I love my iPad and I love my dual-monitor setup at work. Now Acer has decided that combining those two approaches to computing is the way forward.
The PC giant has just unveiled its Iconia portable, which is a laptop/tablet hybrid -- times two. The Iconia sports not one 14-inch multi-touch display, but a pair of them. It also has the typical specs for a solidly performing notebook, including your choice of Intel Core i5 processor, a hard drive (in capacities ranging from 320GB to 750GB), Windows 7 Home Premium, and a weight of just over 6 pounds, save for one: Your keyboard is virtual. The bottom panel even knows to display the keyboard when you rest both palms on it.
That leaves the focus clearly on the two screens, LED-backlit LCDs each with a resolution of 1,366x768 and protected from smudges and scratches thanks to Gorilla Glass protection. As with dual-monitor setups you might use with a desktop PC, Iconia gives you the option to use both screens to display a single application or to display different views on each LCD.
Acer has customized the interface to make it easy for gesture-based control. The Gesture Editor lets you use custom gestures to open programs and Websites and perform other vital functions, while the Window Manager helps you organize everything across your doubled screen real estate. There's also a SocialJogger app that manages your Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube activity through a single interface.
In sum, the Iconia appears to be a bigger, badder version of Toshiba's Libretto W100 dual-screen tablet, which was available for a limited run late last summer. Acer hasn't yet divulged details on pricing and availability, but if the Libretto is any guide, it cost $1,100 for the short time it was on sale.