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New Gorilla Glass protects touch-screen notebooks

Corning, the manufacturer of the resilient Gorilla Glass built into smartphones everywhere, has designed a new type of glass made exclusively to better protect notebook touch screens.

It's hard to imagine a more disastrous scenario than dropping a cool $1,300 on a Chromebook Pixel only to end up scratching its glorious 239ppi touch-screen display.

Sure, the Pixel is equipped with Gorilla Glass, but the manufacturer of that resilient touch-screen invention, Corning, thought the glass could be even better. That's why the upstate New York company has come out with Gorilla Glass NBT, a specially designed solution for touch-enabled notebooks that aims to protect these higher-end devices from the dangers of everyday use.

Standard Gorilla Glass, the type designed back in 2007 especially for the iPhone, can handle its fair share of roughing up, but all it takes is a uniquely applied push of pressure for the screen to teeter on the edge of a wicked spider web crack. With touchscreen notebooks, the threat is more serious considering the huge cost of screen replacement.

That's why the NBT variety of the glass is not meant to protect these devices from drops per se -- the typical damage case with smartphones -- but rather from scratches due to excessive use and from any weakness that may result if a scratch does end up on the screen. According to Corning, consumer complaint rates are more than twice as high for scratches on touch-screen notebooks than for scratches involving other mobile devices.

As one might expect, the Gorilla Glass NBT will be more expensive, but Corning insists that the cost increase will be almost negligible compared with the added strength. "In fact, for just 1 to 2 percent of a device's retail price, Gorilla Glass NBT provides 8 to 10 times more damage resistance than soda-lime alternatives," the company explains in a press release.

The product is available now, and Dell has already signed up to integrate the glass into gadgets for its fall device lineup.