March 26, 2009 at 3:44 pm
Evidence is growing that we will start to see netbooks with multi-touch panels by the end of 2009. Touch panel manufacturer, Young Fast Optoelectronics has confirmed that it will start to produce capacitive touch panels for netbooks in the second half of the year, according to its Chairman TJ Lin.
We are already starting to see a number of netbooks using touchscreen panels including the Asus Eee PC T91, the Touch Book from Always Innovating and Gigabyte’s TouchNote M1028. However, the touch-panel technology currently used is resistive. The move to capacitive panels will allow multitouch gestures (such as ‘pinching’).
Young Fast accounted for 20-percent of the touchscreen market in 2008, shipping approximately 40 million touch panels. It is currently producing around two million 3.2-inch capacitive panels per month. A number of panel manufacturers are looking to enter the capacitive segment for netbooks. Earlier in the month, we heard that EETI plans to ship 7 and 12-inch capacitive panels in H2 2009 too. With Windows 7 Touch on the horizon we could be in for some very interesting netbooks towards the end of the year.