Lenovo preps touchscreen ThinkPads for Windows 7

So you can’t stand the idea of someone touching your notebook’s screen? Lenovo’s Worldwide Competitive Analyst Matt Kohut knows where you’re coming from. All the same he’s flying the flag for a new wave of touch-friendly ThinkPads which will be launched alongside Windows 7 later this year.

“I hate fingerprints on my screen and I’ll slap someone’s hand if they touch my screen” says the energetic Kohut who met with APCmag during a whistle-stop tour of the region. “But I see a lot of people who’re already pointing on their screens and they’ve got dirty grimed up screens.”

“Now speaking for myself I’m going to have a hard time with it for that very reason. I’m going to be one of those people (cleaning the screen) with a microfibre cloth every two minutes. But the vast majority of people seem to have no problem with that even if I do.”

Kohut told APCmag that Lenovo “is going to have a whole variety of multi-touch enabled systems” built for Windows 7. But the company is putting in some extra work to improve accuracy and customisation of the touch experience.

“We’ll be adding our own functionality on top of Windows 7 such as making your own gestures. There are going to be several canned gestures built into Windows 7 but why can’t you go the extra step? If I want to do some specific gesture that launches my email program why not allow me to program that in?”

“And depending on how you implement (touch) it can be a little dodgy sometimes. You think you’ve pressed this button but the software thought you pressed the button two spaces adjacent to it. So there’s a lot of focus from our development standpoint on how we make touch easier for the user so that what they intend to do actually happens.”

To support Apple-style multi-touch gestures on the trackpad Kohut says that the trackpads on some Lenovo notebooks will also start to grow in size.

“One of our Y-series Lenovo consumer PCs actually has the biggest touchpad on the market but that notebook also has a 16 inch display. Because the form factor is bigger we’ve got the room to do that.

“But when you’ve got an ultra-portable system there’s only a finite amount of space and then you have to start giving and taking. It becomes a lot more difficult to make the touchpad bigger without making the physical size of the notebook’s form factor bigger.”