Bill Gates says tablet PCs are the future and HP took another step in that direction today with release of the TouchSmart tx2 notebook. The most innovative part of this computer is its touchscreen, and it follows the release of HP's TouchSmart PC earlier this year. Using what is called "capacitive multi-touch technology" HP's tx2 allows you to pinch, rotate, flick, drag, and tap your way through your files and digital media on the notebook screen.
The tx2 weighs around 5 lbs. and comes loaded with Windows Vista, a rechargeable digital ink pen, 12.1-inch diagonal Brightview LED, and a handy remote control that has a cradle in the body of the computer. The computer is available today and sells for $1149.
HP says this is the first convertible pc with multi-touch technology. That's a fancy way of saying that Asus beat them to the multi-touch punch on notebook PCs, but the tx2 is the first tablet notebook to use the technology.
While the tx2 looks like it would be a fun computer to use, I am surprised that HP has yet to include a multi-touch trackpad in its notebook line. A few months ago at a trade show I got the opportunity to try out a Windows machine prototype that had a multi-touch trackpad and it worked wonderfully. So what's the holdup? Apple has grabbed the spotlight with its touch technology on the MacBook Air, iPhone, iPod Touch, and the newer lines of MacBooks. People like the functionality and while it does have a certain cool factor, multi-touch is also very useful. The tx2 is a great first step, but considering that the public has not really embraced the tablet PC concept, HP should take a look at revamping the touchpad.