We knew Dell was planning on updating its first-ever tablet—the Dell XT—with multi-touch capabilities from N-Trig, and now the wait is over. Though many were under the impression that we would have to wait until Windows 7 for multi-touch on a laptop, N-Trig and Dell today released the multi-touch firmware update for the Vista running XT. Over the last few weeks, I have been trying out the new multi-touch capabilities and can confidently say that it sure beats the multi-touch trackpads of the Eee PCs and the MacBook Air. Check out the updated full review of the Dell XT for our impressions of the multi-touch capabilities. To see it in action, check out our video below.
So what does the multi-touch allow you to do on a laptop? It does the following pretty well: Zoom and Pan Images:
Zooming in on pictures in Windows Photo Gallery is one of the best ways to check out your digital shots. Just like on an iPhone, all you have to do is pinch the screen or spread two fingers apart to zoom in. You then can pan with one finger around the image. Explore Google Earth:
By far the coolest multi-touch application is Google Earth. You can zoom into and pan across your favorite locations, but even better, you can change the points of view. Browser Zoom and Navigation:
Those used to manipulating the browser on the iPhone will like using their fingers to control their laptop’s browser. Zooming in on pictures in Internet Explorer 8 works, but the screen takes a few seconds to readjust. What do I wish it would do? A lot more. I stumbled on a post from the guys at Gottabemobile.com, where they make a wish list of what multi-touch on a laptop could do
—chock-full of stuff I would love to see the XT eventually do. For instance, the ability to scroll through iTunes’ Cover Flow using touch, or controlling a player in a game. I am impressed with the first version of multi-touch on a laptop, I just can’t wait to see more applications that support it.