Asus is showing off a computer at CeBIT this week that has two screens and no hardware keyboard. Odds are one of the screens will have an on-screen software keyboard, and may or may not produce tactile feedback to give you the sense that you’re actually typing on keys.

The OLPC XO-2 netbook is supposed to have a similar dual screen layout when it’s eventually released. But it’s nice to see a company like Asus working on a commercial version. The prototype appears to be a full sized notebook, not a netbook. But eventually we could start to see this technology in more and more machines.

Personally, I have a hard time imagining inputting large amounts of text on a software keyboard. But I’ll reserve judgment until I get a chance to try one for myself.

Update: Asus just sent along some additional info and a few more images.

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11 replies on “Asus shows dual screen notebook prototype”

  1. One question, would be possible to see movies in both screens, in split mode? That would be the best use for this device. If you want a keyboard, just buy a external one.

    Some day there will be keyboards that can act as docks for UMPC devices and turn it into a netbook. Because that’s what netbooks are, UMPCs with keyboards.

  2. Somebody needs to start shipping these things with
    an installed mind-probe.
    That way we could use our hands for something else
    while writing for publication on the ‘web. 😉

  3. Really bad idea. I had a FingerWorks Touchstream for a short while and it’s like tapping your fingers on the table. Just try it for an hour and then see how your fingertips feel.

  4. at work we use touch screens for a pizzza system we sell. the biggest draw back and i don’t see this been fixed is that you rest your hand on the keyboards. on the keys. how does it distinguish between a touch and a resting hand? would hate trying to suspecnd my hands above the keyboard as that would be asking for rsi.

    had a nokia 770 hated the onscreen keyboard on that. got an ipod. think the keyboard is worse on that as it’s in portrait mode rather than landscape.

    i’ve typed on a lot of wacky non standard keyboards. sinclair zx spectrum, psion 3a, now an olpc plus a multitude of nokia phones. nothing is better than a keyboard with buttons. when the palms came out it was hailed as the future of inputting information. last time i looked most of the palm alikes have keyboards. touch interfaces work but they are a lot slower than a keyboard.

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