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Dell Paints New Picture of Computing with Canvas

Looking to create a new way for digital content creators to interact with Microsoft's forthcoming Windows 10 Creators Update, Dell took the wraps off a novel desktop device with a next-generation display that promises to create more immersive user experiences.  The new Dell Canvas debuted at this week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas and effectively merges display and input into a single device.

At first glance, the 27-inch device will compete with Microsoft's recently launched Surface Studio. While both are aimed at bringing forth the new input capabilities coming to Windows 10 Creators Update later this quarter, the Surface Studio is an all-in-one computer while the Dell Canvas is only a display that connects to any PC running the new operating system.

Like the Surface Studio the Dell Canvas will appeal to digital content creators ranging from engineers, industrial designers and users in finance who create simulations and models. The Dell Canvas even supports a new interface device called the Totem. The Totem, about the size of a hockey puck, is similar to the new Surface Dial, which Microsoft introduced as an option to the Surface Studio.

Despite the similarities, Dell believes the new offering, which the company's engineers collaborated on with Microsoft's Windows team on for more than two years, will offer a more immersive and interactive user experience. "It's transitioning from physical analog interactions that are hardware based to more dynamic digital-based interactions," explained Sarah Burkhart, a product manager with Dell's precision computing group, who gave me a demonstration of the Dell Canvas during a briefing last week in New York.

Burkhart believes that the Canvas and the use of the Totem, which, unlike the Surface Dial, delivers digital signals and can stick on the surface of the display, will open new ways for vertical software vendors such as Avid, Cakewalk, Solidworks and Sketchable to interact with Windows. "We have been pleasantly surprised at the interest in horizontal plus vertical from lots of areas outside of digital content creation," she said.

The Surface Dial will also work with the Dell Canvas, Burkhart said. The device comes with the Dell Canvas Pen based on the electro-magnetic resonance method and supports 20 points of touch. It can also be positioned at any angle or lay flat.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 01/06/2017 at 1:19 PM


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