Hands-on: Acer Iconia; touchscreen keyboard laptop

In the final days of CES 2011, Neowin got a hands-on with the Acer Iconia, a touchscreen keyboard laptop, that almost acts as if it has dual-screens. The laptop has a touchscreen keyboard, allowing you to virtually have any language keyboard on your screen, even style your keyboard if you need to.

The Iconia runs Windows 7 Home Premium, has a 14-inch display, and runs on a Intel Core i5, 8GB of RAM, 750GB HDD, Optimized Dolby Home Theater v3, weighs 6.18lbs and has an HDMI output.

After getting a hands-on demo of the device I realized how different the feel from a traditional trackpad is, you constantly have to look at what you're doing unlike a physical keyboard and trackpad. The Acer Iconia reminds me of using the iPad as a keyboard, while trying to watch an HDTV of what you're doing.

However, the laptop does have a great feel to it, and has a very colourful display. Although there was no mention of battery life, I do suspect the device won't last nearly as long as a traditional laptop does. The taskbar is placed on the lower screen, giving you more screen space to work with. During the testing, some applications launched on the top screen, while others launched on the bottom. This is likely customizable, but could be a great device for multi-taskers.

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16 Comments

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computerchan said,
Wondering how to press CTRL-ALT-DEL if the soft-keyboard freeze. You know, it is Windows.
Haha! Was wondering about this myself.

I'd prefer some sort of tactile response, even a little vibration would work for me. Just so I don't have to keep checking which keys my fingers are on whilst gaming.

jamesyfx said,
I'd prefer some sort of tactile response, even a little vibration would work for me.

Last year, Microsoft had patented a technique to electrically deform a display surface to create say the outline/ridge of a button. Sounds like that would work beautifully here.

the main problem i see is that the keyboard screen isn't pointed at the user so it does not look very bright.. If they could fix this and make the bottom screen look better it would be great

looks awesome, but might be a bit frustrating having to 'open up the keyboard' just to type. the convenience of a real keyboard is that its always there instantly whether you want to type one word or one thousand. if i just wanted to type one word, but had to open up the keyboard just to do that might become a bit frustrating.

MurrayB said,
looks awesome, but might be a bit frustrating having to 'open up the keyboard' just to type. the convenience of a real keyboard is that its always there instantly whether you want to type one word or one thousand. if i just wanted to type one word, but had to open up the keyboard just to do that might become a bit frustrating.
I know what you mean. You have to close the keyboard to use the touchscreen, a big annoyance in the software

warwagon said,
I wonder if it's as bad as the ipad, where as you try to get your fingers on the home row it types gibberish.
you need to remember that this is a 14in display compared to the iPad's 8-9 inch screen

warwagon said,
I wonder if it's as bad as the ipad, where as you try to get your fingers on the home row it types gibberish.

Never had a problem typing on the iPad, even with my 'chubby' digits.