You'll pay for it, of course. First off, manufacturers are only placing touch on their most expensive equipment, so to get touch you'll likely have to buy a higher-end system than you really need. And if you price out the same piece of hardware (such as the Sony Vaio T Series 13 Ultrabook), one with a touch screen and one without, you'll find that you'll pay a $100 premium for the touch screen.
Is touch worth $100 to me? Certainly not. My guess is that it won't be worth it to many others, either.
BK: Well, sure -- like all bleeding-edge technologies, it's going to cost more at first. The first Kindle e-ink reader cost about $400 in 2007, the next generation was down to about $260 in 2009, and the current Kindle Paperwhite e-ink reader costs $119 -- and that's expensive compared to some of the other e-readers out there.
Similarly, these are the first touch-screen Windows 8 systems available; give it a few months and watch the price go down.
I think the question isn't so much whether touch screens will suddenly take off, but whether they will prove useful enough on laptops that they slowly become as ubiquitous as touchpads or other forms of input. And that may depend not only on the price of Windows 8-based systems, but whether Apple eventually decides (as it finally decided with the iPad Mini) that resistance to this particular new tech trend is futile.
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Preston Gralla is a contributing editor for Computerworld.com and the author of more than 45 books, including Windows 8 Hacks (O'Reilly, 2012).
Barbara Krasnoff is reviews editor at Computerworld. When she isn't either editing or reviewing, she blogs at The Interesting Bits ... and Bytes; you can also follow her on Twitter ( @BarbaraKrasnoff).
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