I’ll happily prod my phone’s screen to use the web and email, but when it comes to a touchscreen laptop, my fingers stay firmly on the keyboard. Do you use touch much beyond tablets and phones?
Have you taken to using touch on your laptop or PC? I’ve had my hands on a few touchscreen laptops, but I haven’t yet reached the point where I reach for the screen, rather than pointing with a mouse or using the trackpad.
Windows 8 brought with it the launch of touchscreen laptops, but many of the cheaper laptops don’t have touch and you can still navigate the tiled Windows 8 layout without it. And invariably, when faced with a touchscreen laptop, I don’t touch.
It’s not just Windows 8 laptops. The Google Chromebook Pixel has a touchscreen, but I’m not inclined to poke that either. The high resolution screen on the Pixel is amazing – I’m just not inclined to put finger marks across that great-looking screen.
Does using a touchscreen become a habit?
Maybe working on non-touch PCs and laptops for so long has conditioned me to use keys, mouse and trackpad. Or maybe it’s because I mostly use these devices for typing and work.
If I played more games, maybe I’d be more hands-on. Even faced with a Google search result or the Windows 8 tiled interface where no typing’s required, I’ll use the trackpad or mouse. I’m more likely to use the swipe on the trackpad to scroll than reach forward to the screen.
Perhaps it’s laziness on my part. Moving from the relative comfort of my typing position to poking the screen feels like an effort, and of course it takes a few moments to find my original ‘comfy’ spot again afterwards. Or maybe I need to spend more than a few weeks living with a touchscreen laptop to really get on with multi-touch.
Apple has steered clear of touch on laptops and PCs, although there are rumours of a patent suggesting touch on future laptops. We’ll have to wait and see.
Will hybrids make a difference?
Fingermarks on screen are annoying, but smaller phone and tablet screens are easier to clean quickly with your shirt or sleeve – we all do it, don’t we?
A 10-inch tablet screen isn’t particularly small. Smaller laptops have 11-inch screens and the UK arrival of the Microsoft Surface Pro could be a turning point. It’s a tablet with a keyboard you can buy separately, like the Surface RT, but the Intel Core processor and Windows 8 operating system give it the potential to be used for work, more like a laptop.
For all you Windows 8 converts out there, whether you like the tiled layout or were just forced to use it out of the need for a new laptop or PC, have you got into using your touchscreen? Or regardless of the program, do you always reach for the trackpad or mouse?