Asus Dual Panel Laptop Resembles Two iPhones Mating

Illustration for article titled Asus Dual Panel Laptop Resembles Two iPhones Mating

Much like the next gen OLPC design, Asus' dual panel laptop ditches its keyboard for a second screen.

Spotted at CeBIT, the device features double multi-touch touchscreens that are coupled with software allowing for virtual interface devices—like a resizable keyboard and trackpad—or the laptop can simply be rotated for eBooks that read more like real books.

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Apparently this dual panel laptop is just a corporate-sponsored entrant into a design competition, so we may or may not see the device ever hit the market.

Wait, let me rephrase that: Pleeeease make this, Asus, pleeeeassseee. [Electricpig]

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DISCUSSION

I think this is an obvious form factor for multitouch computing- The replacement of a keyboard with a multitouch panel seems like a good way to overcome the shortcomings of touchscreen computing. Despite the hype, the reality of using a primary display, whether on a notebook or desktop, as a touchscreen is impractical. Aside from the problem of covering your primary display with smudges the actual action of touching the screen and interacting with objects displayed on it would be counterproductive once the novelty is gone.

A touchscreen keyboard, with the obvious detriments of lacking tactile response and discrete keys, may be able to overcome these shortcomings with some important benefits. This would particularly be the case in applications where a keyboard really isn't required. A Photoshop type application would replace the keyboard with function icons. Similarly, a spreadsheet app would replace the standard keyboard with application specific function buttons around a numerical keypad.

The overpriced Optimus Maximus keyboard is an example of where this might lead with the difference that the keys would disappear completely in favor of a touchscreen input. Apple has also taken the iPhone in this direction and will hopefully explore the possibilities of modernizing input in future products.