Impressions of Windows 7 Touch Pack on the Dell Lattitude XT2

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Microsoft has been touting Windows 7’s support for multi-touch since it annouced the operating system, but we haven’t been able to really see that functionality in action. Until now. Microsoft unvieled Touch Pack for Windows 7 back in May and we scored a copy and loaded it on to Dell’s multi-touch capable Lattitude XT2. Windows 7 Touch Pack contains six multi-touch optomized applications and games  that were created for Microsoft’s Surface platform but have been ported over to the PC’s smaller screen.  They may not be the most productive applications, but they are the best illustration of multi-touch on a laptop yet. Check out our impressions of each of the applications below and a hands-on video of a few in action. Microsoft Surface Collage – Strictly for creating collages of digital photos, we liked the ablity to easily resize photos by zooming in and out by pinching our fingers. The program is way more responsive than Windows Photo Gallery for resizing and rotating images. Microsoft Surface Globe – Microsoft’s version of Google Earth, we were able to rotate the earth with two fingers and then zoom in onto New York City. We were very very impressed with how quickly the maps rendered, including the hybrid view. Searching using the on screen Windows 7 keyboard was also a simple process. Microsoft Surface Lagoon – Purely for amusement, the Surface Lagoon screen saver let us touch the virtual body of water. It is the best demonstration of how multiple points of input on the screen are recognized. We saw the ripples in the water even when we tapped four fingers. Microsoft BlackBoard – Microsoft touts Blackboard as a puzzle game of physics, but we just found ourselves dragging shapes across the board and rotating them and resizing them. We guess it is cool to see how the puzzle plays out, but maybe we are missing something here. Microsoft Rebound – Now this is how we envision multi-touch games for two. Reminiscent of air hockey, we used our index finger to get the ball past our opponent and blocked his shots on our goal using the on screen electric fields. Microsoft Garden Pond – Apparently Microsoft wants us to keep getting our hands wet. In this game we moved the water on  the pond with small gestures to get the origami creations to their destinations. Again, kind of cool but probably as useful as popping bubble wrap.

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  1. Seth Says:

    I really appreciate this update on the XT2. However, I’m still not seeing a review on your site. It’s been out for several months, and I’d like your opinion on how it stacks up against recent contenders like the HP TX2 and Lenovo X200.

    Oh, and also you misspelled Latitude. :)

    Thanks!

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