Touchscreen applications?
April 23, 2007 10:24 AM   Subscribe

Touchscreen windows laptop: what software would you recommend that could take advantage of a touchscreen? Here's the kicker: the PC is only running XP Pro (not XP tablet edition).

I have a Panasonic Toughbook with a Touchscreen. For all intents and purposes it looks like a tablet (reversible flippable screen with stylus etc), but I don't think it's officially a tablet since it didn't come packaged with XP Tablet edition - only XP Pro. I'll be starting a graduate program in Autumn and would love to know of any software you guys would recommend for note taking, handwriting recognition (say for using with Firefox etc) etc etc...

I've looked at previous threads and it seems like MS Onenote and the "XP Experience Pack" are pretty cool, but the experience pack at least looks only available for XP Tablet Edition. Any other suggestions? (Ideally would rather not install XP tablet on the machine or buy Vista for it)

Thanks in advance!
posted by Mave_80 to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
a) upgrade to vista
b) get a copy of MSDN and install tXP tablet edition
posted by GuyZero at 11:03 AM on April 23, 2007

Does the stylus currently work?

Does it only work with the stylus provided? Or can you select things with your thumb, an eraser, etc?

If it only works with the stylus provided - then it is probably a Tablet PC and somewhere along the way someone did not put the Tablet version of XP on it.

What are the specs? CPU, RAM, HD?

To truly use it as a Tablet PC - you need to have either XP Tablet edition or Vista.
posted by jkaczor at 11:43 AM on April 23, 2007

Response by poster: You can select things with your thumb etc, it does not require the stylus.

The specs are: 1.4GHZ P4 Centrino, 1.25GB RAM, 40GB HDD. Video is handled on board with 64MB dedicated to it. Realize that it won't handle AERO w/ Vista but that's not really a big deal to me. If I have XP drivers and decided to pursue XP tablet, would that work or would I need specifc XP tablet drivers?
posted by Mave_80 at 11:58 AM on April 23, 2007

i don't know if you'd have much to gain with Tablet PC edition.

Since you don't have a stylus and the screen is purely touch, you're going to have a hard time writing without your hand resting on the screen.

Also, is drawing on the screen accurate enough with a stylus? I've used many touchscreen enabled computers that were not accurate enough for precise input via the screen.
posted by mphuie at 12:22 PM on April 23, 2007

OneNote will work fine for sure, as OneNote works fine on any Windows XP box.

It'll probably do handwriting with the stylus as well, but possibly not translation to text.

There are easier ways than getting an (expensive) MSDN subscription like suggested above.

If you go to your local tech shop, ask for a copy of XP Tablet (or Torrent it?), and then take out the needed files and use nLite to slipstream them in, you can have an XP Pro install with all of the Tablet features.

It's a little work intensive to get it right, but I've done it and it's pretty cool.

The main difference between the Tablet PC screens and yours is that they have a hover feature, and yours doesn't. Frankly, other than gee-whiz, you're not missing much.

Some links to get you started with slipstreaming:


Geeky stuff is fun for me. Maybe it isn't for you, but this is what I'd do.
posted by SlyBevel at 1:19 PM on April 23, 2007

Response by poster: Slybevel: How would I know what the "needed files" are? Also, wouldn't I need a valid COA for tablet?
posted by Mave_80 at 6:53 PM on April 23, 2007

The main difference between the Tablet PC screens and yours is that they have a hover feature, and yours doesn't.

No, the main difference is the graded pressure sensitivity of the wacom pen, which is great for graphics stuff like photoshop. The hover thing is just an artefact of how they work.

If you don't do art/graphics, or you have a tablet-PC that uses a non-wacom digitizer that lacks pressure sensitivity, then the difference is less of an issue.

Also, FWIW, Tablet Edition comes in XP Pro SP2, which you either already have, or can get free. I don't know how you tell it to enable tablet edition, or whether it is legal to do so, but there may be some way to do it.
posted by -harlequin- at 10:52 AM on April 24, 2007

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