Lenovo is looking for new ways business users can interact with their laptops. The PC maker is now offering multitouch screen technology, along with a new application called Simple Tap, with its ThinkPad X200 tablets and T400s notebooks. The technologies add multitouch capabilities to the laptops and take advantage of new features found within Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system.
Lenovo is looking to change the way business users
interact with their ThinkPad laptops and tablet notebooks.
On Sept. 15, Lenovo
plans to start offering multitouch capabilities with its ThinkPad X200 tablet
notebook and its ThinkPad
. In addition, Lenovo plans to release a new technology called Simple
Tap as part of its suite of ThinkVantage technologies, which are bundled with
its ThinkPad machines.
The new multitouch capabilities of the Lenovo
ThinkPad X200 and T400s are partly the work of Lenovo's own engineering and the
efforts of the manufacturers that supply display technology for the ThinkPad
line. (Lenovo declined to discuss its specific suppliers.)
In addition, while Lenovo developed the Simple Tap
application itself, the technology is meant to complement the multitouch
technologies that Microsoft
is including with the release of its Windows 7 operating system
. The Lenovo
Simple Tap application is available for download Oct. 22 - the same day that Microsoft
officially releases Windows 7.
For years, tablet PCs from the likes of Lenovo, Dell
and Hewlett-Packard offered simple touch-screens that usually respond to a
stylus pen or a single human finger. The Lenovo multitouch technology found in
the displays of the ThinkPad X200 tablet and the T400s laptop bring touch capabilities
to laptop screen in much the same way PC
makers are now offering touch capabilities with all-in-one desktop models.
For example, the multitouch screen with the ThinkPad
X200 tablet allows for the use of two or more fingers to manipulate images on
the screen itself. A user can increase or shrink the size of a picture on the
screen by pinching or zooming. The technology also allows a user to flip
through document pages or files found on a Web page.
For more about the ThinkPad X200 tablet and T400s notebook, please click here.
The idea behind multitouch is to make the ThinkPad
X200 more accessible to the types of workers that use tablet PCs, such as
doctors, nurses, government workers, real estate agents and insurance
Lenovo is also brining the same technology to a more
industry standard laptop - the
recently announced ThinkPad T400s
- that can be used by employees in specialty
fields such as computer animated design (CAD). Eventually, Lenovo sees the
technology making its way into more typical corporate environments, although
company spokesmen declined to discuss which ThinkPad laptops are slated to get
the multitouch screens next.
In addition to the multitouch displays, Lenovo plans
to offer Simple Tap with the X200 and the T400s. Here, Lenovo is looking to
technology built into the firmware to eliminate the reliance on the physical
keys of the laptop.
The technology allows a user to create small tiles
on the screen that correspond to the physical laptop. For example, a user can
create a tile that turns the wireless radio on or off, or a tile that shuts the
entire laptop off. Simple Tap also allows a user to customize a tile to launch
a PowerPoint presentation or call up a specific business application.
Lenovo plans to start selling the two notebooks with
multitouch screens later in September. The ThinkPad T400s starts at $1,999,
while the ThinkPad X200 tablet begins at $1,654.
Lenovo is also planning to update its ThinkPad X200
tablet with a new screen that offers better outdoor viewing. This 400-bit
screen is coated with a thin, anti-reflective glare that offers better viewing
in direct sunlight. The anti-glare technology for the ThinkPad X200 brings the
starting price up to $1,704.