New computers for Windows 7
But some computer manufacturers have jumped the gun, already disclosing information about their new models, a few of which are designed to use Win7's touch-screen features.
Hewlett-Packard has announced four new consumer products, all of which have touch screens. At the low end is the TouchSmart 300, an all-in-one desktop with a 20-inch screen that will sell for about $900 and up.
The TouchSmart 600, an all-in-one that will sell for about $1,100, will sport a 23-inch screen. A version that will sell for about $1,600 will be able to show video at 1080p resolution.
The TouchSmart tx2 is a tablet computer with a screen that folds down flat over the unit screen side up. It will start at about $800.
Finally, the LD4200tm is a 42-inch touch screen monitor for those who want the PC version of big screen. It will go for about $2,800.
For the budget-minded, HP's bargain line, Compaq (which used to be a high-end brand in its own right) will have the CQ61z laptop with a 15-inch screen (non-touch) at $399. That's what you'd pay for a much smaller netbook computer. But the Compaq price is temporary -- after Dec. 19 it jumps to $499.
Toshiba will have two new Satellite-branded laptops with touch screens. Its M505 with a 14-inch screen will go for about $950, while the U505 with a 13-inch screen will be about $1,050. So why will the laptop with the smaller screen be more expensive? One of the primary reasons is that the case will sport a "textured" finish.
-- David Colker