4270 graphics. The basic SKU will be available for $699. Before we move onto the second AIO, it is worth mentioning that HP has also revamped the TouchSmart software interface. Furthermore, there are a bunch of new built-for-touch apps, including Marvel Comics, Facebook and Cartoon Network, to go along with the cosmetic changes. The Marvel Comics app is particularly exciting as it can be used to access more than 8,000 comics (paid).
Finally, let us move onto the second AIO, the Omni 100, which is a non-touch PC built around a dual-core AMD Athlon II 260u CPU. The $499 all-in-one features a 20-inch display, 3GB RAM and a 500GB hard drive. Both the PCs are “planned to be available Sept. 22 at www.hpdirect.com and at select retailers nationwide on Oct. 24.”
MSI today announced it is taking its Wind Top AE2420 3D stateside. According to MSI, this latest Wind Top is the world's first 3D touchscreen all-in-one (AIO) PC, which is also capable of converting 2D content into three dimensions.
"Most people don't realize that MSI has been making the guts of PCs for more than 20 years, and were the first to launch the 10-inch netbook, which is now the most popular form factor on the market," said Andy Tung, vice president of sales, MSI U.S. "By bringing the world's first 3D all-in-one PC to North America, MSI is continuing to introduce people to the future of computing."
The main attraction, of course, is the 23.6-inch LED backlit display where the 3D magic comes to life. In and around the AIO sits some fairly powerful hardware and respectable feature-set, including an Intel Core i7 860 processor clocked at 2.8GHz, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730 graphics with 1GB of GDDR3 memory, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, 801.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, a 1TB SATA hard drive, Blu-ray/DVD burner combo, 1.3MP webcam, 6-in-1 memory card reader, a pair of USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, eSATA, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
In addition to the 3D visuals, MSI is making noise over the AE2420's sound system. Two 5W speakers are flanked by a 10W subwoofer and include Creative's THX TruStudio Pro technology.
The Wind Top AE2420 will be available soon starting at $1,800.
The next iteration of Ubuntu will accommodate Canonical's UTouch framework, making it the first version of the world's most popular linux distro to feature multitouch support. Codenamed Maverick Meerkat, Ubuntu version 10.10 is scheduled for release on October 10, 2010. According to a post on Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth's official blog, at least a four-finger touch device is needed “to get the most out of it.”
He also revealed that Canonical is developing the new feature using the Dell Latitude XT2 as its development platform. “The design team has lead the way, developing a “touch language” which goes beyond the work that we’ve seen elsewhere. Rather than single, magic gestures, we’re making it possible for basic gestures to be chained, or composed, into more sophisticated 'sentences,'” the South African entrepreneur wrote in a blog post Monday.
“The basic gestures, or primitives, are like individual verbs, and stringing them together allows for richer interactions. It’s not quite the difference between banging rocks together and conducting a symphony orchestra, but it feels like a good step in the right direction.”
The XO-1.75 will sport a processor based on the ARM architecture unlike its predecessor that features an x86 processor from VIA. This shift necessitates software changes as the current version of OLPC's favorite Linux distribution, Fedora, is still missing an ARM port. Chris Ball, lead software engineer for OLPC, said in an e-mail statement that future OLPC machines will continue to use Fedora as their main Linux distribution.
"We need to rebuild each of the thousands of Fedora packages for Arm from their Fedora 13 versions, so that includes everything from the kernel and drivers up through all of the other packages, including Sugar,” Ball said.
Microsoft hasn't said anything official as of yet, but it looks like the company is planning to release a version of the Arc mouse with multitouch input. The evidence is extensive and fairly convincing. First, Microsoft has registered the domain "arctouchmouse.com", which currently redirects to Bing. Several European retailers have started listing a "Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse" on their sites. The Redmond mostly software company was also known to be working on multitouch mouse concepts in their research division in 2009.
If this product does exist, what can we expect from it? Windows 7 does have multitouch functionality built right in, but most consumers don't have the hardware to take advantage of it. Even if the Arc Touch is just a PC clone of the Apple Magic Mouse, it will allow PC users a new set of experiences without buying an expensive multitouch PC.
The listings we mentioned earlier are showing the Arc Mouse as selling for about $70. Assuming that is a PC Magic Mouse, would you take a chance at that price point?
Toshiba’s Portégé M700 line has been in need of a refresh for some time, and since it’s been raining mobile Core i7 CPUs lately, they decided to throw one of those in. The addition of the Core i7 620M makes the Portégé M780 a very desirable tablet machine. We don’t have all the details yet, but the specs seem solid.
In addition to the aforementioned Core i7 we will likely see 4GB of RAM, a 12.1in 1280x800 LED display, Intel HD graphics, 320GB 7200RPM hard drive, and 802.11n. The system should also have support for multitouch gestures and Wacom pen input. A cheaper Core i3 version should be available for $1279, while the speedier Core i7 model will go for $1799.
The convertible tablet form factor seems to be coming along nicely with the ThinkPad X201 already out. Is anyone in the market for one of these? Decided on which one yet?