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Apple making 22-inch touchscreen iMac?

updated 07:25 am EST, Mon January 18, 2010

Rumor has a third, touch iMac in store

A rumor floated by Taiwan's Commercial Times newspaper today claims Apple is developing its first touchscreen iMac. The new version would allegedly be a 22-inch model and would be separate from the 21.5-inch and 27-inch versions already on sale. Quanta would be responsible for the manufacturing, while Sintek Photronic would make the touch overlays for the screens.

Little else is mentioned about what the system would purportedly entail.

The strategy would be unusual for Apple and calls into question the accuracy of the story. Apple only just recently added multi-touch support to the iMac through the Magic Mouse and, in the past, has rarely added a new interim model with major feature changes so soon after an already major revision. Also, a 22-inch display would have little advantage as it would have the same or lower resolution as the 21.5-inch, 1080p display Apple uses now.

22-inch touchscreen PCs have already been available now or in the past from HP and other manufacturers.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. cooner

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2003

    +6

    Not sure ...

    Eh, maybe, but I dunno. A touch-screen desktop is one of those things that SOUNDS like a nifty idea, but try this little experiment: Reach up and hold your finger near your screen. Now without any additional support, keep your arm there for five minutes. Gets tiring pretty quickly. Now image trying to sort your entire iPhoto and iTunes libraries that way.

    I could see this working as a niche market for public kiosks and such, but then, how often does Apple develop anything for a niche market these days?

  1. qazwart

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2001

    +1

    Sounds Fishy

    Have you tried a Windows "touch screen" notebook? The touch screen is very inconvenient. You have to pick up your hand and reach out to the screen that is sitting about two feet away from your eyes. It's not very intuitive or easy to use.

    Apple has a history of coming out with innovative ideas that no one else thinks about. The original iMac missing the floppy. The use of USB instead of a standard serial port. The lack of stylus or keyboard on the iPhone. Yet, these moves have proven to be a year or so ahead of their time. The floppy has long been dead. USB is so common that even monitors have USB ports. No new smart phone comes with a stylus and more and more are dropping the keyboard.

    Touch screen computers and laptops abound, yet none have proven to be too useful. I doubt Apple would be going down that road. The multitouch mouse and laptop pad are good, but neither require you to reach up and touch a screen that's sitting two to three feet away. In fact, proper placement of the keyboard and monitor puts the monitor out of reach.

  1. tortenteufel

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2007

    +1

    Isoapy

    Nice. With a soap dispenser on the side. No greasy fingers on my screen!

  1. medelegant

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2002

    +2

    Think different...

    A near vertical display with touch screen as a primary user interface is rather silly. Ergonomically, it is very uncomfortable.

    However.... Lay the machine down on a desk with some variable tilt and you have something. It will be a smarter form factor than a Big a** Table.

  1. vasic

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005

    +1

    Yes, most certainly!

    Touchscreen has been proven to be by far the most intuitive interface there is, WHEN DONE RIGHT (look at iPhone).

    There is no way an iMac, in its existing shape and form, would use touchscreen, for the above-mentioned reasons (also known as "gorilla arm").

    However, if the iMac was designed to lay flat on the surface of the desk (slightly tilted up towards the user), and that touch interface was designed in such a way to allow user to rest arms on the display (telling the difference between the touch of a finger point and the touch of a wrist/palm), we'd end up with the most intuitive computing device ever designed.

    If anyone can do this, Apple can.

  1. iphonerulez

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2008

    +1

    It seems unlikely for Apple to build such an iMac.

    It would make more sense if Apple just made a keyboard with a multi-touch-pad built into it so it would act like their notebook computers. I wonder if Apple has gotten any feedback from people that have used the H-P touch computers. I personally don't find it comfortable reaching out to touch a vertical display. On my 24" iMac I like to sit well back from the display and am certainly out of reach unless I bend forward. I prefer using a multi-button mouse, but a touch-pad would suffice since I'm very comfortable using my MacBook Pro. Larger screens with multi-touch would just require more energy than necessary. It might be OK for younger people to use, but I think I'd pass on any large multi-touch display unless it was in a more horizontal position as was pointed out. In graphics applications it might be very useful, but I'd pass on it for word processing or spreadsheet input.

    It's just my own personal opinion that the ergonomics are not good on such an "extend to touch" design for long stretches of use. I call BS on Apple doing this.

  1. Feathers

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Oct 1999

    +1

    Another possibility?

    Given a number of Apple patents that have emerged over the years including Apple's contextual keyboard (A keyboard with a an image matrix on each button top so that the symbols changed contextually) and their recent stylus for capacitive touch-screens, maybe Apple's announcement truly is a slate, like a drawing slate that can take the role of a contextual keyboard. Or put another way, a touchscreen that can be tasked for different purposes. One minute, it's a Wacom Cintiq type device, the next minute, it's a Final Cut Pro keyboard and a minute later, it's a control surface for Protools or Logic. I'm liking this idea, even if I'm completely wrong! This might explain Apple's emphasis on "creation"?

  1. Mr. Strat

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jan 2002

    +1

    No thank you

    It drives me nuts when people touch computer screens.

    This sounds like a good idea on paper, but not in the real world.

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