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Multitouch on Dell’s new XT2 Tablet PC

Multitouch is where it’s at for smartphones, with plenty of UI developers trying to emulate Apple’s success.But can it cut the mustard on a notebook?
Written by Sandra Vogel, Contributing Writer

Multitouch is where it’s at for smartphones, with plenty of UI developers trying to emulate Apple’s success.

But can it cut the mustard on a notebook? Dell thinks so, and has introduced multitouch on its new XT2 Tablet PC.

My full review of this notebook will appear shortly, but I thought I’d spill the beans on multitouch in a blog post.

The XT2 has a capacitive screen, which is great as this means it responds well to finger-taps in general. I enjoyed prodding at the screen to make menu selections and to emulate pen flicks. Making a quick sweep up and down to scroll was intuitive once I got used to the fact that a downward scroll moves text up the page and vice versa. All these finger-friendly gestures worked well in both notebook and Tablet modes.

But that isn’t the end of it. Multitouch comes into play when more than one finger is on screen at once. The classic multitouch feature is pinch-to-zoom. Place two fingertips on screen and bring them together to zoom one way, sweep them apart to zoom the other.

It worked well enough, and was fairly handy when viewing some Web pages. But it left greasy fingermarks on the screen, and I found myself wanting to clean them off on a regular basis. Moreover, there weren’t that many situations in which zooming was necessary.

I’m a great fan of touchscreens on notebooks, but I’m not so convinced about the multitouch.

Pending the appearance of my review, you can read about the Latitude XT2 here.

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