Lenovo has launched several additions to its ThinkPad range which feature multi-touch screens designed to help users interact with and navigate the device more intuitively.
Traditional touch screens can recognise only one point of input at a time, but multi-touch input devices - up to four in the case of the new ThinkPads - can handle several simultaneously, allowing for a greater range of functionality, and gesture-based input such as 'pinching' to zoom in and out.
The new Lenovo models also incorporate the firm's SimpleTap technology, designed to minimise the need to switch between the touch screen and physical controls by giving easy access to hardware-based functions.
SimpleTap presents a grid-based menu overlay which allows users to access functions such as toggling the wireless radio on or off, controlling the microphone, previewing the camera, adjusting the volume or screen brightness, locking the screen or putting the PC to sleep.
Users can also add their own shortcuts to the SimpleTap grid for applications, files or internet favourites, for example.
"We see now as the right time for multi-touch screens on PCs," said Sam Dusi, vice president of product marketing for Lenovo's worldwide ThinkPad brand.
"With touch screens becoming part of more devices we use routinely, and continued improvement of the technology including the integration of touch in Windows 7, the environment for making touch part of our Tablet PC and ThinkPad T400s laptop experience couldn't be better.
"We've also extended the touch experience with SimpleTap to make frequent hardware-based functions touch-enabled and simple."
The ThinkPad X200 Tablet boasts a capacitive touch screen with an anti-fingerprint coating to help reduce smudges. Lenovo has also optimised the firmware to help compensate for slightly imprecise taps on the screen, such as when closing a window or navigating the Start menu, and the X200 ships with an optional super bright screen aimed at outdoor workers.
The X200 and T400s will be available in the UK from 22 October. The T400s is expected to cost around £1,770, while the X200 Tablet should sell for about £1,570.
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