Apen Touch8, a USB-Powered "Touch Panel" for Windows 8 Laptops

For older-generation laptops that didn't have Windows 8 from the start

Many Windows 8-loaded laptops ship with touch panels, but for those that do not, and previous-generation notebooks, E Fun is selling the APEN Touch8 USB-powered screen accessory.

Contrary to what some may expect, the Apen Touch8 is not a touch panel meant to be installed on top of the screen.

Instead, it is a device that uses ultrasonic and infrared technologies to interpret finger and hand movements like a touchscreen would.

To use it, the cable must be plugged inside a USB port and the actual gadget affixed to the side of the laptop screen.

APEN Touch8 works on normal monitors as well. In fact, any laptop or monitor that lacks a touch panel can benefit from it.

That means that the majority of PC owners have a reason to at least consider buying the gadget. After all, touchscreens are rare on systems/displays sold until one, two, three years ago.

"There are about 600-million Windows 7 PCs and laptops in use today that can be upgraded to Windows 8," stated Jason Liszewski, managing director and VP of sales for E FUN.

"The problem is that all of the platforms on which they run do not offer touch-screen technology. Our APEN Touch8 system allows these units to be easily and economically upgraded to include a touch function to take advantage of all that Windows 8 has to offer."

The APEN Touch8 USB-powered device ships with a receiver and stylus. And here is the only pitfall: finger input isn't actually recognized. Buyers must use the bundled stylus to navigate the modern UI of Microsoft's newest operating system.

E Fun will showcase the APEN Touch8 in Las Vegas, Nevada, between January 8 and 11, since CES will be taking place there (Consumer Electronics Show). Shipments should begin soon, for $79.99 / 60.67 – 79.99 Euro.

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