After drooling over rumours of a multi-touch Apple sub-notebook recently, Dell has now given a demonstration of multi-touch on an ultraportable, called the Latitude XT.

The demo, which took place at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco, was filmed by ZDNet and is also available on YouTube here.

Introducing the hardware, CEO Michael Dell said: "this tablet has some pretty interesting things about it. It's the industry's thinnest 12.1-inch convertible tablet [and] it's got a screen that's 25 per cent brighter than the nearest screen in the industry." One of the "interesting things" certainly doesn't appear to be the chassis design, which remains a dull black.

"There's some things that have never been done before and [it's] gonna be available in a couple of months." Could the model receive its formal launch at this January's CES, we wonder?

Multiple finger paths

"One of the things we've been working on is how to make multi-touch come to life," said CTO Kevin Kettler. "You put five fingers on the screen [which are] simultaneously recognised."

Kettler demonstrated multi-touch with a simple paint-like application, in which he drew lines in different colours with many of his fingers. He then resized and rotated pictures including one of a Tiger - perhaps a slight tilt to Apple.

Despite Michael Dell's supportive comments about Windows Vista last month, the ultraportable was running Windows XP. Though this could, of course, be a software-related necessity rather than a market-intention.

Enthusing about the picture resizing demo, Michael Dell deadpanned that "developers can go wild." Not at all scripted. In any way.