UBook dualscreen laptop wants to be the Nintendo DS of notebooks

first_imgAfter the iPad introduced most of the world to tablets in 2010, we’ve seen several hybrid devices pop up. The Asus Eee Pad Transformer (and Transformer Prime) can be docked to an optional keyboard accessory to become an Android-powered netbook. Dell tried to hit that middle ground from the other side, with the touchscreen Insprion Duo laptops. Now a company called Najmtek is releasing a device that might actually bring the worst of tablets to the laptop world: the U-Book is a dual-screen laptop that forgoes a physical keyboard for a multitouch one.There are some potential perks in having such a device. The keyboard can be customizable, implementing different layouts, colors, and languages. A virtual trackpad can be added or subtracted at will. The keyboard can disappear altogether and allow for other types of multitouch input. Some customers may be waiting for something like this to come along.The cons, however, can’t be ignored. Typing on a virtual keyboard is probably one of the most inconvenient parts of the tablet experience. When you buy a laptop, you’re investing in a device that lets you type speedily without a second thought. The U-Book takes that away and opens up a whole can of frustrating typos, missed keys, and overall discomfort of rapidly tapping on glass.Perhaps this is slightly unfair. We have yet to see the U-Book in person, much less actually use it. But we have spent hours typing on virtual tablet keyboards. How improved can the experience be on the U-Book? If you want a laptop, then why not get one with a physical keyboard? If you’re masochistic enough to do elaborate typing on a multitouch display, then why not forgo a novelty device like the U-Book and just get a tablet? It’s a hybrid that a) nobody is asking for, and b) makes no practical sense.Najmtek has yet to release specs for the device, but as it runs Windows 7, it isn’t likely to be too big of a slouch in that department. Pricing info also isn’t known, but it will probably be considered a high-end device that carries a premium.You can see more of the U-Book in the video below, which includes a deceptive Mac OS X screensaver (are they suggesting that the U-Book would make a great Hackintosh?):We love innovation, and we love thinking outside of the box. Sometimes, however, innovation-for-innovation’s-sake can lead to nothing but a pointless product that will only be appreciated by niche groups.Najmtek, via The Digital Readerlast_img

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