Touchscreens are gradually becoming a popular feature on laptops. Some brands, however, are yet to adopt the touch display technology.
There are important features everyone should consider before buying a laptop. But when it comes to choosing between a touchscreen laptop and a non touch display laptop, making a decision becomes even more difficult.
Should you buy a touchscreen laptop or not? What are the advantages and drawbacks of using one? This article answers these questions and more.
Understanding Laptop Touchscreen Technologies
Touch display panels of laptops work with capacitive or resistive touch technology. Resistive touch display has two layers that must come in contact for your screen to respond to touch. On resistive displays change in the electricity flow occurs as a result of the pressure of a finger.
On the other hand, capacitive touchscreens have one layer which responds to any object with an electrical charge. Capacitive touchscreens do not require pressure from your finger for your screen to detect any input.
Many laptops with touchscreens come as 2-in-1s, convertibles, or hybrids. Dell XPS 13, Lenovo Yoga C930, and HP Spectre x360 are some of the best laptops with touch displays.
If you are an Apple loyalist, sorry, because Apple has not produced a Mac with touchscreen functionality yet. Only Microsoft and Google have laptops with touch display technology at the moment.
Advantages of a Touchscreen Laptop
These are the benefits of owning a laptop with a touch display:
1. Easy Navigation Around Programs
This is one of the areas where a touchscreen laptop shines. With a touchscreen laptop it is a lot easier to select apps by simply tapping the screen than trying to use a trackpad.
Navigating around applications on a touch display laptop is seamless.
2. You Can Scribble On Touchscreens
A good number of touchscreen laptops like the HP Spectre x360 and Surface Pro have a stylus which allows users to draw on the panel. The active stylus shipped with these laptops can be handy for taking notes and annotating documents. This functionality is not common with non-touchscreen laptops.
3. Better Display Brightness and Colour Accuracy
Some manufacturers incorporate the best screen panels with higher resolutions (think 4K display) in the touchscreen versions of the laptop models they produce.
Most touch display laptops have a glossy finish which provides a good experience watching Netflix and YouTube videos.
4. Good for Multitasking
People who handle several tasks at a time will find touchscreen laptops useful owing to the fact that tapping an item on a screen does not require the same level of concentration as using a mouse and keyboard.
Disadvantages of a Touchscreen Laptop
Here are the drawbacks of touchscreen laptops:
1. More Expensive
The touchscreen variant of a laptop model will naturally cost more than the version without touchscreen. The price difference is usually not very significant, though.
At the time of writing, the difference in price between Dell XPS 13 (2019) with touch and the model without touchscreen (i.e., non touch) was approximately $400.
Some touchscreen laptops have higher display resolutions (4K display, for example) which makes them even more expensive. Steer clear of touchscreens if you are on a tight budget.
2. Takes a Toll on Your Battery
Yes, you read that right. Touchscreen laptops drain batteries faster than laptops without a touchscreen because of the touch digitizer they are built with. The touch digitizer is always on so that input from the screen can be detected anytime.
The power usage of touchscreens may vary from 5% to as high as 20%.
3. Poor Viewing Angles
Glossy screens are usually associated with touchscreen-enabled laptops. The glossy finish makes for poor viewing, especially when the display is viewed from very shallow angles and when used outdoors in bright light.
A matte finish has a better performance outdoors. Unfortunately, a touchscreen laptop with a matte finish is rare.
4. Slightly Heavier
Most touchscreen laptops are a little heavier than their non-touch counterparts.
For instance, Dell XPS 13 (2019) with touch weighs 1.23 kg (2.71 pounds) while the model without touchscreen weighs 1.22 kg (2.69 pounds). A noticeable difference in weight is evident in EliteBook Folio G1 with touch screen which is 1.03 kg (2.26 pounds), while the non touch variant weighs 0.97 kg (2.14 pounds).
5. Screen May Require Frequent Cleaning
Frequent use of a touchscreen’s display may leave dirt on the screen.
Get ready to see smears and greasy smudges on your display if you elect to buy a touch screen laptop.
Again, if cleaning your laptop’s panel often sits well with you, then opt for a touchscreen laptop.
Should You Buy a Touchscreen Laptop?
Yes, if the drawbacks are what you can contend with. Touchscreen on a laptop (Windows 10, especially) works well right now — that wasn’t the case some years ago.
If your job entails doing lots of drawings and performing graphic tasks, working with a stylus on a touchscreen along with the right programs will enhance your productivity.
It doesn’t hurt to be able to use your screen the way you would a smartphone or tablet. A touch-enabled laptop is not essential, however, it is a valuable addition that can boost your work rate.
Q. Does touchscreen slow down a computer?
A. Touchscreen technology isn’t known to slow down a computer. The touch display affects battery life instead.
Q. Will a screen protector affect my touchscreen sensitivity?
A. Just a little.
Q. Does turning off touchscreen save battery?
A. Yes. You will save up to 20% of your laptop’s battery life if you turn off touchscreen feature.
Q. Can I turn the touchscreen off on my laptop?
A. Yes, you can turn the touchscreen off on your laptop.
Q. How do I know if my laptop has a touchscreen?
A. The best way to ascertain if your laptop has a touch display is to check the specs of the laptop.
Q. What is the best laptop with touchscreen?
A. There isn’t any “best” laptop with touchscreen functionality, however, some laptops like Dell XPS 13, Lenovo Yoga C930, and HP Spectre x360, and have responsive touch displays.
Q. Is a screen guard required for a touchscreen laptop?
A. You don’t necessarily need a screen guard for your touchscreen laptop.
What Jack might see as a no-no, may not be considered a deal breaker by John. Buying a touchscreen or non-touchscreen laptop is a matter of preference and what you need in a laptop. They are both good choices with positives and shortfalls.
So buy a touchscreen laptop if you love the idea of making selections by simply tapping items you need on your screen instead of having to make selections using a mouse.
Always make sure the touchscreen laptop you want to go for has an excellent trackpad and keyboard. You can get more information about laptops by checking out the best laptops on the market.