HP Unveils Tablet PC With Multi-Touch Screen - InformationWeek

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Infrastructure // PC & Servers

HP Unveils Tablet PC With Multi-Touch Screen

The screen makes it possible to use a variety of gestures, including swipes, pinches, double-taps, and finger rotations, to manipulate content similar to Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch.

HP's TouchSmart tx2 Tablet PC

HP's TouchSmart tx2 Tablet PC
(click for larger image)

Hewlett-Packard on Wednesday introduced its first consumer-oriented multi-touch tablet PC.

The TouchSmart tx2 tightly integrates hardware and software to offer an interface that lets people use their fingers or a stylus for on-screen manipulation of digital entertainment, such as video, photos, and music, as well as a variety of Windows software, including Microsoft Office and most Web browsers and photo applications.

The software foundation of the tx2's multi-touch capabilities is HP's MediaSmart 2.0, which makes it possible to use a variety of gestures, including swipes, pinches, double-taps, and finger rotations, to manipulate content in a way that's similar to Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch. In addition, HP has entered into a partnership with MTV Networks to bring video in from MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon. The content is organized and automatically updated in MediaSmart.

HP is not the first to offer a multi-touch tablet PC. Dell, for example, sells the Latitude XT. The Dell system, however, lacks the consumer-oriented software that takes the tx2 beyond the more traditional use of tablet PCs in education and the health care industry.

"With the introduction of the TouchSmart tx2, HP is providing users an easier, more natural way to interact with their PCs, and furthering touch innovation," Ted Clark, senior VP and general manager in HP's Personal Systems Group, said in a statement.

The tx2 has a standard keyboard and a 12.1-inch screen that can be placed upright for use like a typical notebook. In addition, the screen, which has a resolution of 1,200 by 800 pixels, swivels and can be laid flat. Besides the multi-touch capabilities, the system's stylus can be used to write or draw on the screen.

The PC weighs 4.5 pounds and is available with either an Athlon X2 or Turion X2 dual-core processor from Advanced Micro Devices. The system is also available with an ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics processor, up to 8 GB of memory and a 500 GB hard drive. Other features include Bluetooth and Wi-Fi wireless technology, an integrated camera and a DVD burner.

The tx2 is available for pre-order from HP and is scheduled to start shipping at the end of the month. Pricing starts at $1,149.

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