Welcome to the Touch Screen Computers Knowledge Base

Before you buy a touch screen computer, let us assist you in deciding what type of touch screen computer is right for your needs.

A Introduction

Touch screen computers use a touch screen which is an electronic visual display. Touch screen computers work by detecting the location of a touch within the display screen.

Though touch screen computers are commonly made for touching the screen with a finger, an object such as a stylus can also be detected. Touch screen computers have many benefits and they allow the user to interact directly with what they see.

How it works

How do touch screen computers work? There are three different systems that can be used in order for a touch screen computer to recognise a person's touch.

Surface Acoustic Wave System

Firstly, the surface acoustic wave system in a touch screen computed uses transducers. A transducer transforms one type of energy to another. There is a receiving transducer used and one required for sending. They are placed across the glass on the touch screen computer monitor. On this same glass are reflectors. A reflector is used in co-operation with the transducer by reflecting the signals between the two.

The receiver can locate a stimulus caused via touch. This does not require the use of metallic layers. Touch screen computers with this system are therefore with complete light output and this makes the image clearer to see. If graphics are necessary for your touch screen computer, this is the best system to use. It would therefore be best for games. Similar to the resistive system, the touch screen computers using the surface acoustic wave systems can use anything to cause a reaction.

Surface Resistive System

Secondly there is the resistive system. When the monitor in a touch screen computer is on, an electric current is passed through it. The monitor itself is made of two main layers. Glass is covered by metallic layers, once being a conductor and one being resistive. These two layers are kept from touching by the use of spacers. Touch screen computers are easier to scratch due to their constant touch. In order to avoid this, they are usually covered by a scratch-proof layer.

If you touch a touch screen computer using this system, these two layers will make contact and this leads to a change in the electrical field at that particular point. This can be recorded to a particular co-ordinate on the monitor and then calculated by the touch screen computer. This system links with the operating system by recognising the stimulus, and leading to a movement. Seeing as the message is only recorded when the two layers touch, you could touch the screen or a pen could and it would still react.

Capacitve System

Lastly there is the capacitive system. A metallic layer is above the glass on the monitor of the touch screen computer. This layer holds the electrical charge, but it is released when a person touches the monitor. It is moved to the user. This causes the capacitive layer to decrease in electrical charge, and this can be measured at all four corners of the touch screen computer monitor. By calculating how far from each corner the touch was via the decrease in circuits, the location of touch can be calculated. This is then related back to the touch screen computer driver software.

A large amount of light is transmitted from touch screen computers using this capacitive system. Though it is 10% less than the surface acoustic wave system, it is almost 15% more than the resistive system. This means that the capacitive system have very clear images, making it suitable for high graphical images. Touch screen computers using this system can only work with a conductive stimulus, such as a finger.

In price range, a resistive touch screen computer is the cheapest, and a surface acoustic wave touch screen computer is the most expensive. This is more likely due to the clarity of the image quality due to the light output.

Different Types

There are three basic touch screen computers you can obtain. Desktop touch screen computers, which can be all-in-one, the tablet touch screen computer or the touchscreen laptop. All are personal computers but both suitable in different ways.

A desktop touch screen computer has been created for regular use in one location. Due to this, the monitor has the capability of being large while a system unit may also required. System units can be avoided if the touch screen computer is all-in-one. This means the monitor is combined into the same case as the CPU. A separate mouse and keyboard is attached to the desktop touch screen computer and these can be upgraded. A desktop touch screen computer can easily be upgraded in terms of graphic cards (for those gamers) and memory. They will have many expansion slots, such as the Conventional PCI, which is not always present in a laptop. They can have greater availability if you obtain a system unit separately and then obtain a touchscreen monitor for you perfect touch screen computer.

The tablet touch screen computer is the most popular of the three, especially with the release of the Apple's iPad. Tablet touch screen computers have been created at a good size, allowing them to be easy for transporting and not too heavy to hold. It uses the touchscreen as the primary input device as it cannot be attached to a keyboard. Tablet touch screen computers do not have hardware components with high performance compared to the desktop computer. It is not perfect for those gamers out there due to this but good for individuals who need a touch screen computer for use of a planner, music and quick internet wherever wifi allows.

Lastly, the touch screen laptop. This is a portable touch screen computer, designed to carry around which makes it good for business work and for university students. As mentioned earlier, a laptop cannot contain many expansion slots and is also not as good when it comes to upgrading.

In price range, a resistive touch screen computer is the cheapest, and a surface acoustic wave touch screen computer is the most expensive. This is more likely due to the clarity of the image quality due to the light output.

iPod Touch

The Ipod Touch can be considered a touch-screen computer, though it does not have the appearance of one. The touch screen was extremely useful in order to browse through artists, songs and albums. A simple flick or movement of the finger would surface. Its popularity is evident. The screen was bigger in order to view videos, but also suitable to take pictures as well as the common listening to music.

The Application store in the Ipod Touch touch screen computer is perhaps one of its most impressive features. It contains thousands of different applications, including games and weather alerts. These touch screen computers will cost an average of £200, but with the release of the iPhone has gone down. Using a capacitive system it means that it can only be used with conductive materials. This means fingers, nothing which contains insulation.


A popular touch screen computer is the iPad. It is a tablet computer which is a perfect size for holding.

This touch screen computer uses the capacitive system. This means that only bare fingers must be used in order to get a response from the monitor. Special gloves have been created which allow you to wear while using a touch screen computer of this type. It does not only use these sensors in order to make your time with this touch screen computer perfect, it also responds to a light sensor which allows for perfect brightness. A three-axis accelerometer detects what orientation you are holding the iPad and in turn switches the position of the screen. This can be between portrait and landscape. This means that whatever way you hold your iPad, it will rotate so that you can view it properly.

It is a good example of touch screen computers which can be used for games. They have racing games. This touch screen computer, as it can be held in the hands, is used as the steering wheel. This enables gamers on touch screen computers to feel more immersed in the game. An example of a racing game on the iPad is "Real Racing 2". This is not the only genre. This touch screen computer has many different genres of games. Puzzle games are popular, for example Angry Birds. For those into the Xbox or PS3, this touch screen computer also has Deadspace for the horror fans and Fifa 11 for the football fans. These are all in HD. High definition gaming which can be held in the hand, easy to take around anywhere. Touch screen computers really do have a lot to offer for people who enjoy games. Though it does not offer the same type of specs as a well built gaming computer would and the same games, the touch screen computer still does well.

These are all obtained from the App Store. Focusing more on this aspect of Mac's Touch screen computer, it has become an extremely popular feature. At current there are almost 500,000 applications available for download. Some are free and some must be paid for. People can produce these applications themselves, and it allows for small companies to release applications of their own in order to obtain more customers. This makes in a very useful feature in touch screen computers.

HP TouchSmart

The HP Touchsmart is a very good touch screen computer. Having a touch screen and a keyboard will allow typing to be simple, but actions such as browsing through pictures easier. It is a good mix of a touch screen computer and normal computers. The large widescreen on this touch screen computer allows for better video viewing experience.

Touch Screen Tablet Computers

Touch screen tablet computers completely remove the use of a keyboard. They are controlled fully by a stylus or a finger and allow for easier ways of using a computer. A keyboard is not the best way to write and with handwriting recognition software you may be able to step back from the keyboard and write instead. Writing is more well known and it means that a new user does not need to be fumbling around trying to find a particular key. The most popular of these touch screen computers is the iPad.

iPad 2

What makes to iPad 2 better than its predecessor in touch screen computers? First we can look at its speed. With a Dual-core A5 chip, it is much faster. This enables us to use the Internet and watch films at a more rapid pace than other touch screen computers in tablet form. It has graphics which are far improved and this means that for those gamers out there, we can have a better experience. However this is not only for gamers, it allows us to see videos in much greater detail than previously. With a battery life that had improved to an impressive 10 hours, you will be able to use it for longer. Now it will be possible for you to use it on those tedious flight journeys without worrying about it running out as quick.

With two cameras, one on the front and one on the back you will be able to make easier video calls and also be able to take pictures as you wish. Covers have been designed to allow you to personalise your iPad 2, giving them whatever colour you wish on your touch screen computer. This makes it more unique to you. Lastly but perhaps most importantly, it is thinner and lighter. This makes it easier to carry around and stops it from getting in the way. It can be considered the best tablet touch screen computer, but it does have several problems which you may want to know before you go ahead and purchase one.