On these pages, I have often dismissed Apple as an innovator. That's not down to some weird Microsoft bias, but instead to the fact Cupertino often defined products or tech, but rarely invented. Still, that's not to say Apple is not a great influencer… the company is arguably the greatest.
And so, it is hardly a surprise that Windows OEMs are still aping Apple in various forms. The latest is a reported Touch Bar like integration in an Asus Windows 10 laptop.
If you are unfamiliar with the Touch Bar, it is a component Apple introduced with the latest MacBook Pro. It basically serves as a strip of touch-enabled screen above the keyboard. This strip houses numerous quick access buttons and device controls.
It's a nice touch, but Windows fans have often claimed it a gimmick. Either way, it seems Asus wants to mimic the Touch Bar experience on its devices. It seems the company is working on a device called the ScreenPad, which would give PC users further quick-access control over Windows 10 apps.
The ScreenPad was discovered through a series of app extensions placed in the Microsoft Store. Like the Touch Bar, the ScreenPad will allow users to perform tasks like control music or media playback, interact with apps, and edit documents.
At this point, it is unclear whether this is an integration for upcoming Asus laptops or a standalone device. We are inclined to go with the former as it seems more intuitive that this would be included in a laptop hardware.
It will be interesting to see how Asus implements are second screen experience. Will the company go all the way and copy Apple with a strip above the keyboard?
As for the extensions, they give us a good idea as to what the company has planned for the ScreenPad: