Acer: Touch-screen laptops will be everywhere soon

Touch-screen laptops are going to take over the market, Acer's president said in an interview with Taipei-based Digitimes. But he noted that Apple is so far a no-show on this front.

The Acer Aspire S7 touch-screen Windows 8 laptop.
The Acer Aspire S7 touch-screen Windows 8 laptop. CNET Asia

Acer president Jim Wong said touch-screen laptops will eventually dominate the PC market, although he also warned that Windows 8 may take a while to win over computer users.

Touch-screen laptops -- now just trickling into the market -- will eventually become the dominant laptop design, Wong said in an interview with Taipei-based Digitimes. For instance, he noted internal Acer research showing that after using a product with a touch-screen for more than 20 minutes, users naturally gravitate to touch.

"This indicates that touchscreen control is an irreversible trend," he said.

Wong also had some wry comments for Apple. He noted that while Apple is good at coming up with new technologies like the Retina display, "surprisingly Apple did not adopt touch-screen" for its MacBooks.

In October of 2010, Steve Jobs said that Apple had done "tons of user testing on this, and it turns out it doesn't work. Touch surfaces don't want to be vertical," referring to touch on laptops. And so far that philosophy appears to be intact at Apple, none of whose computer products -- as opposed to its iPhones, iPads and iPods -- feature touch screens.

Wong also had a lot to say about Windows 8, starting with the fact that it isn't likely to be an immediate hit.

Windows 8 is a "new system that consumers must learn and the learning process will prevent the operating system from taking off quickly," he said. Wong, however, argued that criticism of the touch interface has been unfair.

While the new Windows 8 interface could "dramatically delay adoption by consumers," Wong acknowledged that "companies must take risks when introducing innovations."

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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