When Vizio entered the PC market last year, we didn’t quite know what to expect. The company has left quite the competitive mark on the TV industry, driving prices to levels few expected. The company’s lineup of Ultrabooks were fairly standard from an industrial design standpoint, but as our very own Paul Lilly pointed out, its the 1080p displays that really set them apart.
Just in case you didn't get the hint from the tablet-tastic Windows 8 Metro UI and those 900,000 Android devices activated each and every day: the world is turning into an increasingly touch-focused place. Touchscreens are nice and all, but we prefer our QWERTY to be a little more… tactile. Enter the appropriately named Tactus Technology: while most of our attention was focused on E3 and Computex last week, Tactus stole the show at the Society for Information Display's (SID) conference in Boston with new technology that can create dynamic physical buttons over a touchscreen display on-demand.
Intel's Ultrabook form factor is just now getting off the ground, and if the chip maker is correct in assuming this is what Windows users want, chunky notebooks could go the way of the dodo. Also on the verge of legacy are displays without touch capabilities, though only if Windows 8 ends up being a raging success. So, should Ultrabooks employ touchscreen displays?
With the widespread adoption of touchscreen displays, we figured it was only a matter of time before our desktop displays got in on the action. To that end, Viewsonic’s VX2258wm is a solid enough, if unremarkable, touchscreen monitor with 21.5-inches of real estate, a 1920 x 1080 resolution and a rated 5ms response time.
Hit the jump for the whole review and a video breakdown!
Dell has chosen the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco to give us the first glimpse of their upcoming DUO 10-inch convertible tablet computer. The device itself is expected to be packing a dual core Intel Atom N550. It will at least have Windows 7 Home Premium. The real is the way the screen "converts" into a tablet.
Unlike the last round of convertible tablets, there is no swivel hinge on this device. Instead, the screen itself rotates inside the bezel to flip around. The lid can then be closed, and you have a Windows 7 tablet. Dell plans to push a docking station for the computer to plug into when in tablet mode.
The DUO is expected to launch later this year. In the demo, the touchscreen did not look particularly responsive, but this is still a prototype. The DUO's screen does appear to support multitouch input, though. Still, you have to admire the self-control it must have taken to pretend it was just a slate for 5 minutes of the demo in preparation for the big reveal. No pricing information was available. What do you think would be a reasonable price? The internals appear to essentially be that of a netbook, but it does have a few extra tricks.
The rumors have been flying for a while now, but HTC has finally officially confirmed that they will be moving to Super LCD screen in some existing AMOLED-sporting phones. The two models listed are the HTC Desire, and the Google Nexus One. Oddly, the very similar HTC Droid Incredible was not mentioned. All these phones currently ship with 3.7-inch AMOLED touchscreens, but Samsung (the maker of the AMOLED panels) has been unable to keep up with demand.
AMOLED screens do not use a backlight, are thinner, and generally perform better than regular LCDs. HTC is claiming that the Super LCDs they will be using actually perform better than AMOLED, and have better battery life. This seems like a tall order to us. The screen size and resolution will probably remain the same after the change. Even if the new Super LCDs don't quite match an AMOLED in color vibrancy, they will likely perform better in direct sunlight. Have you ever seen one of these rare Super LCD displays? Let us know what you thought of it.
One of the frustrations in using a touchscreen device is they don’t seem to obey. Touching and having what you want happen is the ideal. But, it’s not uncommon to touch and have nothing happen or, better yet, touch and the wrong thing happen. The answer lies not is us or our stars, but in the underlying technology. The kind folks at Moto labs have put four touchscreen devices through their paces and have some interesting results to share.
The deal is this, says Moto: “It takes finesse to create a touchscreen system that’s pleasant to use, because touchscreens require seamless integration between hardware components, software algorithms, and user-interface design. If a manufacturer cuts corners or flubs any of the critical elements, the user’s experience with a touchscreen product is likely to suffer.” And, as Moto develops touchscreen devices, they appear to be in a position to know.
The test Moto presents is simple: how straight a line can your touchscreen draw while going slowly? Says Moto, “On inferior touchscreens, it’s basically impossible to draw straight-lines.” Why? “[B]ecause the sensor size is too big, the touch-sampling rate is too low, and/or the algorithms that convert gestures into images are too non-linear to faithfully represent user inputs.” (Drawing lightly, says Moto, will provide a ready demonstration, because that’s when the touch signal is weakest.)
Best of the bunch, which included the Apple iPhone, the HTC Droid Eris, the Motorola Droid, and the Google Nexus One, was the iPhone, but not by a whole lot. Moto says of it: “Precise lines indicate accurate representation of finger path.” But, there’s a “[n]oticeable loss of sensitivity at the edges.” Worst in the group appears to be the Motorola Droid, which performed poorly under light-and medium-pressure tests. The Nexus One, Moto says, has good edge sensitivity, similar to the HTC Droid Eris (no surprise as both use the same touch controller IC), but have lines slightly wavier than the iPhone.