HP has already used touch screen technology in its range of TouchSmart PCs and earlier this year they promised to bring this same functionality to laptops "long before the launch of Windows 7." The company was not specific about a day, but according to The Wall Street Journal at least one such notebook will launch before the end of the year.

This is not the first time that HP has launched a touch screen portable computer, their tx2000-series convertible tablets comes to mind, but there will be more of a marketing push this time around and the new multi-touch screens will now work without the use of a special pen. The system will join what HP hopes will become a whole family of touch screen devices, which could include a rumored line of cell phones that will be used by HP as a way of 'differentiating' itself from competition.

In addition, HP is said to be planning to introduce a new netbook with a 10-inch screen this year, expanding its Mini-Note line.