Windows 7 to go: New portables for the new OS

Exciting, innovative notebooks and netbooks are being built around Microsoft's latest operating system. Here's a preview.

Adding high-touch to the high-tech

Touch computing has come a long way since the introduction of point-of-sale and banking touch screens. Today we think about touch computing less as pointing a finger and more as the kind of sweeping gestures we saw in science-fiction movies like Minority Report.

Windows 7 supports the detection of multiple fingers and gesture-based manipulation, like the pinch-based zooming that everyone showed you on their iPhone when they first got it. You can now pinch to shrink, move fingers apart to enlarge, twist to rotate, and flick to page through documents -- as long as you pay a slight premium for touch-screen hardware.

A few major PC manufacturers are making this available on their portable lines. Lenovo is pumping up its existing ThinkPad X200 Tablet PC and slimline ThinkPad T400 by adding multitouch capabilities for around $US200 over their usual prices.

These X200s and T400s will also debut a productivity tool called SimpleTap. You tap the screen with two fingers and a series of tiles pop up, front and center. These let you perform common tasks such as adjusting the screen brightness or system volume, setting the Webcam and hibernating or locking the computer. You can create custom tiles to launch specific Web pages or documents as well.

Meanwhile, for a hundred bucks extra, Toshiba's consumer notebooks Satellite U505 and Satellite M505 will include multitouch features.

Toshiba is also launching two multitouch applications: ReelTime and Bulletin Board. ReelTime is a file timeline that lets you browse recent documents you've been working on with a sweep of the hand.

Bulletin Board is a more visceral and visual way of displaying documents in a project than Windows Explorer. You slap together pictures, documents, to-do lists and other thumbnails onto a virtual corkboard, rearrange and resize them and work with them from there. Each image on the Bulletin Board is a shortcut to the existing documents in your document folders. In other words, you don't lose control of your filing structure by using Bulletin Board; you just gain another way of organizing your work space.

Take a couple of tablets

Lenovo's ThinkPad X200 is by no means the only tablet PC to tap into Windows 7's multitouch capabilities. The Dell Latitude XT2 Tablet sports a dual digitizer to handle natural gestures like pinches and taps from even the gentlest touches, but keeps the positioning accurate enough for precision panning, rotating, zooming and so on. And it packs on the battery capacity too, with the option to add a six-cell battery to give you almost 11.5 hours of work time. These extras pump the price up above the starting gate of $US1,909, but if you've got to keep going, you'll want to pony up.

Meanwhile, Archos is so convinced that multitouch is the wave of the future that it has done away with the keyboard altogether in its $US500 Archos 9 netbook-sized tablet -- or Internet Media Tablet, as the company prefers to call it.

Without a keyboard, the Archos 9 gets down to .68 of an inch thick, and allows its resistive screen to double as a keyboard. (If onscreen keyboards don't do it for you, you can connect a physical keyboard via Bluetooth.)

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags mobilitywirelessWindows 7netbooks

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Lake

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?