A new touchscreen system for 17-inch PowerBook G4's ships next month.

Web UK will distribute the device, the TouchSTAR pSeries17, worldwide next month. It costs €495 (£339.20) excluding VAT.

The product was first previewed at ApplE Expo, paris, last month. It's the first in a new range of TouchSTAR products for Mac desktops and portables.

In use, these products let Mac users add or remove touchscreen functionality to their displays without any need to modify the system, using a patent-pending slipcover design. The frames are made of aluminium, and match Apple's own designs.

Web UK describes the installation as: "Simply slip the TouchSTAR system over your screen, install the drivers, and plug in the USB cable; your Apple display is touch enabled. Drivers and calibration tools are provided for both Mac OS X Jaguar and Panther."

The company will ship similar systems for 12- and 15-inch PowerBooks "by Q1, 2005". Similar systems for Cinema Displays, iBooks and iMac G5s will follow.

The screens employ pressure sensitive, resistive technology and the most modern controller design. They provide 4,096-x-4,096 points of touch resolution and are tested to over ten million touches for durability.

Such screens are useful to anyone with RSI or other physical challenges, and their introduction also opens the doors for Mac developers to create solutions for interactive kiosks.