Will you spend good money to purchase a keyboard-less notebook? Well, Acer apparently thinks that there exists people out there who are willing to do so, if only just to show the world that they are way ahead of the times where computer technology is concerned. And if tapping away on a touchscreen is definitely something that only the trendy do, Acer's recently launched Iconia Touchbook will probably be the ideal solution for those who just cannot get enough satisfaction from taping on their single-display tablet's touchscreen.
Even though they serve completely different target markets, one would be hard pressed to deny that both the notebook and desktop PCs have had more than their fair share of naysayers claiming that the both their form factors will eventually be replaced by smaller, more portable machines that feature lesser processing power. After all, the desktop PC has been facing competition from mobile notebooks as the computer of choice for the longest time, while typical laptops are already having to deal with the huge popularity of netbooks, along with the recently-introduced smartphone and tablets.
However, both form factors have also successfully defended their place in the computing ecosystem, and it appears that Acer has realized that one does not have to break the mould in order to deliver a completely new computing experience to the masses. After all, that is exactly what it has seemingly done with its recently-launched Iconia tablet PC, which appears to resemble a notebook more than a tablet.
According to Acer, the bottom touchscreen panel serves a wide variety of purposes, although most users will probably find that getting used to handling a full-sized keyboard without any form of tactile feedback is going to be the top priority in learning how to fully utilize the Iconia. That being said, Acer claims that users will not have to jump through any hoops in order to activate the touchscreen keyboard: rather all they have to do is to merely rest both hands on the screen and the virtual keyboard will magically appear. Additionally, the bottom screen also supports gesture control: this allows users to call up certain applications or start up specific tasks with little more than just a few flicks of their fingers.
Furthuremore, Acer claims that the Iconia's lower screen can be used as an extension of the main display: this allows for dual-screen multitasking, or the viewing of digital content in a single large extended display.
Last but definitely not least, the Iconia uses Intel's Core-i5 processor (no information about its model number), features a HDMI-out port and a 1.3 megapixel web camera. Backing up its multi-tasking capabilties are 4GB of memory and 64-GB of hard disk storage, although road warriors might find its paltry three hour a turn off. Ufortunately, this trade off is inevitable, as two displays are definitely going to put a huge strain on the Iconia's battery.
Having said that, has the aforementioned information got you all envious about the Iconia? If so, you will probably have to have quite the long wait: the device is only available in Australia right now, and even then, it comes with a rather large pricetag of A$2,499. And with the US slated to receive its first shipments of the tablet in April, it goes without saying that Asia will probably get its stocks much later.