Are Touchscreen Notebooks the Wave of the Future?

We're on the homestretch of Windows 7 being Microsoft's flagship operating system for consumers, and in a matter of months, Windows 8 will roll into view with its Metro UI sitting in the driver's seat. Microsoft appears to have built Windows 8 with a ginormous emphasis on touchscreen computing, which is great for tablets and all-in-one desktops, but what about laptops?

Well, according to DigiTimes and its "sources from the upstream supply chain," Asus and Acer are gung-ho to launch touchscreen laptops. More than just a trial run for these two companies, DigiTimes says touchscreen laptops are expected to account for 10 percent of all notebook shipments by Asus and Acer by the end of the year.

While Asus and Acer are taking a particularly aggressive approach in embracing touchscreen computing on-the-go, they aren't the only companies that will push Metro-friendly laptops. Both Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo recently started developing touchscreen laptops.

As you can imagine, these notebooks will carry a higher price tag than their non-touch brethren. According to DigiTimes, adding a touchscreen panel to a 13-inch notebook increases the bill of materials (BOM) by around $75, and jacks up end-user pricing by twice that much. For 15-inch laptops, the BOM jumps $82 and the end-user price increases by $164.