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Turn any Windows 8 laptop into a touchscreen with the Targus Touch Pen

Did you upgrade your laptop to Windows 8? Does it feel like it would be a whole lot easier to use if you could just reach out and touch (or possibly punch) the screen? You can stop cursing out your mouse thanks to Targus. The company found a solution – or at least a workaround – with its new Touch Pen that promises to give your Windows 8 laptop the power of touch. Honestly, it sounds like a product that should be pitched on a late night infomercial. Thankfully, it’s not. It’s available through Targus for one easy payment of $100.

Targus describes the pen as a way to bring new life to an older laptop that’s been upgraded to Windows 8. The pen comes with a USB-powered magnetic receiver that attaches to the bezel of your laptop screen and gives the screen its “touch” ability. Unfortunately, your digit will not do; the pen has to be used in order to manipulate items on the screen. As long as you don’t mind the pen, you can swipe through tiles, doodle in Paint, and and scroll through Web pages. 

The pen requires a one-time calibration and setup, but after that, just clip the receiver onto the side of your screen, plug in its USB cord, and it’s ready to go. It’s as easy as plugging in an external mouse.

Sure, it sounds great; but does it actually work? According to the folks over at PC World, it does. They took the Touch Pen for a spin on an aging 17-inch laptop that was recently upgraded to Windows 8 and came away with a positive impression of it. Like most add-ons, it’s likely not a cure for all of your Windows 8 gripes, but it’s a relatively inexpensive step in the right direction.