Are you looking for a new laptop but aren’t sure whether to choose on with a touch screen or not? Welcome to the debate! This has been a long-debated feature when it comes to newer laptops. Which one is better?
A Short History of Touchscreen Technology
In the early 2000s, Apple brought the touchscreen into our lives with the iPhone. While Apple didn’t invent the touchscreen, they did make it useful and popular. As a result, touchscreens came down in price and began to show up on other devices, too.
The first touchscreens were actually created back in 1965 by E.A. Johnson, who worked at the Royal Radar Establishment in Malvern, UK. His touchscreen used capacitive touch. These screens are coated with a transparent conducting material. When a human finger touches this material, the conductor works to carry an electrical from our finger to the device.
Over time, capacitive screens were eclipsed by resistive screen technology. This was developed by Dr. G. Samuel Hurst, who was an American inventor. He called the technology “elographics.” This type of screen works with a conductive cover placed over the glass; when pressure was placed on the sheet, electricity flowed between the x & y wires.
By the 1990s, touchscreens were all the rage on devices that were called PDAs (personal digital assistant). These devices were generally controlled by a stylus.
Today, we have touchscreens on a multitude of devices, including laptops!
What to Consider: Touchscreen or Non-Touchscreen
If you’re looking for a new laptop, then you’ll need to consider if a touchscreen is really necessary or not. These are often found on a wide range of laptops including 2-in-ones, convertibles, and even non-convertibles.
Touchscreens have their advantages and their disadvantages. Before we head into the pros and cons, let’s review again the difference between capacitive and resistive screens. These are the most common types of touchscreens available on today’s laptops.
Capacitive vs. Resistive
A capacitive touch screen must be touched with a finger, or a special glove or pen made to work with a capacitive device. The screen is coated with a material that can store electrical charges and can differentiate where the screen has been touched.
When the panel’s touched, a tiny charge is drawn to that point of contact. The device uses the change in the electrostatic field to find the location. This may be done through the use of circuits placed at each corner of the panel, which then send the information to the controller. On multitouch screens, the sensors are placed in a grid, which provides more complex input.
Capacitive screens are able to distinguish several points of contact, which is the reason these screens can function correctly when multiple fingers are used. This type of screen is the kind that makes it easy to zoom in and out on images and the display.
This type of touchscreen is made with two layers, which respond to pressure from the user’s finger. Both layers have electric currents and are kept apart from one another. This is because one is resistive, and one is conductive.
When you touch the screen, the resistive layer comes into contact with the conductive layer. This point of contact causes a chance in the electric current. The apps on the device recognize this change and then will work as directed by the user.
Resistive screens are not able to accommodate multiple finger touches at the same time.
What are the Advantages of Touchscreen Laptop Displays?
There are several advantages that come with a touchscreen laptop display including:
High quality, expressive displays: touchscreen laptops are usually better when it comes to brightness and color accuracy, reproduction, and vibrancy. They also have higher resolutions. In addition, these screens tend to be glossy, which makes them respond better to touch. People who need to work quite a bit with color usually choose these types of touchscreen laptops.
Drawing & taking notes: creatives, such as graphic artists and designers, use a touchscreen. These laptops are better for their work and are more versatile, too. For instance, it’s possible to draw and even take notes by hand on these computers. These are also great for students who need to take a lot of notes in class.
Easy to use & fast navigation: touchscreen laptops are faster and easier to use. It’s not always necessary to use accessories such as a trackpad or a mouse. Plus, working and shifting between applications is easier and faster, too. And if the trackpad stops working, you can still use the touchscreen to get work done. It’s also possible to take notes and work, even if the keyboard breaks.
As you can see, touchscreen laptops come with many advantages. But they also have a few disadvantages. We’ll take a look at these in the next section.
Disadvantages of Touchscreen Laptops
Here are some of the disadvantages you can expect with a touchscreen laptop:
Cost more: it’s a fact that laptops with touchscreens are more expensive. Plus, these screens are usually set to higher resolutions, which also increases the price on these types of computers.
Laptop weighs more: a touchscreen is wonderful technology; however, it not only adds bulk to the device, but makes the laptop heavier. This may only come down to a few grams; however, there is a noticeable difference in weight with these laptops compared to those that have no touchscreen.
Harder to see in direct light: when working in direct light, such as outdoors in the sun, a touchscreen is more difficult to see. In addition, the glossy screen can reflect the light into your face, or even make the screen glarier. This can be difficult for those who have chronic headaches, migraines, eye problems, and more.
Fingerprint magnets: because touchscreens are glossy, they quickly become smudged and dirty with fingerprints, smears, and more. They’re a lot more difficult to keep clean, which can really put some people off.
Which is Better: A Touchscreen or Non-Touchscreen Laptop?
Touchscreens are great for many reasons, but work especially well for students, creatives, and even office workers who require a way to get more done in less time. Touchscreens can help you work faster.
In addition, these screens make navigation faster, taking notes is easy, along with sketching and drawing. All of these are easier on a touchscreen.
So, considering the disadvantages of a touchscreen, the choice of a laptop with a touchscreen or without really comes down to your specific requirements. The laptop you choose should be one that helps you comfortably and quickly get work done.