Learn everything you need to know about a touchscreen monitor for desktop computers. Find out whether you should buy one or not. Learn about when a touchscreen can be helpful and how much it may add to the cost of your computer purchase. Also get a look at how regular monitors compare to touchscreens.
Touchscreen Monitor Review
When buying a computer there are many different things to consider. If you are buying a desktop computer, you will not only need to choose the actual computer tower but also the monitor. Monitors come in all shapes and sizes. They are available from a range of manufacturers. You can even use televisions as monitors in some cases. Choosing the right monitor is important because it affects your whole computer experience.
Modern technology allows you to get many different options in monitors. One such option is a touchscreen. Touchscreen technology is probably something with which you are familiar because you likely use it all the time when using your smartphone or tablet. A touchscreen allows you to bypass the use of a mouse or a keyboard and just touch the screen to operate your computer.
This review will tell you more about touchscreen monitor options and what a touchscreen could do for you. Learn the pros and cons to get a better idea of whether this is the right option or not. Learn about the costs and see how touchscreens compare to regular monitors. Get all the information you need in this review to discover whether or not your next purchase should be a touchscreen monitor.
A touchscreen monitor is designed to provide more convenience and usability to your computer. You operate it by touching the screen. You can touch with your finger or use a special device made for touchscreens, such as a stylus, depending on the touch technology used in the monitor.
Touchscreens are standard for tablets and smartphones. However, they were not as common for computers until the release of Windows 8 which had a touchscreen interface. Laptops first started adding touchscreens, but now touchscreen monitors are available for desktops, too, which some people find increases the usability of a desktop.
When choosing a touchscreen, there are some things you want to look at and watch for. Make sure that the movement is smooth. You want to be able to glide your finger and have the mouse follow. It also needs to be reactive. When you tap the screen, things should happen. There should not be a delay. It is also important that you ensure the screen is adjustable. If you are using the touch option, it should be comfortable to do so without having to bend or stretch. You also need to understand the technology so you can understand the limitations and operation of the screen.
A touchscreen monitor is not for everyone. Some people may get one and never even use it. Since they do add to the cost of a computer, it is a good idea to make sure you need one. Typically, it works best if you use Windows with the touchscreen interface and you normally sit close enough to your screen that you can easily reach out and interact with the screen. Otherwise it will be awkward, and you likely won't use it enough to make it worth the cost.
Types of Touchscreen Monitors
While every touchscreen monitor works in the same general way, the technology behind them is different. There are multiple ways that a monitor is developed to allow for touch operation. Here's a look at those different touchscreen methods.
The first touchscreen technology we will look at is capacitive. This type of touchscreen responds to electrical sensations conducted by your finger. Due to this, a touchscreen using capacitive technology cannot be used when wearing regular gloves or if the surface is dirty because the electrical connection cannot be made. Special styluses or gloves are required if a bare finger is not used. This type of screen does not react well to water. The screen can react to the liquid even if it is only a very small amount.
Resistive technology works using pressure, so anything can be used to operate the touch capabilities. Resistive touchscreens also tolerate liquid and dust much better than capacitive types and will work despite these interferences. However, the downside is that they can get worn over time due to the need to press on the screen.
Surface Acoustic Wave
Next up is the surface acoustic wave touchscreen. This technology involves ultrasonic waves. Touching the screen absorbs the wave and operates the controls. They are sensitive to environmental factors such as dust. However, they are often very durable and can be used with gloves or a stylus.
An infrared grid touchscreen does not rely so much on the actual touch. It instead relies on the disruption of light. When you touch the screen it removes the light, and the screen reacts to it. It can be used with anything, such as a finger, stylus or gloves. Anything that could interfere with the light, such as dust, will affect operation.
Acoustic Pulse Recognition
Lastly, there are acoustic pulse recognition touchscreens. This technology uses friction and acoustic waves to read your signals as you touch the screen. This type of touchscreen is not bothered by water and is fairly durable. It also can work with gloves or a stylus.
Among the main types of touchscreen technologies there are also variations. Some technologies have been tweaked to help reduce issues and make them more responsive and overall better at functioning as you need them to. The type of technology used often varies from monitor to monitor.
Touchscreens are considered an upgraded feature for a monitor. Because of this they will cost more than a regular monitor. If you are buying a computer that comes with a touchscreen monitor, then expect to pay about $100 to $200 more than if you bought the regular screen.
How It Compares
To best understand touchscreen technology, it helps to compare it to a regular screen. We went ahead and did this for you. First, we will give you some ratings for each type of monitor so you can see an easy comparison. Then we will offer up some explanations and details to really help you see the differences and similarities between the two options.
Adds on to base price
Comes as part of base price
When comparing a touchscreen monitor to a regular monitor, the first thing to think about is that not every setup is conducive to a touchscreen. You can use a regular monitor in pretty much any situation, but a touchscreen requires you to be comfortably close to the screen so you can easily reach it without strain. You also have to consider that a touchscreen may not work when dirty, whereas a regular screen is not bothered by dust. Along those same lines, a touchscreen will need to be cleaned more often to remove fingerprints that can obscure the view.
On the plus side, a touchscreen makes your computer more usable. It allows you to have more control directly over operation. It can make it easier to use some of the more recent operating systems as well since they have been designed with touchscreen capabilities in mind. It also may be more natural for you to use a touchscreen if you are used to using a smartphone.
Touchscreen monitors can have some great perks. If you like to create art on your computer, a touchscreen gives you way more functionality. You don't need a separate pad for drawing as you can just do it on your screen with a stylus or your finger. It is also nice for some games that really need the touch capabilities. Trying to play a game designed for touchscreens with a mouse is going to be very hard.
When comparing the two, it really comes down to your personal preferences. A touchscreen may be better for other people and not for you. It is important to consider all sides of the setup to ensure that you are not spending extra money on the touchscreen when you will end up never using it.
Pros and Cons
No review of any product is thorough without a look at what consumers think. The pros and cons list we put together is a nice look at what experts and consumers think about touchscreen monitors. It is a combination of our opinions and the research we did into what others think to provide a very accurate idea of what this product really has to offer you.
We went with a 3.5/5 rating because touchscreens are not for everyone. Some people will give them a 5/5 because they are compatible with their computer use and greatly increase functionality. Others will give them barely any stars because they end up not being worth the hassle to use. It really depends on you and how you use your computer as to whether a touchscreen monitor is the right choice.
A touchscreen is great if you sit close enough to your monitor to easily reach it. Touching the screen should be easy and comfortable or you won't do it for long. It is also nice if you are running an operating system that integrates touch technology. This will allow you to have more usability with the system and get more from it. You may also enjoy the touchscreen if you like to draw or play certain games as it will make things much easier to do than trying to use a mouse. Finally, a touchscreen can be the answer to your problems if you have issues holding and using a mouse. Being able to just touch the screen and make things happen is much easier for those with dexterity issues or who otherwise cannot use a standard mouse or touchpad.
Those who may not benefit from touchscreens are those who do not have a computer setup where reaching the screen would be comfortable or make sense. In addition, if you just use normal functions of your computer such as creating documents and general web surfing, then you probably will not find many situations in which you really need the touchscreen. It can be a total waste of money to get a touchscreen monitor if you will barely use it.
The bottom line here is that touchscreen technology is very useful in the right situation. You probably use it every day when you use your smartphone, but in that setting it makes a lot of sense because it is a handheld device that is also portable, so touchscreen operation is pretty much required. With your computer, though, you have the ability to use a mouse or touchpad. You don't have to have a touchscreen. However, it can be very handy if you have specific needs for one.
When considering whether to buy a touchscreen monitor or not, just think about how you will use it. If you can think of using it regularly, then it probably is a good buy. On the other hand, if you just want one for the novelty, you are probably better off saving your money or putting it into another aspect of the computer that will be more useful to you.
Our final word on touchscreen monitors is that they are great for specific people in certain situations. We would highly recommend them to someone who has the right setup and will use it. Otherwise, you probably do not need a touchscreen for your desktop and it will end up just being a waste of a couple hundred dollars that could have been applied to some other aspect of your computer purchase.