The most important thing to remember about the multitouch Apple tablet is that it doesn't exist. So how about two multitouch laptops that do, from another hardware manufacturer that people actually like? Enter the Lenovo X200 tablet and T400s laptop.
Lenovo's first forays into multitouch are somewhat fresh, but being Lenovos, utterly familiar. The updated X200 is visually indistinguishable from its predecessor, though it's earned a healthy spec bump across the board: The Core 2 Duo processor is now available at up to 2.13GHz speeds, HDDs now reach up to 500GB while optional SSDs go all the way to 256GB, and two new screen options have been added to the mix: and ultrabright outdoor-friendly panel, and a two-finger multitouch screen—both at 12.1 inches.
Lenovo's also dragged the much more powerful 14.1-inch T400s business portable into its multitouch experiment, leaving basically otherwise unchanged from when it was announced back in June. However its capacitive touchscreen is itself a game changer as is capable of recognising for fingers on the screen. Don't believe that?! Good thing we have a full review.
So, about that multitouch option! It's there! That alone counts for something, but Lenovo's made sure to give the X200 and T400s something a little extra in the software department, hoping to set them apart from your (soon to be) average Windows 7 multitouch wares. It's called SimpleTap, and it invokes a pretty little pop-up grid of common functions like Wi-Fi switching, adjusting brightness, changing volume and the like whenever you double-tab the screen.
The refreshed X200 and T400s will be available starting today, with the multitouch versions coming in at $US1654 and $US1999, respectively. Weirdly, SimpleTap won't be available as a download until October 22nd, but you can probably find a way to enjoy your multitouch tablet without it. [Lenovo]
Lenovo Adds Touch of Simplicity to New MultiTouch Screen ThinkPad PCs
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – September 15, 2009: Lenovo today is bringing business users a new way to work with multitouch screen technology1 on the versatile and portable ThinkPad X200 Tablet PC and slim and powerful ThinkPad T400s laptop. Lenovo is also introducing SimpleTap, an application that brings simplicity to the multitouch screen experience.
"We see now as the right time for multitouch screens on PCs," said Sam Dusi, vice president, worldwide ThinkPad product marketing, Lenovo. "With touch screens increasingly becoming part of more devices we use routinely and continued improvement of the technology including the integration of touch in the upcoming Windows 7 operating system, the environment for making touch part of our Tablet PC and ThinkPad T400s laptop experience couldn't be better. We've also extended the touch experience with SimpleTap to make frequent hardware-based functions touch-enabled and simple."
Lenovo also today announced a new defence against the sun for outdoor workers with a new super bright optional screen on the ThinkPad X200 Tablet.
Personalizing Productivity on the PC with Touch
Users can now interact with their ThinkPad PC in a more personal way with multitouch screen technology. Designed for highly mobile users, the optional multitouch screen ThinkPad X200 Tablet caters to individuals in fields such as sales, health care and education. Already supporting one finger touch, these users can now use two-finger touch to perform a variety of gestures, including pinching, zooming, tapping and flicking through documents, web pages and photos instead of using a mouse.
The high performance ThinkPad T400s laptop serves professionals in engineering and design. Now these users can manipulate four fingers on the ThinkPad T400s laptop's optional multitouch screen to not only replace the mouse but transform the way they work. They can now use four fingers to manipulate objects, move images with two hands and even have another person touch the screen to collaborate simultaneously. As new multitouch applications are introduced, there will be new possibilities for using multitouch screen laptops.
Using advanced capacitive touch, the screens are sensitive and responsive to even the slightest touch of the finger. Lenovo also optimised the firmware to help compensate for slightly imprecise taps on the screen, such as when closing a window or navigating the Start menu, helping make navigation easier for Tablet users. To combat fingerprints, an anti-fingerprint coating helps keep smudges at bay and the screen clean. The multi-touch screens also allow users to enjoy ultra long battery life with up to nine hours on the ThinkPad X200 Tablet.2
With upcoming ThinkPad X200 Tablet models supporting the Microsoft Windows 7 operating system, these mobile users can also take advantage of improved predictive text over previous operating systems, improved handwriting recognition in more languages and formula input features for math and scientific equations.
More details on the ThinkPad T400s and X200 Tablet are available at www.lenovo.com.
Adding a "Touch" of Simplicity to Touch Screens
Touch screens are designed to make interaction with a PC natural and intuitive, however, often users must switch between touch screen gestures and pressing hardware buttons. Lenovo designed SimpleTap, a ThinkVantage Technology, to enable uninterrupted use of people's touch screens by giving them access to hardware-based functions that may be more easily accessed via touch input. For Tablet users, that means staying in tablet mode longer while on-the-go, saving time and being more productive.
To use SimpleTap, simply double tap anywhere on the screen to launch the application. A clean and efficient grid of colorful and transparent square tiles, inspired by the classic 15 Puzzle, opens on top of the work beneath and allows users to choose several hardware-based functions including: turning on or off the wireless radio, ThinkLight and microphone, previewing the camera, enabling mute, adjusting the volume or screen brightness, locking the screen or putting the PC to sleep. To exit SimpleTap, just tap once anywhere on the screen to close the grid and continue working. As a quick access interface, SimpleTap allows users to get in, perform a function and get out quickly.
Designed to be highly customizable, individuals can create their own tiles to enhance their personal productivity. For example, a sales professional could create a tile that launches a sales presentation with just the tap of a finger. A health professional could similarly create a tile that pulls up a patient's medical information instantaneously. Or a consumer could quickly access his or her favourite website. Users can arrange the tiles however they choose by dragging and grouping them together, and designed to be fun to use, the tiles can even be flicked around the screen.
Click here to see a video demonstration of SimpleTap and here to read more about the design and inspiration behind the application.
Brightening Tablet PC for Outdoor Light
To further extend tablet computing outdoors, users can now choose a super bright outdoor screen that displays images even in direct sunlight. For field engineers, sales professionals, students and others who work outside, outdoor viewability is critical. The new optional outdoor screen on the ThinkPad X200 Tablet offers excellent viewability with a bright 400 nit screen, low 1.2 percent reflectivity and wide viewing angle. Coated with a thin anti-reflective layer, the screen provides crisp and bright images that can easily be seen indoors or outdoors. Mobile workers can also stay productive with the Tablet's all day battery life.
A photo of the ThinkPad X200 outdoor screen compared with a standard screen can be viewed here.
Pricing and Availability3
The ThinkPad T400s with the multitouch screen and the ThinkPad X200 Tablet with the multitouch screen and the outdoor screen will be available starting immediately through business partners and www.lenovo.com. Pricing starts at approximately $US1,999 for the ThinkPad T400s with the multitouch screen and $US1,654 and $US1,704, respectively, for the ThinkPad X200 Tablet with the multitouch screen and outdoor screen. SimpleTap will be available for download after October 22.