Pros and cons of touchscreen desktops

In 2012, Microsoft introduced touchscreen functionality into the Windows operating system with the launch of the Microsoft Surface. Since then, touchscreen laptops and desktops have become increasingly popular. However, before purchasing a new computer, it's important to consider the pros and cons of a touchscreen Windows PC.

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Touchscreen Windows Laptops

One of the main advantages of touchscreen laptops is that they offer easier navigation compared to a built-in trackpad. However, there are some disadvantages to consider as well.

Cleaning the Screen: One of the most apparent issues with touchscreen laptops is that the screen needs to be cleaned frequently. Constantly touching the display can leave behind dirt, grime, and oils from your fingertips. While certain coatings can help mitigate this problem, they can also cause glare and reflections. Smudges can become even more noticeable, especially when using the laptop outdoors or in offices with bright overhead lights.

Battery Life: Touchscreen displays draw additional power at all times as they detect input from the screen. This constant power drain can reduce the overall running time of a touchscreen laptop compared to one without a touchscreen. The reduction in battery life can vary from as little as 5 percent up to 20 percent, depending on the battery size and the power draw of other components. It's important to compare estimated running times between touchscreen and non-touchscreen models.

Cost: Touchscreen laptops generally cost more than non-touchscreen laptops. While there are some low-cost options available, cheaper laptops may sacrifice other features, such as CPU performance, memory, storage, or battery size, to incorporate a touchscreen.

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Touchscreen Windows Desktops

Touchscreen functionality in desktops can be divided into two categories: traditional desktop tower systems and all-in-one PCs.

Traditional Desktop Tower Systems

In traditional desktop systems, a touchscreen doesn't offer much benefit, and cost becomes the main factor. Laptop displays are typically smaller, making it more affordable to add a touchscreen. Desktops, on the other hand, usually have larger screens, with 24-inch LCDs being common. As a result, a 24-inch touchscreen monitor can be more than double the price of a typical standard display.

All-In-One PCs

All-in-one touchscreen PCs are more expensive than touchscreen monitors for desktop PCs, although prices can vary depending on specifications. Most of these devices feature a glass coating on the displays, which can make them more reflective and prone to glare, fingerprints, and swipe marks. However, these issues are not as significant as with laptops.

Multitouch support on all-in-one PCs can be convenient, but it's not critical. Windows users who are familiar with shortcut keys may not be as impressed with touchscreen features, especially when it comes to switching between applications and copying and pasting data. However, launching programs via touchscreen can be convenient.

Final Verdict

While touchscreens offer many benefits, including easier navigation, they do come with a higher cost and shorter battery life. Touchscreen laptops are most useful in a portable environment, where the ease of navigation outweighs the drawbacks. On the other hand, touchscreen capabilities in desktops may not be worth the extra cost unless you are considering an all-in-one system and are not concerned about using Windows shortcuts.

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  • Are touchscreen desktops more expensive than non-touchscreen desktops? Yes, touchscreen desktops generally cost more than non-touchscreen desktops.
  • Do touchscreen laptops have shorter battery life compared to non-touchscreen laptops? Yes, touchscreen laptops tend to have shorter battery life due to the additional power drain from the screen.
  • Do touchscreen displays on desktops require frequent cleaning? Touchscreen displays on laptops and desktops need to be cleaned more frequently due to fingerprints, smudges, and oils from fingertips.
  • Are touchscreen features essential for desktop users? Touchscreen features are not critical for desktop users, especially for those who are already familiar with Windows shortcuts.

When considering a touchscreen desktop, it's important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages. While touchscreens offer easier navigation, they come at a higher cost and may have a shorter battery life. Touchscreen laptops are more suitable for portable environments, while touchscreen capabilities in desktops may not be worth the extra expense unless you are specifically interested in an all-in-one system and are not reliant on Windows shortcuts.

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