Fujitsu and Lenovo Get Touchy

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Fujitsu LifeBook T5010 Doubles Down With Multitouch

Earlier today Lenovo announced that it is adding multitouch screens to the ThinkPad T400s and X200 lines in anticipation of Windows 7. Now it's Fujitsu's turn, with a new take on the LifeBook T5010.

Like Lenovo, Fujitsu is retrofitting a currently existing line with a multitouch, WXGA, backlit LCD panel. And according to spokespeople, the privilege of upgrading this 13.3-inch tablet PC costs only a $100 premium. The single-point version starts at $1759--you can do the math on the dual digitizer.

Fujitsu LifeBook T5010 with multitouch
The optional dual digitizer (active digitizer/capacitive touch) supports gesture controls such as rotating, zooming, and flicking, as well as stylus interaction for editing files--or signing documents digitally--when you need it. Fujitsu is crowing that the T5010's bidirectional hinge is plenty rigid. Also in the offing is a modular bay that you can outfit with either an optical drive or a second battery, as well as optional AT&T/Verizon mobile broadband support.

While Fujitsu does provide some software suited for business, we've heard no word about software outside of Windows 7 that will take full advantage of the multitouch screen. You will be able to resize things, pinching and zooming windows to your heart's content--so you'll be set if that's what matters to you. A Fujitsu spokesperson mentioned the possibility of more software intended for multitouch, but he wasn't certain of the timeline.

Sure, the LifeBook T5010 could be a cool little tablet PC. (Wait, did I say little? Many tablet PCs are in the 12-inch-and-under class.) But I guess I'm a bit disappointed in the lack of news on the multitouch-friendly-software front, considering that Lenovo has fully demonstrated its intentions with the Simple Tap app, which should be approved and bug-tested to coincide with the launch of Windows 7 on October 22. I'll hold out hope--and reserve judgment until a final model shows up in the PC World Lab.

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