Some big news here: ASUS – the Taiwanese tech aggregation – has appear a new laptop.

“Oh,” I hear you say, “I acknowledge the update, but, Callum, why should I care about that?”

Good point, buddy. There’s article about the tech industry’s connected updates that feels like the agnate of addition afterward you down the street, and babble acronyms and numbers at you. Yes, it might be an absorbing for a little bit, but soon you’ll be just adulatory it would stop, asking god why you’ve been cursed in this way.

But, and this is why you should be interested, with the new ZenBook Pro, ASUS has done article absolutely different. Hold onto your hats, people, because the touchpad is now a screen.

Named the ScreenPad (I agreement whoever came up with name is earning more than you or I), it’s a 5.5” touch affectation that you can run apps on, as well as, you know, using it just like a normal touchpad. It can also work as a second desktop screen, which will make watching porno at work much, much easier.

Here’s a clip of its high techness in action:

A few apps will be chip into the ScreenPad from launch, including Word, Excel, Powerpoint YouTube, and Spotify. By the end of the year, ASUS will absolution a ScreenPad SDK with the hope of accepting a advancing development association alive on the hardware.

On first reflection, it’s a cool idea. But, the more I anticipation about it, the more issues came up. Firstly, the idea of an extra alternate affectation on a laptop is evocative of Apple’s Touch Bar. This led to the catechism of whether the ScreenPad is a 18-carat addition or just jumping aboard a hype train – article I asked ASUS directly.

Ivilina Boneva, Marketing Manager Systems Benelux, said that since the apparatus of the touchpad in 1992, little has changed. ASUS though, has been “thinking about how to advance user acquaintance with a touchpad” and “the functionality and abeyant of the ScreenPad” is altered to the Touch Bar.

It’s altered enough to the Touch Bar to not be a beeline rip-off, but the whole thing screams GIMMICK to me. Will the ScreenPad absolutely change how people do… anything?

“It has the abeyant to truly advance multitasking and allow synchronisation across accessories in a new way,” Boneva told me when I ran the catechism past her. “We can only brainstorm how people will adopt and apparatus this innovation, but we are absolutely excited.”

To construe that, ASUS has no idea.

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In my mind, there are two things that will be vital if this sort of tech will be a success: build-quality and a development community.

If the ScreenPad is going to absolutely grabs people’s attention, it needs to be both as good as a normal touchpad and a phone screen. While the acquaintance I had using the ScreenPad was positive, it didn’t feel as good as a normal one. Admittedly, this was a ancestor and not the fully appear product, so there’s a chance it will improve. The aberration amid the two was minimal, but these small irritations do tend to add up after a while – abnormally on parts of a computer in constant use.

I can see that the ScreenPad might be a useful tool for convalescent abundance in some instances (quickly borer out a sum, etc.), but I’m ambiguous about what it absolutely adds beyond that. Watching a video on your touchpad while doing other tasks seems like article that could be better accomplished with having an always-on-top video app or resizing some windows. On top of this,  a lot of the other applications – music ascendancy and calculator, for archetype – can be done with a keyboard launcher affairs like Alfred.

This is where the development association comes in. There’s a lot of abeyant with the ScreenPad, but this will only be accomplished if there are artistic individuals alive to push the boundaries of the tech, carrying apps that the boilerplate customer really values.

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