CES 2012: Lenovo Brings Apple's Touchscreen iMac Concept to Life

MacRumors

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Apr 12, 2001
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Back in 2010, an Apple patent publication was published revealing the company's concept for an iMac supporting both mouse-driven and touch-based input with a hinged display arm allowing the screen to transition from an upright position to a horizontal surface.




While Apple has yet to release such a product and may have scrapped the idea entirely, Lenovo's new IdeaCentre A720 being shown off at CES this week (via Engadget) offers a similar flexibility in its ability to transition between a traditional all-in-one desktop configuration and a flat, table-top touch surface.
Similar to the HP TouchSmart 610, which debuted around this time last year, it has a display that can be tilted between 5 and 90 degrees, the idea being that that 10-point multitouch panel will be easier to use if it's lying at a near-flat angle. Spec-wise, it'll be offered with various Intel Core i processors, discrete NVIDIA graphics and up to either a 1TB HDD or a 64GB solid-state drive. Expect it to hit sometime in the first half of this year, starting at $1,299.
The Verge also posts a hands-on video showing the IdeaCentre A720 in use in both upright and horizontal positions.

The hands-on demonstration shows a rather sluggish response to touch input, but offers a good glimpse of the flexibility afforded by the multiple orientations.

Apple's patent application included descriptions of sensors that would automatically detect the orientation of the display and adjust the operating system being used accordingly, with the idea being that the computer would utilize a Mac OS X interface in its upright orientation and then transition to an iOS-like touch overlay interface when moved to the horizontal display. While Lenovo's concept does not utilize this automatic sensing, it does offer Lenovo's dedicated IdeaTouch layer on top of Windows 7, which itself allows for touch input.

Article Link: CES 2012: Lenovo Brings Apple's Touchscreen iMac Concept to Life
 

thenerdal

macrumors 65816
Oct 14, 2011
1,051
0
Ah, I knew Macrumors would make a post about this since it does look like iMac's concept.
 

bassfingers

macrumors 6502
Nov 15, 2010
410
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I can't recall ever using a touch interface other than Apple's that wasn't either sluggish or clumsy
 

Wilder

macrumors member
Jun 28, 2011
49
0
If this idea has been patented by Apple, doesn't that mean Apple can now sue Lenovo?
 

mdelvecchio

macrumors 68040
Sep 3, 2010
3,117
1,037
even Leneovo's desktop wallpaper is a copy of apple's space wallpapers! c'mon guys, can't you take *some* original initiative!?
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,546
1,186
I’ve always said horizontal was the way to go for a large touch computer, unless you want Popeye Arms. This is almost exactly what I envision for Macs—someday, when iOS has evolved towards OS X or vice versa.

I don’t envision two different OS’s or interfaces (like Metro) on one machine, though. In the long run, when this is done right, I see ONE interface, with touch as the primary mode. Raising to vertical would be mainly for group video-viewing and for games with physical controls.

But since this would, in the long run, be a full PRO system that I envision, keyboard and mouse would also be present for precision and rapid typing. They’d be optional, but would work when needed, especially for precision pro graphics apps (and as an accessibility feature). Many apps might have no mouse support at all because by then, it won’t even be wanted. (Or, pro graphics apps could have a mouse-style cursor mode with NO mouse needed: an editing mode where the screen becomes a trackpad, like using iTeleport on iPad, and you have an aimable pixel-precise arrow.)

So there would still be a touch-only iOS and a “pro” OS (be it OS X, iOS, or some hybrid) but you wouldn’t be changing gears on one machine.

I also envision the screen being super-wide-format: a way to get lots of working area, without having to reach way back (tiring). Maybe 12” deep by 30” wide or something. Wrist protection in software will be key of course, and we’ll have multiple apps side by side—maybe in columns—unlike an iPad.

And for the optional physical keyboard: something with just 3-4 rows (F keys gone or using a modifier) so it could butt right up against the tablet edge without pushing the screen far away from you.
 
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george-brooks

macrumors 6502a
Oct 31, 2011
732
16
Brooklyn, NY
Sure looks a helluva lot like a mac to me! Its obvious where the inspiration for this design came from, even down to the desktop background on the stock image.
 

skoorbevad

macrumors member
Mar 23, 2007
77
0
even Leneovo's desktop wallpaper is a copy of apple's space wallpapers! c'mon guys, can't you take *some* original initiative!?
I honestly can't tell if you've laid down an excellent troll, or if you're honestly obtuse enough to advocate calling out companies for not being innovative enough for essentially doing something Apple thought about but never did.
 

Flood123

macrumors 6502a
Mar 28, 2009
624
52
Living Stateside
The touch screen looks super sluggish for sure. If they fixed that (and apple doesn't sue the pants off of them) they might have something there.
 

dethmaShine

macrumors 68000
Apr 13, 2010
1,697
0
Into the lungs of Hell
i’ve always said horizontal was the way to go for a large touch computer, unless you want popeye arms. This is almost exactly what i envision for macs—someday, when ios has evolved towards os x or vice versa.

I don’t envision two different os’s or interfaces (like metro) on one machine, though. In the long run, when this is done right, i see one interface, with touch as the primary mode. Raising to vertical would be mainly for group video-viewing and for games with physical controls.

But since this would, in the long run, be a full pro system that i envision, keyboard and mouse would also be present for precision and rapid typing. They’d be optional, but would work when needed, especially for precision pro graphics apps (and as an accessibility feature). Many apps might have no mouse support at all because by then, it won’t even be wanted.

So there would still be a touch-only ios and a “pro” os (be it os x, ios, or some hybrid) but you wouldn’t be changing gears on one machine.

I also envision the screen being super-wide-format: A way to get lots of working area, without having to reach way back (tiring). Maybe 12” deep by 30” wide or something. Wrist protection in software will be key of course, and we’ll have multiple apps side by side—maybe in columns—unlike an ipad.
i want this. :d
 

thenerdal

macrumors 65816
Oct 14, 2011
1,051
0
I do believe Apple does have a patent on the tilting screen for their all in one pc's.
Yeah they have the patent but it's not exactly the form factor that is patented but rather the method of operation; switching from a mouse input to a touch input. Sort of a hybrid type computer which can run Mac OS and then run an iOS type environment that is built for touch input with this type of form factor. It's a very specific patent which is why they have so many approved -- unlike some of their other patents which are vague and allows them to take everyone to court.