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It’s time to get geeky again and talk about some touch screen laptop technology nuances. Today we’ll have a quick look at capacitive vs. resistive touch screen technology. There is a big difference in the way the two types of touch screens work.

Capacitive touch screens are used in the Apple iPhone, the iPod touch, and the new iPad.  Laptop touch pads generally use the capacitive touch screen technology as well. 

A capacitive touch screen has a solid surface which is usually glass that is coated by a transparent conductive material such as indium tin oxide.  A tiny electric current flows through the entire screen. 

The human body also conducts electricity so when a person touches the screen with their finger, there is a change in the capacitance of the screen at the point where the person touched it.  The computer then registers the exact location of the persons touch.

The advantages of capacitive touch screens are that you don’t need to use an electronic pen for the screen to recognize touch points.  Capacitive touch screens are generally very sensitive to touch.  They are also very accurate.  You don’t have to touch them very hard.  They will usually react to the slightest touch.   The amount of light that passes through a capacitive touch screen is quite high so the image quality is usually very bright and crisp.

The disadvantage of capacitive touch screens are that only conductive devices will work on them.  Fingernails and plastic stylus’ won’t work with them.  They also won’t work if you’re wearing gloves.  Hospital equipment that have touch screens cannot have capacitive touch screens because the nurses and doctors are often wearing gloves.

Now let’s look at resistive touch screens. Many touch screen cell phones utilize resistive touch screens.  This type of touch screen technology employs the use of two thin electrically charged transparent panels.  The panels are separated by a tiny air gap.  When the user presses down on the resistive touch screen the two panels touch each other at the touch point and and an electric circuit is completed.  The computer then recognizes the exact touch point.

Some advantages of resistive touch screens are that virtually anything can be used to make them work, From bare fingers to gloved fingers of mechanics hands. They will all register the users touch.  This technology is also cheaper to manufacture than capacitive touch screens.

The disadvantage of resistive touch screens is that very few support multi-touch functionality.

Which type would should you buy:

So now that you know a little about the difference between these two types of touch screens. Which should you buy?  Unfortunately, I can’t make that decision for you.  Only you can do that.  You’ll have to play with the devices touch screen and see if you like it and decide whether or not you think it will work for your user habits.

Thanks for reading touch screen laptop info! If you have some time, I recommend that you read on of my latest articles designed to help people overcome their most frustrating computer problems. You might be interested in reading How To Delete Everything On Your Computer And Start Over or maybe Text From Your Computer To a Cell Phone For Free, or perhaps even Free Computer Scan And Virus Removal.

Sources: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touch_screen


I receive compensation due to affiliate links or endorsements on this website: Disclosure of Compensation