If you think the touch features on the Apple iPhone and the iPod touch were impressive, think again. You'll be "blown away by what's coming in Windows 7," according to a blog post by Hilton Locke, a software test engineer at Microsoft.

Windows 7 will add touch technology to the operating system. And while moving files around using your fingertips on a mobile might not speed things up that much, touch technology can really make a difference on a standard-sized computer screen.

The revelation follows on from the first sightings of the Dell Latitude XT tablet (see it in action here). This new machine has what's called 'capacitive touch capability', meaning that you won't have to apply any pressure for the tablet to recognise your input. Rival tablets usually require a certain amount of force for the system to recognise user interaction.

The lightweight machine weighs just under 2kg and features a 12.1-inch convertible tablet screen, making it one of the thinnest and lightest convertibles available, Dell said.

Emerging multi-touch capabilities

Dell says the Latitude XT tablet is a "forerunner to emerging multi-touch capabilities that allow the use of more than one finger for tasks such as zoom and repositioning a picture". Sounds promising for future models. "We are listening and aim to exceed customers' expectations," said Margaret Franco, director of Dell's product group.

Trade-offs

"Until now, customers have been forced to make trade-offs in tablet functionality to have usable systems. With capacitive touch technology, the Dell Latitude XT will revolutionise the way customers interact with their systems, allow customers to take full advantage of tablet technology and enable customers to get more done with greater speed and precision," Franco added.

There's also a built-in daylight viewing display, full-size keyboard with dual pointing, up to 64GB solid state drive and up to 120GB hard drive capacity. The machine can be specified with Intel Core 2 Solo and Duo ULV processors, and has ATI Radeon X1250 UMA integrated graphics.

The Dell Latitude XT tablet computer is listed on Dell's US website, and will be available to order by the end of the year. Pricing starts at $2,499 (£1,223).