back to article Acer replaces laptop keyboard with multi-touch LCD

Tablets out of the way, we now come to Acer's other big launch: a 14in laptop with a virtual keyboard. Yes, the Iconia - as the new machine is dubbed - sports a second LCD where the keyboard usually goes, giving the laptop the look of a scaled up Nintendo DS or Microsoft's ill-fated Courier two-screen tablet. Acer Iconia …


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  1. Code Monkey

    Only a concept but

    I bet it weighs a fncking ton

  2. JDX Gold badge


    See title.

    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Because they can!

      And besides, this is getting closer to the form-factor I've always desired: a two-screen tablet that you can use like a book. Preferably with some future version of e-paper. Holding an open book is much more comfortable than holding a large lumpen tablet of a similar weight and dimension.

      But to reiterate my original point: Because they can!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Entourage edge

        There is already one with an e-ink and an lcd screen

      2. alwarming

        I swear...

        All I did was touch her book.

        She freaked out as if I double clicked something.

        Paris, coz she likes things which can go both ways.

  3. Harry

    Why ?

    Why are so many laptops and LCDs coming out with those horrid, glossy screens ?

    We've known since the 1980s that glossy screens are bad bad bad for the user, indeed it was a very specific health and safety rule that screens should always be non-reflecting. When you sit in front of a screen, you want to see the document you are working on, not the rest of your office or, worse still, the street outside. Your eyes and brain must both do significant extra work to distinguish your document from those unnecessary reflections.

    Surely, its time it was made a legal requirement for the brochures of products with such horrendous design defects to contain a serious health warning or, better still, be prohibited altogether.

    1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

      Matt screens are FTW

      I agree... I myself have no idea what the big deal is with glossies or who would ever buy one in preference to a matt. imho, matt screens should be always available, if not as the default, certainly as an equally available option at no extra cost.

  4. Nick L

    Truly original...

    ...apart from Toshiba already marketing these in the form of the Libretto W100 for the past few months. In fact, they've already EOL'd them, which suggests how successful they were with this concept...

  5. Syren Baran

    Combining the disadvantages

    of a laptop with the disadvantages of a tablet?

  6. bolccg
    Thumb Down

    Glass keyboard...

    sounds rather tough on the fingers?

    1. Michael C

      ...and the way I type

      the glass too.

  7. hazzamon

    I suspect...

    ...that this isn't going to be the best to use for touch-typing.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Double your screens

    double your glare

  9. Rupert Stubbs


    Either weighs a ton due to needing twice as much battery power / Or will only last a few hours before recharging.

    Either way it's a dud.

  10. Martin 47

    at last

    some designer out there has realised that the book format has been arrived at over centuries of use and not just because that is the shape that books are.

    Still I suppose it took millenia to move away from just having one flat sheet of parchment at a time .......

  11. theJML

    This could be awesome...

    Depending on the OS, quality, battery life and how good the touch screens are.

    But WHY is it running 1366x768? It's a 14",it should be at least 1680x1050 in this range... make it dual 1920x1200 screens and you might just have yourself a customer (depending on price).

    1. Michael C


      800v line screens are rare in the 14" market space ,900v more still. i've seen maybe 1 1050 14" screen, those are even rare in 15 and 17" sizes. 1200v screens are reserved only for pro systems, typically in 17". most 22" monitors don;t cross 1080p anymore (mine do, and I do think 1200 should be standard in 22" and larger, 1440 at 27" and 1600 in anything larger).

      asking for dual 1200dpi, in 14", i don't know if those screens even exist. that's a higher pixel density than Apple's new screens in the Air...

      As for the design, I'd sooner see an integrated optimums keyboard with real physical buttons than this. When i need dual screens, i still need a keyboard too, so making a machine this way is self defeating. i like the idea of dynamic keyboard layouts, but this is too much of a sacrifice.

  12. Steve Evans


    Whilst I appreciate the other comments, and expect it to be a nightmare to type on, I do see a use for it... For making animations and photo retouching.

  13. Giles Jones Gold badge

    MS Courier all over again

    At least it got further than a drawing this time.

    But surely a dual screen device would be the sort to benefit from a smaller screen?

    Dual 7 inch screens would work. So you're not giving up too much screen space as you have two screens.

  14. JB


    It'll still go kaputt if you spill coffee on it!

    1. Steve Evans

      Re: Title

      Why? A sheet of glass is far easier to seal against a plastic case than 100 odd moving buttons.

      Bar the ports, and the required ventilation for the CPU and chipset, this thing could be completely fluid sealed.

  15. illiad


    has everyone forgotten about anti reflective coating????? even gorilla glass makers???

  16. Anonymous Coward

    ten simultaneous touches.

    "The lower one can detect ten simultaneous touches."

    So no piano duets then?

  17. Greg J Preece

    If it didn't have glossy screens

    I'd be on the phone to Acer trying to pre-order one.

    I've wanted an adaptive keyboard for years - one that refactors itself to the task. With one of these and a Linux install, I could probably make one. I'm also a multi-monitor man - single-monitor setups feel claustrophobic to me these days.

    And besides, it is fecking sexy.

  18. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

    I wouldn't get one..

    But I can see the advantages of having a completely sealed keyboard. If this thing is ruggedizable, there may be a niche for these things.

    Myself, I can't see a keyboard lacking any 'feel' whatsoever ever replacing a proper keyboard.

    But, if someone _gave_ me one of these, I'd give it a go.

    Ditto with the iPad.

  19. JaitcH

    At least the ladies won't need hand mirrors

    With two shiny screens this unit is as good as a make-up desk.

    Which OS are they contemplating using? Two LCD screens could spell trouble - buying an extended warranty is a must.

    Of course, if they build this they will have something not even Jobs has in his toy box.

  20. Haku

    Fingerprint magnet

    Hold on, I got a smudge


    That's better.

  21. wim


    If you could use the lower part as a wacom pad it would be useful I guess for graphics people.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    can now be implemented then?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Theoretical a sound concept, BUT

    I guess that there is life in the dual screen concept but I think that it would be optimised if the keyboard screen was an epaper/eink type display, to improve battery life (keyboards dont need to be colour) however it would still need to be multitouch and ideally with a bit of a rubberised feel so that typing on it is more comfortable, whats more if the hinge were to allow this to fold over itself (360 degree) and clip together using the eink display as an ebook type scren for reading would use next to no power, and be a perfect low power device for books, reports or news websites etc.

  24. NightFox


    Got a new product/company/brand/car that needs a name?


    i) Pick a word you like. If you don't know any words just make one up.

    ii) Now add either 'a' or 'ia' to the end of it.


    Sooooo 1990's.

    Bring on the whale song and the swirly ribbon non-threatening conceptual logos.

  25. David Lawrence

    I for one....

    ...applaud bold ideas such as this. An adaptive keyboard? Cool! Think of the uses for games, specailst apps, video editing etc etc. Replace glossy screens with matt ones, drop in some killer apps, price it sensibly and I'll buy one. As someone else said - it's fecking cool.

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