Unnamed sources have informed DigiTimes that traditional clamshell notebooks with touch screens will eventually be a thing of the past. Why? Because vendors are no longer ordering them. Even more, vendors plan to focus their resources on convertible and 2-in-1 solutions in 2015. Once the current inventories are depleted, that will supposedly be it for touch-based clamshell form factors.
According to the report, touch-based clamshell solutions have seen weak demand since they first appeared during the launch of Windows 8. The new operating system seemingly demanded touch, but implementing a touch panel at the time was costly to both the OEM and the consumer. Prices have come down since then, allowing OEMs to add the feature on a more frequent basis.
But do we really need touch-based input on a clamshell design? Not really. And now that the Windows platform is more desktop focused, the need for touch just really isn't there anymore. What users can do with a finger can be done a bit more easily with a mouse and keyboard, especially in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.
Where touch is at home is the form factors that provide more than the typical clamshell design. Take my Lenovo Ideapad for instance; it has a "notebook" mode and a "stand" mode. The "stand" mode allows the user to bend the screen back so that the keyboard becomes the display's stand. Touch is perfect for this design, as it is for similar convertible models that can even bend the screen back all the way to form a makeshift tablet.
That all said, there's talk that vendors will be looking to push out inexpensive notebooks without touch in 2015. This will likely be fueled by the desktop-friendly Windows 10 when it supposedly goes retail in Q2 2015. Microsoft has a lot running on this platform, enough so that it's willing to distribute a "preview" so that critics and engineers (and whoever else) can provide feedback. A customer preview is expected to be released sometime next quarter.
Do you have a clamshell notebook with touch? Was this feature a waste of money, or do you really touch the screen on a frequent basis? Despite DigiTimes' unnamed sources, touch on clamshell notebooks may be here to stay nonetheless.