Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) is developing a consumer notebook computer with a touch screen that will debut before year end, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The computer will include special H-P software that supports the touch screen, according to the Journal, which cited people familiar with the matter. Other details, such as pricing, were unclear.

The new laptop is the latest in a series of touch-oriented devices, including an upcoming line of cell phones, that will become a priority of H-P's consumer strategy as it tries to differentiate itself from rivals such as Dell ( DELL), the newspaper reports.

H-P began promoting touch screens last year with a big-screen desktop PC called the TouchSmart.

Touch-sensitive technology allows computer users to move items around on the screen or open files, much like a mouse or keyboard.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.