Global Politics, Rumors, US

Touchscreen Notebooks Soon to Disappear?

Touchscreens may soon bid farewell to standard notebook PCs.

recent report from Digitimes — which has often questionable accuracy — has just detailed what seems to be a recent decision by major notebook PC vendors to do away with touchscreens for notebook PCs in the near future. According to the information presented, demand for touchscreen notebooks overall wasn’t as high as expected, and thus affected companies are now planning to adjust accordingly. Following this assessment, the report also states that touchscreen notebook PC vendors will be ceasing production of touchscreen notebooks for the final quarter of the current year.

One of the most cited reasons for the low demand of touchscreen notebook PCs is that users still mostly prefer the traditional mouse and keyboard access method for these devices. Smartphones and tablets have already generally contributed to the lowered average PC sales over the last couple of years, and this gave impetus for the development of touchscreen notebook PCs. However, touchscreen notebooks often suffered from an identity crisis, as users generally opt for a standard notebook PC for general productivity work, while a separate tablet unit is used for touchscreen-based tasks.

Furthermore, adding touchscreens to notebooks usually require extra production costs, and thus such notebook models would have to be introduced to the market at a considerably increased price. This may have further widened the gap, making a touchscreen notebook PC look far less of an option to most typical users.

The hype for (capacitive) touchscreens was evidently made by the emergence of the smartphone and tablet market a few years ago. Touchscreens then eventually became a standard staple to many devices, not only to notebooks, but even to game consoles, such as the Nintendo 3DS, Playstation Vita and Wii U. However, despite its innovative features, touchscreens can sometimes be more of an intrusion than of a convenience. This is especially true when a mouse, keyboard or any other tangible/physical peripheral can provide better and faster access to a specific gadget or device.

Despite the impending obsolescence of touchscreens on notebook PCs in the near future, touchscreens will still be a staple feature of hybrid “2-in-1” mobile devices, such as the Microsoft Surface as well as notebooks categorized as ultrabooks. Only standard notebooks and gaming notebooks would be mostly likely be affected by this announcement.