Fujitsu and Lenovo Get Touchy

Fujitsu LifeBook T5010 Doubles Down With Multitouch

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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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