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Buy this today: a USB device that makes your laptop touchscreen

This device gives you all the functionality of a touchscreen laptop without having to spend an arm and a leg

Neonode Airbar touchscreen laptop BTT

Microsoft has, over the years, made the Windows operating system more touchscreen-friendly (we all remember Windows 8, right?). This has meant that the Windows user interface (UI) works pretty well for both touchscreen and non-touchscreen use, even on a non-touchscreen device. And Windows on a touchscreen device really is a breeze, too – snappy, responsive, and easy to navigate.

But most laptops sacrifice something for the ability to be touchscreen, whether that’s lower specced internal hardware, or simply a higher retail price. That’s why it’s usually better to squash your touchscreen dreams and opt for a plain old non-touchscreen laptop. You often can’t have your cake and eat it when it comes to finding a laptop you really want, but also having touchscreen capability. Well, Neonode lets you eat that cake.

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What is it?

Neonode’s Airbar is a long bar that you can attach magnetically just below your laptop’s screen. It emits an invisible light field over your display that senses touch from any object. This means that you can use your finger or a stylus (or anything else you desire) to interface with Windows via your laptop’s screen. It’s a plug in and play device, meaning you can simply plug it in via USB and it will work, but downloading the firmware is recommended for a more accurate touchscreen experience.

Why should you buy it?

There’s little reason to buy one if you’re an avid keyboard and mouse user, but if you’re using a laptop you’re likely also using the in-built touchpad. While touchpads are great, you can have much more efficient interaction with your laptop operating system and apps if you can just touch the screen to interact. Moving the mouse around the page with a trackpad gets the job done, but not anywhere near as quickly or as efficiently as a touchscreen does. If you have a non-touchscreen laptop, an Airbar is a great addition to your setup.

What options do you have?

Neonode’s Airbar is the best product of this type for the price. If you live in the US, on Amazon you can select between models for 13.3-inch, 14-inch, and 15.6-inch laptops. If you live in the UK, on Amazon you can select between models for 13.3-inch and 15.6-inch laptops. In both the US and the UK you can choose between models compatible with Windows laptops or with MacBooks.