Multi-Touch is here – Capacitive Touch Tablet PCs

Dell-Latitude-XT2 It is only a couple months since we blogged about the future of Tablet PCs and Multi-Touch screens. We predicted 12-18 months before Multi-Touch would hit the market… how wrong we were.

“Multi-Touch” in this context refers to the new generation of capacitive touch screens that can detect multiple points of contact at once. The more commonly found resistive touch screens can only determine one point of contact at a time.

Capacitive touch is the hardware enables those iPhone style functions like:

  • Two fingered scrolling
  • Pinch zooming
  • Two finger tapping
  • Swipe style gestures

HP_TouchSmart_tx2Unlike resistive touch screens, capacitive touch screen only require a negligible contact pressure to function. That makes capacitive touch much easier to use for finger functions.

There are two Tablet PCs that currently include capacitive touch screens:

  • The new HP Tx2
  • Dell Latitude XT2

We’ll have more details and video reviews on both models in the near future. Both are now available.

Of course, iPhone style functions require software support and both HP and Dell have enabled this to a certain extent.

The upcoming Windows 7 will also enable much broader support for multi-touch.


  1. Tim Hawkes said on March 9, 2009

    hey there is another unit
    the x200t by lenovo
    it is quoted on its page
    “The MultiView/MultiTouch screen lets you take handwritten notes with the digitizer pen, or use your finger or the pen to interact with the notebook, open applications, etc.”
    (URL removed)
    it would be rather experience though

  2. Tablet PC said on March 10, 2009

    Good spot Tim. However, the “MultiTouch” that Lenovo refer to does not mean capacitive touch. It is actually a resistive touch screen (one contact point only).

    They call it a MultiTouch screen in the sense that it has both digitiser pen and touch screen modes. I think it would be much better to call it multi-mode.

    I think these multi-mode screens will casue a fair bit of confusion in the market, with people expecting them to be iPhone style multipoint touch when they are not…

  3. Tim said on March 10, 2009

    when i saw the photo of the dual pen mode I jumped to conclusions

  4. Hp tx2 said on March 10, 2009

    Please! It’s driving me crazy. Can anyone tell me where I can buy an hp tx2 from in Australia? Hp appear to have the 2.2ghz version available online for $1999, but a >2.4ghz with 4 gb ram and a 64bit OS is really what I’m looking for (preferably for a similar price). Buying a top spec capacitive touch tablet is like pulling teeth!

  5. Tablet PC said on March 11, 2009

    You can buy a Tx2 from us!

    Contact us for Tx2 pricing and avaialability on 03 9999 1601 or at

  6. Keke974 said on August 3, 2009

    Dell XT also have a capacitive touch screen as far as they say, not only the XT2

  7. Tablet PC said on August 4, 2009

    That is correct. Dell XT used a capacitive touch screen. If i’m not mistaken, some early motion LE1700 touch models had a capacitive touch screen too…