Touchscreen Notebooks Increase In Popularity — But why? Why? WHY?!

BetaNews’s Mark Wilson acknowledges that we’re all used to getting touchy-feely with our phones and tablets, but it’s only in the past few months that touchscreen laptops have really gained any ground, citing a report by NPD DisplaySearch states that by the end of 2013, touchscreen devices will account for 11 percent of all notebook shipments, and there has been a steady increase in market share since the beginning of the year.

Wilson notes that even Acer’s $299 budget touchscreen C720P Chromebook brings a touch-sensitive screen to a wider audience, but says he can’t help but wonder if its a feature that will actually be used. In his estimation, touchscreen on laptops is a gimmick, speaking from his personal experience.

He observes that the idea of touchscreen is appealing for phones or tablets. He personally uses a Surface Pro day in, day out, but says he never uses the touchscreen when the Surface is in laptop mode. On the odd occasion I whip off the keyboard and use the Surface as a tablet. He also has a touchscreen Acer laptop, on which touch is never used.

Wilson explains that (as the late Steve Jobs himself observed in his original iPad introduction in 2010) that it is just awkward to reach over the keyboard to tap or slide on the screen. Why move one’s entire arm when a couple of fingers can achieve the same by moving a couple of centimeters on the trackpad?

Why indeed? Your editor, who is also a heavy iPad user, much prefers a mouse ot trackpad to any touchscreen by preference. The ergonomics of touchscreen manipulation on a laptop or with an external keyboard and an iPad in vertical screen orientation, are just awful.

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