Friday, January 19, 2007

A touch screen 12-inch replacement?

In the wake of the iPhone announcement last week rumours of a replacement for Apple's 12-inch Powerbook are once again circulating. However this time people are talking about a touch screen interface or a full blown tablet Mac.

Are they mad? I spend three quarters of my life sitting in-front of a computer, its what I do, and I'm sure I'm not the only one to scream in horror at the thought of loosing the tactile feedback from a real keyboard in exchange for a touch screen. However what they seem to be missing is the trackpad, why do we need it anymore? The multi-touch technology of the iPhone is far in advance, and much more intuitive, than any trackpad I've ever used including Apple's own scrolling version. So why not get rid of the track pad entirely and make the screen the real interface? Hang onto the keyboard, any decent typist beyond the hunt and peck stage isn't going to like it going away, but the track pad? Nobody likes track pads, or most, if any of the alternatives. No track pad, and we're that much closer to the light weight 12-inch replacement I've been hoping we'd see for a while now.

I very much doubt well see a "real" Mac tablet, other that Axiotron's Modbook, there just isn't the market yet and to be honest I don't think there ever will be, but a laptop with a touch screen interface? You can almost see it coming...