Touch it! Feel it!
Besides all the new pleasantries that Windows 7 brings with it that addresses the niggles from Vista, the new operating system also features a Touch Pack that will add in plenty of touchscreen navigation and interaction options.
Of course, you can't just install Windows 7 and start pushing your greasy digits all over your monitor – you'll need new display hardware. Unfortunately, touchscreen displays are generally quite expensive, but hopefully Windows 7 will make touching your PC more popular and manufacturers will make products more affordable.
HP seems to be among the first to introduce a new monitor that's designed for Windows 7 Touch Pack. HP calls it the L2105tm, which is the first Windows 7 multitouch certified monitor from the PC maker. As the name suggests, the monitor features a 21.5-inch screen.
Rather than using a capacitive panel on top of the LCD, the L2105tm features optical touch panel technology that uses two cameras in conjunction with LEDs for detection of one or two finger touch. HP claims that its optical touch technology is just as, if not more sensitive than capacitive touch that many of you have experienced on smaller mobile devices. One finger is used to scroll through screens, while two fingers can replace a mouse to perform common multitouch gestures.
For more pinpoint accuracy (or if your fingers are covered in orange Cheeto zest), the L2105tm also includes a hard stylus that tucks away into the side of the monitor for easy storage.
Those interested in playback of Blu-ray movies will like the 16:9 1920x1080 resolution. For inputs, you're looking at DVI and VGA. Given its affordable price, it's not surprising that it features a TN panel that boasts a 72 percent color gamut, 5ms response time and viewing angles of 170 / 160 degrees.
The HP Compaq L2105tm Touchscreen Monitor launches tomorrow alongside Windows 7 and starts at $299. This will be HP's first touchscreen monitor aimed that the desktop user, but the company told us that the optical technology used in the L2105tm can scale to both smaller and larger monitors meant for the desktop.