Hands on with MSI’s dual touchscreen netbook prototype

MSI is showing off a netbook prototype with twin 10 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel touchscreen displays and no physical keyboard. But you can bring up an on-screen keyboard and tap away. What’s interesting is that the keyboard vibrates as you type. It doesn’t quite feel like using a physical keyboard, but it does give you a sense that your fingers have actually touched something. If you find the vibration disconcerting, you can adjust the vibrate level up or down.

The demo unit I tested out this afternoon is an early prototype, and the touchscreen wasn’t quite as responsive as I (or the friendly MSI rep) would have liked. I found it a little difficult, for instance, to drag items from one screen to the other, or to make the keyboard larger or smaller. But it’s likely that these kinks could be worked out before MSI would bring the device to market.

The company is gauging interest in the design at CES and is reaching out to partners before deciding whether to actually go into mass production. But the hardware and software is pretty much ready to go.

There was also a 7 inch dummy unit at the MSI booth, but it was non-functional.

Interestingly, Asus is also showing a dual screen prototype at its booth this year. But it’s a non-functioning concept device inspired by the We-PC project. There are no plans to actually go into mass production on this device yet.

You can check out a short video of the MSI prototype, as well as more photos after the break.