Touch Screens on All-in-One Computers: The Good And The Bad

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Multitouch touch screens are all the rage – from tablets to tables, mobiles to monitors, it’s the new way to interact with your device. One category that’s seen a rise in the number of touchscreen-based options is the all in one computer sector.

So what are they like to use, and should you buy one?

The Good: Touchscreens are made to be big. Compare using a tablet to using a smartphone for browsing the web, using an app – anything, in fact – and you’ll see what I mean. Big touchscreens are great, and all in one computers tend to have big screens. The less space your finger takes up as a proportion of the overall screen size, the more precise the feeling of control.

The Bad: There’s little in the way of ‘desktop’ support for touch screens just yet. Windows 7’s touch functionality is very basic – even its much-hyped multitouch offerings disappoint. So, you’ll probably find you just go back to using a mouse and keyboard. I certainly did when I got my all-in-one. But something changed all that.

The Good: Windows 8 is going to be a game changer for touch screen all-in-one computers. It’s designed with touch in mind – written for tablets, and then expanded from there. That’s going to bring all-in-one computers in line with the kind of touch responsiveness and utility we expect from modern tablet computers, which will be a big change up from W7.

The Bad: Fingerprints. I don’t mind them much on tablets, you kind of expect them and besides, tablets you kind of view square-on. An all-in-one computer is viewed at a slightly more oblique angle, which accentuates glare and any marks on the screen. It’s also unusual to see fingermarks all over a desktop computer, but maybe that’s because I’ve been conditioned in to believing that your fingers need never go near a monitor. But still, oleophobic technology could do with stepping up a bit before touchscreens become really attractive on all-in-ones.

The Good: Comfort. It’s actually surprisingly intuitive (once you get over instinctively reaching for a mouse every time you want to do something) to use a desktop computer as a touchscreen. In fact, I found I simply didn’t sit down as much as I used to. I could accomplish little things – like looking up the weather, or checking a calendar – from standing. That’s exciting to me. I’ve always had a fashion with the permanency of embedding touchscreens in to other technology – and I’m not alone, judging from the current trend of sticking iPads in restaurant tables – and it’s thrilling to think that touchscreen all-in-one computers could sit all over the house, all in sync, and all at your fingertips.

So those are my thoughts about the good and bad of using a touchscreen all-in-one computer for a week. Many thanks to my friend for lending me his computer for the week, and I promise I’ll lend you my iPad at some point (just as soon as I can get away from Angry Birds…).

3 thoughts on “Touch Screens on All-in-One Computers: The Good And The Bad

  1. Hello Danny,

    This post is really impressive. Your detailed explanation of the touch screen computers is really worth reading. This can help anyone analyse the pros and cons before thinking on purchasing one. Touch screen gadgets are always a sought after option but should wait for sometime to see how these things go.

    Regards,
    Vijay

  2. Hey Danny touchscreen computers can be a pain sometimes. I feel computers with keyboards and mouse would deliver a lot of productivity rather than touching around screens to find or type in something. Perhaps touch screen computers can be useful for entertainment purposes or light internet browsing. The points put in here have been very broadly explained though!!

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