It’s amazing how quickly technology advances. One minute you’re sat in front of a hefty computer playing Tetris and the next you’re walking through town while talking to your friends on Skype. New products are being introduced all the time and with everything from smartphones to iPads taking the world by storm, it’s no wonder that the touchscreen functionality is now compatible with laptops – but does it work? Is a desktop/tablet mash-up appropriate and will we see more like it being sold in store and on websites like http://www.ebay.co.uk.
When Windows 8, complete with touchscreen capabilities, was first unveiled to the public back in October 2012 it caused quite a stir. With the bright tiled Start screen replacing the traditional Start menu of Windows 7, some people were left a little flustered and couldn’t quite get to grips with the new bold layout. In short, it seemed Microsoft’s first epic attempt to bring Windows into the brave world of touchscreen computing was a little off-putting, despite its attempt to incorporate a wealth of applications that can be accessed with the touch of a finger – or with a mouse.
Like all good companies, Microsoft listened to its consumers and went on to reveal the first significant update back in October 2013 – Microsoft 8.1. The revamped edition saw the return of the Start button (with the more traditional Start menu rumoured to make a comeback with Windows 8.2, as well as improved apps, more customisation options, advanced split-screen technology and the ability to access files from cloud storage while offline. On the whole, these changes have been well received although it can be argued that Windows 8 is in fact more suited for touchscreen usage than with a traditional keyboard. A representation, perhaps, of how things have changed.
As well as the introduction of Windows 8, hybrid laptops have also become increasingly popular. Somewhere between a traditional laptop and a tablet, these devices come with touchscreen capabilities and can be docked or used on the go. This is great news for anyone who enjoys using a touchscreen, but would prefer to attach a fully functioning keyboard and mouse to do some hardcore gaming or typing. With hybrid laptops being so portable, they’re also ideal for people with a busy life and can be used at home, on the train in an office or even at a cafe – the options are endless. On the downside, hybrid laptops tend to be that little bit heavier than normal tablets making it more difficult to hold them for significant periods of time. What’s more, some also lack the full functionality and storage of a traditional laptop, which could make traditional products more appealing.
There’s no denying that touchscreen computers are revolutionary with many being easy to use. Although it may take a little refinement, touchscreen mobile technology has the potential to be even greater than it is now and is sure to be a significant component in many up-and-coming devices.
Guest article written by: Ella Mason, an experienced freelance writer, wrote this article. Ella specialises in providing useful and engaging advice to small businesses. Follow her on Twitter @ellatmason