New ASUS laptop's touchpad doubles as full HD touchscreen
TAIPEI, Taiwan – Asus on Tuesday, June 5, announced its new line of laptops at Computex 2018, which includes a laptop with a touchpad that doubles as a screen.
Found in the new Zenbook Pro laptops, the "ScreenPad" is a 5.5-inch full HD (1920 x 1080) touchscreen that can act as a normal touchpad or a screen that can display YouTube videos, a control panel for a music app, or word, spreadsheet, and other productivity software. The touchpad screen can also serve as an extension of the main display panel.
Its main purpose, Asus said, is to help a user multitask. To use, the F6 button toggles between standard touchpad mode and touchscreen.
Here's a quick rundown of its current, known functions when in touchscreen mode:
- Launcher - allows users to open or switch between desktop apps via user-customizable shortcuts
- ASUS Sync - provides integration with smartphones running the ASUS Sync app
- NumKey - turns the pad into a numeric keypad
- Screen Extender mode - allows the pad to be used as an extension to the main display
- Adaptive app menus - allows the pad to act as a control panel for various desktop apps; currently limited to Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, but Asus said more are coming
- ScreenPad YouTube Player for Chrome - puts video playback controls for YouTube videos on the pad
Asus said that future ScreenPad apps can be downloaded from the Windows Store, and more apps will feature ScreenPad functionalities as the technology and its ecosystem matures.
The ScreenPad is found in the 2018 Zenbook Pro series which can carry up to 8th-generation Intel Core i9 processors, 16GB RAM, GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, 1TB PCIe x4 SSD for storage, and a 4K display. It will be available in 14-inch and 15-inch variants, with the 15-inch variant being available to the higher-end specs.
The laptops feature an all-aluminum unibody design with a "deep dive blue" color with rose gold detail. Connectivity is high-end too, with up to 802.11ac gigabit-class Wi-Fi connectivity, second-generation USB 3.1 type-C with Thunderbolt 3, USB type-A, and standard HDMI ports.
The company is also encouraging developers to create new apps for the new feature. A ScreenPad software development kit (SDK) will be available in the 3rd quarter of 2018, and interested parties may visit www.asus.com/screenpad-developer for more info. – Rappler.com
(Disclosure: Asus sponsored the trip to Taiwan where the event was held.)