Acer breaks the mould with dual-touchscreen laptop

Acer is breaking new ground in the laptop market with the launch of dual-touchscreen PC.

The Acer Iconia has a traditional laptop clamshell design, but replaces the keyboard with a second 14in touchscreen. The secondary screen has a software keyboard for typing duties, which is automatically activated when the user places both their palms on the screen.

The Iconia runs Windows 7, although Acer is running its own touch software on top of the operating system to make finger-driven controls easier. There are touch-friendly versions of the web browser, as well as the music, video and photo players. Meanwhile, Acer’s Gesture Editor allows users to launch applications or websites with customised gestures.

Acer Iconia front

The Iconia is more desktop replacement than ultraportable: the device weighs in at 2.8kg, which is more than twice the weight of the 11in MacBook Air. Neither does the main screen swivel and fold back into tablet orientation, with users forced to stick with the traditional laptop layout.

The laptop is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor (available in three variants up to the 2.66GHz i5-580M), which is complemented by 4GB of RAM and up to 750GB of hard disk space. The exact UK specification is yet to be confirmed.

Intel’s HD graphics power the two 1,366 x 768 touchscreens, but there’s no built-in optical drive: DVD or Blu-ray will be supplied via optional external drives.

The Iconia will go on sale on in January, with prices starting from £1,499 inc VAT.

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