When is a touchscreen laptop not a tablet? When Toshiba decides to add a touch-sensitive panel but not to give the laptop a swivel screen.
Although the "reach over and touch it" design won't appeal to all, the idea of a touchscreen laptop is likely to be of interest to the education sector, in particular, where the combination of touch-based input and a solid laptop that doesn't have a delicate swivel hinge may just win out over seemingly more flexible models.
The U500 is a 1.3in Windows 7 model with a 1280x800-pixel widescreen and Microsoft Touch Pack for Windows preinstalled. Applications within this package include Lagoon - essentially an interactive screensaver in which users can virtually dip several fingers at once and have the water's surface ripple in response. Microsoft Collage and Surface Globe are also included. Swiping, flicking, rotating and multi-taps and holding to select are all supported.
The Toshiba Satellite U500-1EX model will come with 4GB of DDR3 RAM, a 320GB hard disk and run off a 2.13GHz Intel Core i3-330 processor. It will have b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1, a widescreen webcam and a SuperMulti DVD-rewriter. It will cost £649.