A touch screen monitor is a computer display screen that is also an input device. The user interacts with the computer by touching the content on the monitor. Some touch screen monitors use a variety of beams across the screen to create a grid that senses the presence of a finger rather than being touch sensitive. Touch screens are made up of 3 basic elements, a sensor, a controller and a software driver.
Touch screens allow the user to interact with the device without the use of a keyboard or a mouse. They have become part of our daily lives and are used on mobile phone, tablets and cash machines.
Different types of touch screen
These are the main types of touch screen monitors,
- Resistive touch screen
- Capacitive touch screen
- Surface acoustic wave touch screen (SAW)
- Infrared touch screen
- Optical imaging touch screen
- Acoustic pulse recognition touch screen
Resistive touch screen
Theses touch screens consists of a number of layers. The resistive touch screen relies on resistance so when you press it cause the screen to respond. The pressure pushes the layers together and this registers an input. This type of method is called pressure sensitive or analogue resistive film touch panels. Its main benefits are it is low cost and uses less electric than other touch screen methods. The main drawbacks are lower light transmittance due to the film and two electrode layers.
Capacitive touch screen
This type of touch screen has a glass overlay coated with a conductive material on the inside. This means that because the human body is conductive, when you press on the screen it causes a change in the screens electric field. The processor acknowledges the location of the touch by a human finger. For this reason you can’t use a capacitive touchscreen whilst wearing a glove. The main draw back to this method is that it can be difficult to detect contact at two or more points at the same time.
Surface acoustic wave touch screen (SAW)
SAW touch screen technology is based on sending acoustic waves over a glass panel with a series of transducers and reflectors. When a finger touches the screen the acoustic waves are absorbed and this causes a touch to be detected.
A finger and a gloved hand can use this type of touch screen, something hard like a pen or fingernail will not work.
Infrared touch screen
(LED’s) light emitting diodes in the screen create an invisible grid of infrared beams. The LEDs are placed on one side of the screen and the sensors are placed parallel. When a touch is made on the screen the infrared beams are broken on the grid and this detects where the touch has been made.
Optical imaging touch screen
Optical touch screens have two or more sensors placed around the edges of the screen, these are mainly positioned in the corners of the screen. It uses infrared backlights, which are placed in two corners of the screen. It has reflective tape around the rest of the screen. When you touch the screen it will detect a shadow where your touch is blocking the infrared light getting to the reflective tape. This will cause a triangulation between the two sensors and the touch and this is how it coordinates where the touch is on the screen.
Acoustic pulse recognition touch screen
An APR touch screen is made from a glass overlay and four transducers, which are attached to the back of the screen. When a touch is made on the screen the friction creates acoustic waves and the transducers detect this. The acoustic wave is then converted into a signal and locates the touch by generating a unique sound on the glass.
How to use a touch screen
- Double tap
- Touch and hold
These are some of the terms used when using a touch screen monitor. Not all touch screens act the same and some of the touch screens could act differently to these actions.
Why use a touch screen monitor
The best touch screen monitors have what it takes to perform in the demanding environment that we live in today. If you have a touch screen pc and use a stylus to input information, you will get precision and you can write or draw naturally on the screen. The pen input is very smart and can translate your handwriting into text format. This is brilliant if you are faster at writing than you are at typing. These devices are said to be faster and more efficient and require less coordination from the user.
On of the biggest benefits of using a touch screen monitor is that it saves space on a desk, as a mouse and keyboard are not needed. Another benefit is it does not need as many wires and cables and these won’t collect dust or get tangled.
The images that are shown on touch screen monitors are crisp displays. You do not need to buy the most expensive monitor out there to get this experience.
Durability is one of the biggest concerns for touch screen monitor buyers, has it is going to get frequent and heavy use. The best touch screen monitors will stand up to heavy usage.
What to look for when buying a touch screen monitor
The main areas to focus on when you are comparing touch screen monitors are
These options will allow you to pick the best monitor for your needs and performance.
LED LCD screens are the best type for lighting. LCD alone will not give you the high contrast and brightness that LED LCD will. The best touchscreen monitors are able to produce 1080p quality images and have good response times, the lower the response time the less blur you will see. Low pixel pitch makes the image more crisp picture.
A touch screen monitor should have all the commonly used ports to connect to other devices. HDMI, VGA, USB and DVI.
A good touch screen monitor should be able to tilt backwards and forwards for ease of use, some will be able to swivel and have adjustable height options. This come down to personal preference so be sure to choose the right one for you.
Most come with multi touch options, the best will come with optical touch panel that can provide better touch capabilities and picture quality.
Dimensions of a touch screen monitor are usually larger than a standard monitor and weigh more too. Some monitors come with a large screen size and others come with small screen sizes but in a same size monitor so be sure to check and compare the physical screen size.
Best touch screen monitor brands
There are several different manufacturers that make touch screen monitors. We have done lots of in-depth research to find which are the brands and these are our findings.
These manufacturers make the highest quality and use the best technology to ensure that the products are the best on the market. They all have their own special design and boast the best high tech features that you will need to make your touch screen monitor enjoyable.