Acer bridges gap between laptops, tablet PCs with dual touch-screen Iconia-6120

Acer bridges gap between laptops, tablet PCs with dual touch-screen Iconia-6120

Summary: We've known about Acer's Iconia portable device for a while now, but the company has finally announced specs, pricing, and availability for the dual touch-screen tablet. Known officially as the Iconia-6120 Dual-Screen Touchbook, it combines a pair of 14-inch LED-backlit LCD screens and layers a unique interface over Windows 7.

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We've known about Acer's Iconia portable device for a while now, but the company has finally announced specs, pricing, and availability for the dual touch-screen tablet. Known officially as the Iconia-6120 Dual-Screen Touchbook, it combines a pair of 14-inch LED-backlit LCD screens and layers a unique interface over Windows 7.

Gallery: Acer's dual-screen tablet/laptop

While Acer refers to the Iconia as a tablet, its specs resemble those of a more traditional laptop, including an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 640GB hard drive. With its 14-inch displays, it also weighs nearly six pounds, so it's far bulkier than any tablet PC out there.

Then again, the Iconia puts that second screen to work as either a virtual keyboard, an extension of the top screen (so you can span a Web page or document across the two LCDs), or a secondary screen that displays something different than the top LCD. Acer provides what it calls a "Ring Control Interface" that gives you easy access to your applications and Web sites through touch gestures and "AppCards," which let you log into Flickr, Facebook, and YouTube simultaneously (why no Twitter?) or collect Web clippings and content that's updated whenever you open it.

Given all this, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the Iconia is priced more like a laptop than a tablet, though it doesn't come with an astronomical price tag: It's available in April for $1,199.99. Is that the right price for an innovative device that could either pave the road for future laptop design or be an interesting dead end? Let us know in the Comments section.

Topics: Laptops, Hardware, Mobility, Tablets

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25 comments
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  • Interesting for geeks like us, but DOA for mass market

    The subject.
    DDERSSS
    • Have to agree.

      @denisrs

      Lenova had (still may have one) a notebook/tablet with one pivoting screen - Much Smarter and Much Cheaper!
      dwminer
  • this is stupid.. worst of both worlds..

    for tablets you give up the superior typing on a keyboard for portability, lower weight and for immediacy of typing (don't have to open clamshell).. with this thing you get the inferior typing, but gain nothing.. it still needs to be opened to use.. still just as heavy and no more portable than a laptop.. IDIOTIC!!

    and look at the price you pay to have all the worst qualities of those devices and none of the good ones? crazy! how can people be that dumb?
    doctorSpoc
    • Easy. They belong to that group of folks who think

      feature checklists sell products.
      fr_gough
      • Trying to sell a crazy design?

        @frgough@...
        Potentially correct. My thought process is that they think that this design form will catch on. Isn't Toshiba making a similar one? They were probably thinking, what's better than one touch screen? Two touch screens!!! Needless to say the carpal tunnel may just be the worst.

        I don't like it, but there may be those who do.
        hoaxoner
      • hoaxoner, maybe it really is a good idea

        @hoaxoner.
        The "keyboard" is configurable - imagine changing teh layout to something else, or better yet, to a "digitizing tablet", for design work, games with custom command button layouts, or a DJ mixing console?

        There are some real posibilities to this beyond a "simple laptop".
        Will Farrell
    • RE: Acer bridges gap between laptops, tablet PCs with dual touch-screen Iconia-6120

      @doctorSpoc I totally agree. This is too big and heavy to appeal as a tablet alternative and it's much worse than an equivalent weight laptop. Versus this, I'd buy a laptop. If you are giving up a keyboard, you want something in return. Tablets are thin, light, and have great battery life. Those are reasons to put up with a "virtual" keyboard.

      When I first heard about this dual screen tablet computer, I envisioned something the size of the 7" Samsung or perhaps even an iPad with dual screens and thin form factor. This device is just pointless in both markets. It isn't the price that will kill this. It's mainly the stupid decision to make it big and heavy. I have to say, Apple gets it. These guys don't.

      Back to the drawing board, guys.
      BillDem
      • Ho so? Will Farrell had some good ideas above

        @BillDem
        [i]The "keyboard" is configurable - imagine changing the layout to something else, or better yet to a "digitizing tablet" for design work, games with custom command button layouts, or a DJ mixing console?[/i]

        I think that's where a laptop comes up short
        John Zern
  • Really?

    For that price it should have the "Apple" logo on the cover....This is an arcane idea that will die like the other minis and is overpriced to boot.
    TKodiak
  • RE: Acer bridges gap between laptops, tablet PCs with dual touch-screen Iconia-6120

    I've been wondering why keyboards haven't gone "virtual" on laptops for quite some time now. This would be really great if you are multi-lingual, change the language, and the layout changes to match. Inferior tactile experience, no quiestin about it, and as for carpal tunnel, well physical keyobards already gave me that.
    podstolom
    • hmm

      @podstolom
      Well, why couldn't they have tactile buttons that change with language? What is stopping the letters to change, or something like that on a traditional keyboard style front?
      hoaxoner
    • RE: Acer bridges gap between laptops, tablet PCs with dual touch-screen Iconia-6120

      @podstolom
      I'd love a 'screen' keyboard. Not only multi-lingual, but just for games you could have the keys that matter - for work, reconfig your keyboard to quickly do the six key strokes you do over and over in Excel...
      glenndjones@...
  • Nice but misses the point

    I'd love to have dual screen on a portable system. However, 14" Screen ? Why not 11" or 12" ? I'd rather have smaller, light-weight portable with dual screen. I don't know who is this geared towards! Gamers or Business?

    The weight, dimension and battery time are major issues that turns me off from buying it.
    tamouh2
  • RE: Acer bridges gap between laptops, tablet PCs with dual touch-screen Iconia-6120

    I have been trying to look at specs for this. There could potentially be more than a little workability with this. If it has built in Bluetooth then you could use a wireless keyboard and mouse. I personally would love to be able to have multiple distinct screens to work with, especially development apps! This kind of multi-screen technology could be the baseline to much bigger and better technical opportunities....
    dminder@...
  • RE: Acer bridges gap between laptops, tablet PCs with dual touch-screen Iconia-6120

    DOA.
    The six pound weight is a show stopper.
    jaykayess
    • Weight is not everything.

      @jaykayess

      Not really. This is not aimed at the "Look at me I have a tablet to use while drinking Java at Starbucks" crowd. This is a much more serious machine with endless possibility in many fields including education. I just sent info about this to my supervisor and in less than 2 minutes she wrote back to tell me to do more research on it and that she wanted to get several of them for evaluation.
      thebeans
  • RE: Acer bridges gap between laptops, tablet PCs with dual touch-screen Iconia-6120

    Nice idea, but they did not go far enough. I own an HP tx1410us tablet. Not a bad machine once you get past the overheating issues. But it is too heavy in tablet mode to be very useful in that configuration. My arm tires out quickly and on a desk it is not in a good position to use handwriting or gestures, so I mostly use it as a laptop. I see the same issue here. Since I hate lugging my laptop around to meeting after meeting, I would have liked to see this innovation go one step further. It would be great if the main hardware was located in the top screen and you could remove the top screen to become a light-weight slate to take on the go. Then this would be something I would buy and use almost exclusively.
    rcarlsonherps
  • Compared to the ASUS Slate EP121

    Hmmmm, intriguing idea... I think the dual touch screens are a great idea for many applications and I even think that price is right; however, my single concern is that of typing on a touch screen. While it is somewhat doable (people do it on iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touches) it isn't remotely as function as a physical keyboard. I think we need the tactile nature of the physical keyboard to "touch type."

    I have the ASUS Slate and find it to be an outstanding portable system. It has a phenomenal touch screen on the tablet portion and comes with an exceptional wireless keyboard. And it's light enough and small enough to cart around. I'm not sure the Slate has completely nailed down the next generation of device, but it's the closest thing I've seen (or used) yet.
    laughfactory
  • RE: Acer bridges gap between laptops, tablet PCs with dual touch-screen Iconia-6120

    Wow wonder how face someone gets fired over this stupid idea lol. If your going to do this why not make it a full real keyboard or a laptop? No one likes typing on virtual keyboards you just except or get used to it. So two screens twice the chance to damage a screen and the cost of replacement. This has to go up for stupidest idea of the year.
    Fletchguy
  • I hate laptop keyboards!

    We need more laptops like this. As a hardware tech, the single most annoying thing I hate doing the most is replacing laptop keyboards. This puts an end to that nonsense! Plus the applications for a device like this are endless. The weight and price do not concern me.
    Bates_