HP anounces world's first multi-touch notebook, TouchSmart tx2

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HP has done a pretty good job with their line of convertible tablets thus far and today they announced the latest addition that incorporates multi-touch two-finger control, the TouchSmart tx2. The only caveat, however, is that the multi-touch functionality works within the HP MediaSmart suite of applications (like on the TouchSmart desktops), which isn’t really a caveat now that I think about it. It’s not like Apple is doing anything with their multi-touch technology on a notebook form factor, yet.

The TouchSmart tx2’s multi-touch screen can be attributed to an embedded N-trig digitizer (video after the jump). With a WXGA 12.1-inch screen the tx2 can handle up to 8GB or RAM with storage ranging from 160 to a 500GB 5400 RPM SATA drive and an AMD Athlon X2 Dual-Core proc (2.0GHz up to 2.4GHz). What I really liked about the tx2 other than the multi-touch stuff was the textured trackpad. I don’t know why but I did.

Full specs after the jump.

Editor’s Note: This is not the ‘first’ multi-touch notebook as Captain Fantastic points out. The Dell Latitude XT was the first to be announced with the N-trig digitizer, but the tx2 is aimed at the general consumer whereas the LXT is a business oriented notebook. Apologies for the confusion.

This is not the tx2, but it gives you an idea of what it actually does.

PALO ALTO, Calif., Nov. 19, 2008 – HP today announced the industry’s first convertible notebook PC with multi-touch technology designed specifically for consumers.

Building upon the touch innovation HP developed for its TouchSmart desktop PCs, the HP TouchSmart tx2 Notebook PC was developed for people on the go who value having their digital content at their fingertips – literally.

The enhanced HP MediaSmart digital entertainment software suite on the tx2 allows users to more naturally select, organize and manipulate digital files such as photos, music, video and web content by simply touching the screen.

“Breezing through websites and enjoying photos or video at the tap, whisk or flick of a finger is an entirely new way to enjoy digital content on a notebook PC,” said Ted Clark, senior vice president and general manager, Notebook Global Business Unit, Personal Systems Group, HP. “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.”

The tx2 is the latest result of HP’s 25 years of touch technology experience, which began with the introduction of the HP-150, a touch screen PC that was well ahead of its time, in 1983.

Digital media powerhouse
The tx2 gives customers the choice to set aside the keyboard and mouse in favor of a more natural user interface – the fingertip.

HP’s multi-touch display delivers quick and easy access to information, entertainment and other social media. The tx2 recognizes simultaneous input from more than one finger using “capacitive multi-touch technology,” which enables the use of gestures such as pinch, rotate, arc, flick, press and drag, and single and double tap.

The convertible design with a twist hinge allows consumers to enjoy the TouchSmart in three modes: PC, display and tablet. With a rechargeable digital ink pen, users can turn the tx2 into a tablet PC to write, sketch, draw, take notes or graph right onto the screen – and then automatically convert handwriting into typed text.

Starting at less than 4.5 pounds, the tx2 possesses a 12.1-inch diagonal BrightView LED display and an HP Imprint “Reaction” design.

The tx2 notebook’s HP MediaSmart software lets customers enjoy photos, listen to music and watch Internet(1) TV or movies in high-definition.(2) The software is optimized for multi-touch input while also making it simple to search digital content.

In an effort to provide consumers with rich content through the Internet, HP has expanded its partnership with MTV Networks (MTVN) by offering video content from 10 television channels and online brands within MediaSmart’s TV module.

Beginning in December, users can enjoy all the best content from Nickelodeon, the No. 1 entertainment brand for kids; MTV, the premier destination for music and youth culture programming; and COMEDY CENTRAL, the only all-comedy network and the No. 1 network in primetime for men ages 18 to 24. MTVN also plans to make content from Atom, CMT, GameTrailers, Logo, Spike, The N and VH1 available within MediaSmart’s TV module.

The MediaSmart software was first brought to HP HDX notebook PCs in September, using the interface first popularized on HP TouchSmart PCs. HP plans to include the software in the tx2 and all future HP consumer notebook PCs.

Powered by the AMD Turion™ X2 Ultra Dual-Core Mobile Processor or AMD Turion X2 Dual-Core Mobile Processor(3) and built on Windows® Vista Home Premium, the tx2 will be made available worldwide in an array of configure-to-order options.

Additional features, accessories and service
The HP TouchSmart tx2 series is ENERGY STAR® qualified and EPEAT™ Silver registered. Mercury-free LED display panels are included on the tx2 as part of HP’s ongoing commitment to reduce its impact on the environment.

The HP tx Series Notebook Stand elevates the tx2, enhancing its usability while stationary, including making it possible to put the PC in an upright position for full interactivity with the touch screen.

HP Webcam with Integrated Microphones allows users to see brighter, cleaner images when chatting over an Internet(1) connection.

The tx2 offers access to a variety of self-help tools built in and online. It also is supported by HP Total Care, which enables consumers to reach support agents 24/7 by phone, email or real-time chat.

Pricing and availability
The HP TouchSmart tx2 is available for ordering today in the United States at http://www.hpdirect.com with a starting U.S. price of $1,149. (4) More information about the tx2 is available at http://www.hp.com/go/touchsmarttx2.

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