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Touch screen laptops were introduced as a new and exciting technology relatively recently, but they haven’t gained much popularity outside specific areas. Are they worth considering at all? What are their advantages?
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Touch screen laptops have a screen and a keyboard like standard laptops, but they also allow you to control the OS by touching the screen. This opens the door to many unique uses but also comes with some drawbacks.
People who work in design need touch screen surfaces so that they can use styluses to draw accurate strokes. This is usually achieved with a drawing tablet, but a touch screen laptop can serve that purpose too. Touch screen laptops allow you to work directly on your laptop using a pen, so you don’t need to attach a tablet.
Remember that tablets specifically made for design work produce much higher quality work than touch screen laptops. Still, a touch screen laptop is good enough for sketches, drawings, and editing pictures.
All laptops have touchpads, but they can be limiting and uncomfortable. This is why a lot of people attach a mouse to their laptops.
While you can always use a mouse with your touch screen laptop, you don’t really need it. You can simply use your fingers to select whatever you want on the screen. This can save you some space and, in some cases, be even more efficient than a mouse.
All touch screen laptops have a keyboard—otherwise, it’d be a tablet! A keyboard is still present in touch screen laptops because they’re much better for typing than a touch screen. It is an essential element of every computer, especially for people who write or code for a living.
However, keyboards can have issues and malfunction at the worst possible time. Typically, a non-working keyboard will render your laptop virtually useless, but touch screen laptops offer the opportunity to use a keyboard on your screen.
With a touch screen keyboard, you’ll be able to continue your work even if your physical keyboard doesn’t work. It won’t be as easy, but it’ll get the job done.
A touch screen laptop allows you to perform certain tasks more quickly. You can select and drag items more easily, which can come in handy when editing pictures, creating graphs, or even playing games.
Moreover, touch screen laptops are great for keeping notes. If handwriting is easier for you than typing, a touch screen laptop and a stylus could make taking notes a piece of cake.
The manufacturers of touch screen laptops pay special attention to the screen because it’s used and handled significantly more than typical laptops. They need to ensure that these screens perform exceptionally well in different situations.
Consequently, you’ll find that the screens of touch screen laptops are top quality, not only regarding functionality and resistance but also in terms of image resolution.
Given everything we’ve mentioned so far, you may be wondering why touch screen laptops aren’t more popular. As you’ll see, they have several disadvantages that may explain why.
The ability to select items with a simple touch on your laptop screen doesn’t come cheap. Touch screen laptops cost more than their non-touchscreen counterparts. Depending on what you’re using your laptop for, you may not want to pay significantly more just for this added benefit.
You may find cheaper versions of touchscreen laptops. However, these don’t guarantee the same performance as the more expensive ones. Either the touch screen feature won’t work as well, or you’ll find shortcomings in the other standard features.
Because of their added functionality, touch screens require more power than a normal screen. Touch screen laptops have this feature enabled all the time, which can affect their battery life.
The latest touch screen laptops have better batteries, but they are still not up to those in regular laptops.
You can disable the touch screen feature if you want, but then why would you spend extra for a touch screen in the first place? Still, you can deactivate this feature when the battery is dying and you want it to last long enough to finish your work.
A touch screen needs special materials and technologies. Although manufacturers do their best to choose the most lightweight and efficient materials, they still add to the total weight of a touch screen laptop.
This extra weight is not noticeable at all if you only work at your desk. However, your shoulder will notice if you carry your laptop around to work in different places.
Unlike a regular screen, a touch screen laptop will have you constantly touching it to select and move items. Unfortunately, frequent touching means that your screen will be covered in smudges in no time, which is unpleasant, to say the least. As a result, you’re going to need to clean it frequently.
If you’re using a stylus, you should be able to avoid most smudges, but a stylus isn’t always handy. Sooner or later, you’ll touch your touch screen laptop, which means your screen will need cleaning.
Even though they are quite expensive, touch screen laptops typically have a shorter lifespan than regular ones. The added weight and constant use of the screen make some lower-quality touch screen laptops more likely to break near the hinge.
Touch screen laptops are also more complex and thus more expensive to fix. You need to take into account the possibility of the laptop breaking and the cost of repairing it before you buy one.
Using a touch screen laptop for a long time may be tiring for your hands and wrists. It’s easy to work using a keyboard or mouse because you barely move your wrists and shoulders, but reaching toward the screen requires more movement.
You may find that your arms get tired after a while. Worse, you may develop pain in some areas if you use the touch screen laptop for a very long time.
As you can see, some several pros and cons can convince you one way or another. However, we can confidently say that most people don’t really need a touch screen laptop. After all, there’s a reason you don’t see them much, more than a decade after they first entered the market.
As useful a feature as it is, a touch screen usually isn’t necessary or worth paying extra for in a laptop, especially when you use it for browsing or writing. However, there are some scenarios where buying a touch screen laptop would be worth it.
As we mentioned above, people who design on their laptops would benefit from a touch screen. It’s impossible to do hand designs using a mouse or a touchpad—you would need to plug in an external drawing tablet.
Touch screen laptops allow designers and artists to sketch and work on a single device. All they need is a stylus for more precision. In this instance, touch screen laptops provide the best of both worlds.
However, while buying a touch screen laptop may save you the drawing pad money, the drawing pad typically yields better results than the laptop because it’s made specifically for drawing.
Artists can benefit from a touch screen laptop in more than one way. People who edit images or videos need to adjust a lot of different settings and configurations, which can be tiring and time-consuming if you’re using a touchpad or a mouse.
Being able to touch the screen offers editors a way of adjusting settings more quickly and precisely. The touch screen laptop provides much more efficiency and speed for photo and video editors, making their lives easier.
There are plenty of note-taking and whiteboard programs that can help students keep notes. These programs are especially useful in touch screen laptops, where you can easily record everything in writing, draw charts and diagrams, and even mark or underline specific parts.
A touch screen laptop can offer a good solution for people who can handwrite faster than they type or even those who memorize words better when handwriting them. A tablet can provide the same benefits and more, but it can’t perform most of the functions that a laptop can.
A touch screen laptop can be very useful for people who need to perform different tasks quickly. You could benefit from a touch screen laptop if your job requires selecting different items, changing settings, or adjusting levels.
Being able to select everything you want on the screen as you see it could save time and effort for you. You’ve probably already seen the efficiency of a similar touch screen in action. Cashiers and restaurant workers use a specialized version of a touch screen computer because it saves them a lot of time keeping orders and inserting data.
If you’re part of one of the above categories, you may consider a touch screen laptop worth the money. However, not all touch screen laptops are the same. Some may make your life easier, while others can turn out to be a waste of money.
To help you avoid touch screen laptops that end up making your life more complicated, we’ve listed a few features and specifications you should keep in mind while looking for a touch screen laptop.
The most crucial aspect you need to consider is the quality of the screen. The touch screen is the reason why you’re buying such a laptop, so you need to test the devices you’re looking at and see how well the screen responds to your touch.
You shouldn’t struggle to move or select items on the screen. The screen should be sensitive enough to recognize your touch and to allow you to move items in a fluid and uninterrupted way.
The screen should also produce great image quality. Take a look at its resolution and color depth.
Next, you should take a look at the other specifications, just like you would for any typical laptop.
Depending on the purpose of the laptop, you’ll focus on different things. For instance, if you’re a video editor, you will need to pay more attention to the CPU, RAM, and screen resolution. If you plan to do a lot of illustrating and 3D modeling, you might want to invest in a decent GPU.
Whatever the case, you should aim at least for a mid-level CPU from a recent generation, such as an i5 or a Ryzen 5. 8 GB of RAM is enough for browsing and office work, but you’ll want at least 16 GB if you plan to use demanding programs.
You don’t have to worry too much about the GPU unless you plan to use your laptop for gaming or some other graphics-intensive task.
Speaking of the use you’ll give to your touch screen laptop, if you plan to do designs and sketches, you should pay extra attention to the stylus.
Touch screen laptops can come with their own styluses or pens, so you need to make sure they work well for you.
Test the pens and see how well they perform on the screen and how you handle them. A good pen is essential for design work, so choose a laptop with a good and comfortable stylus.
Touch screen laptops are only worth buying if you do a lot of quick tasks, design and draw, or take notes. A touch screen laptop costs more than a regular one and can be more fragile, so it’s not worth the extra money for the typical user.