For a while there, people were saying that Apple would replace the conventional touchpad on the MacBook with a touchscreen display sourced from the iPhone. This latest innovation from Fujitsu isn’t quite the same thing, but it’s pretty darn close.
The secondary screen doesn’t replace the conventional trackpad, but it has been placed between the main display and the keyboard to serve as some sort of application launcher. The picture provided here is pretty self-explanatory. The design is certainly strange-looking, but I can see how something like this would come in pretty handy. It’s kind of like that Optimus keyboard, but not, you know, embedded in the keyboard itself.
The little touchscreen measures 4-inches across the diagonal and features a 480 x 272 pixel resolution. It will primarily serve as a quick access app launcher, but Fujitsu’ Paul Moore says that it can also be used as a secondary display. For example, you could plunk a chat client in there so that it doesn’t take up valuable real estate on your main display. Because it has the same functionality as a “real” external display, icons and items can be dragged and dropped in there at will. The touchscreen can also be used as a photo viewer or a CD/DVD control panel, but it does not serve the same function as Vista SideShow.
Looking at the rest of the features on the Fujitsu LifeBook N7010 are a 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 16-inch 16:9 display (built for multimedia), Blu-ray ROM drive, HDMI out, multitouch trackpad, up to 4GB of RAM, 256MB ATI HD 3470 graphics, SD reader, 1.3 megapixel webcam, eSATA, Bluetooth, 802.11n WiFi, up to 320GB hard drive, and a rated 2.5 hour battery life.
Prices start at $1500 and Fujitsu will start shipping the N7010 starting next Monday.