Laptops forum

Question

Touchscreen Laptops

by NannyCMC / January 29, 2016 8:25 AM PST

We are in the market for a laptop and are wondering what the feeling is about touchscreen vs non-touchscreen? Do the touchscreens work as well as a Kindle or phone or are there issues with them? Thanks!

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All Answers

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Answer
That's a personal choice area.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 29, 2016 8:34 AM PST
In reply to: Touchscreen Laptops

One of my work laptops is a touchscreen and I only touch the screen when testing our apps.

Windows is still pretty much a WIMP system. (Windows Icon Mouse Pointer.)

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Plus one for personal choice
by Zouch / January 30, 2016 2:16 AM PST

I agree, very much a personal issue. Do you want your screen covered in fingermarks? What do you clean them off with? Do you want to do any precision stuff (presentation charts, photo editing, etc)? What are you going to use touch for and why is it better than W.I.M.P. in that case?

All questions you need to answer. Personally, I think the additional cost exceeds any perceived value for me - YMMV, of course, that's what the "P" in PC stands for.

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Windows is NOT a WIMP system
by mijcar / January 31, 2016 12:53 PM PST

Sorry, but I disagree.

For ages I have sensed a gap in the interface between myself and my computer, a gap that could be bridged with a touch-screen.

The touchscreen technology that has finally arrived is exactly what has been needed: An affordable rapid response mechanism for switching between windows, launching applications, enlarging or reducing images, or centering in on locations. Additionally, it is beginning to be a means of highlighting or selecting text or screen portions and drawing or marking-up on-screen (the technology here is still in various developmental stages).

Touchscreen is almost exactly what it should be: NOT a replacement for the mouse, but an extension of the mouse for communicating with the computer.

Touchscreen is hardly in its infancy. We have using it on our phones for ages and our displays have not been ruined as a consequence. We have already internalized the general idea of touch and the possibilities it affords us. In fact, for those people who are more phone-centric than computer-centric, the biggest problem may be letting go of the touch approach and learning how to use the mouse to maximize the interface.

As we develop cheap directional microphones, or contact-mikes that pick up subvocalizations, we will even further increase our ability to integrate our intentions with the mechanics of technology by using the voice (when convenient and not an intrusion on others) for mostly monosyllabic responses or instructions (no, yes, up, down, back, forward, left, right, copy, cut, delete, paste, and so on).

It will be a sequence that flows almost seamlessly: Type a message, touch send, click on CC, speak a name or select one by tap or mouse, say "yes" or "more" for confirmation. I would bet that this is in place and working well within the next three years.

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You may want to have Wikipedia edit this one.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 31, 2016 1:02 PM PST
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???
by mijcar / January 31, 2016 1:09 PM PST

Sorry, but I was responding to your own choice of usage, using the acronym as a basis for your not recommending touchscreens. Your logical implication was that:
WIMP ==> Not using touchscreens.
Since the conclusion is False, by logic, the hypothesis is False.

Anyway, unless there is something new to say here, I am bowing out of the conversation. No need to turn this into a troll war.

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I've run into Redmondites
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 31, 2016 1:16 PM PST
In reply to: ???

That are trying very hard to sell Windows as not a WIMP interface. There are long discussions about touchscreens and while some progress has been made, can I engage you in a discussion about my Windows 8.1 Tablet?

No mouse, no pointer yet why is the interface the same as in XP in many of the control panels?

What happened here?

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Answer
New Laptop? Get a TOUCHSCREEN
by pdnRPH / January 29, 2016 7:51 PM PST
In reply to: Touchscreen Laptops

Common apps like Outlook and Edge browser and Word, and, just touch. As we use it more, we'll use it more. It's like when we got used to our smart phones. We can do it!

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Answer
Make sure you test the one you are buying.
by cwatkin / January 29, 2016 9:39 PM PST
In reply to: Touchscreen Laptops

I see touchscreen laptops work great and some not so great. I have one that any spec of dust or piece of lint floating into the screen sets off clicking and zooming like mad on its own. I got sick of this and turned the touch screen off in device manager. Yes, I tried all the drivers and the like and it didn't fix it. This one works much better with this "feature" disabled.

I see others work just fine and a spec of dust or two won't sent them into a meltdown. My experiences tell me you should test them out before buying.

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Answer
(NT) Touchscreens are Here to Stay - And That'
by mijcar / January 29, 2016 9:50 PM PST
In reply to: Touchscreen Laptops
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And That's a Good Thing ... When It Comes to Laptops
by mijcar / January 29, 2016 10:21 PM PST

[Sorry about the break there -- hey, c|net, why can't we edit our own posts?]

I'm happy with my 11' Dell Inspiron, not because it's a great touchscreen laptop, but because -- even with its design problems -- it's teaching me all that one should be able to do on a laptop.

But this is not the place to argue for touchscreens, so ...

The biggest problem I've seen with Touchscreen laptops is who gets to make the decision "which side is up?" when in tablet-mode (and also "are we in tablet mode?")

To me, it appears obvious that "we" are in tablet mode the moment the screen passes "below" the keyboard "up" plane.. That is, once we reach the point where seeing the keyboard means the screen is invisible we should be in tablet-mode. That should require nothing more than a mechanical trigger. And I can see no reason -- compelling or otherwise -- why any user would choose to make the keyboard nonfunctional when the screen is above the keyboard plane.

Things are different, however, when we are discussing alignment. Here is where manufacturers are sinking themselves. In their offer to detect by internal devices the machines position relative to the "up" of planet Earth, they need to recognize that "up" is relative to almost anything but Earth. Lying sideways in bed or on a couch or a beach blanket, trying to read anything from e-mail to a book, I want to tell the computer where up is and where it isn't. Dell, makes this virtually impossible. When the screen goes pass horizontal and the machine "offers" to enter tablet-mode, it also passively decides which side is up, without recourse to a mechanism to change it.

As for the setting (or "resetting" for that matter), keep it simple. A left-right-up-down message appears on the screen saying "touch the edge to identify the 'top' ". Forget gyroscopes or other mechanical sensors and save some money ... and make the customer happier.

And before I forget it, make certain the keyboard is automatically disabled when the screen is below its plane. It isn't on the Dell's -- and that's not a machine error on a single machine -- I've observed it on all six of the Dell Inspiron 3000-series I've worked with. Imagine trying to work with a tablet and having it respond to every twitch of your fingers on the keyboard facing down underneath the monitor!

Oh, yes, they suggest you tap the ctrl+arrow keys to point in the "up" direction, except, duh, there is no keyboard. What about the Dell on-screen keyboard. It's a nifty little thing with no Ctrl key. Ooops. If you can get the MS keyboard up, that would solve the problem, but -- oops -- there is no tile for that (of all things for MS to leave off its basic tiles!).

But we shouldn't even need such solutions because the problem shouldn't be there to begin with. Amazon (and others) recognized and solved the problem ages ago: Let the user decide up and LOCK the screen into that orientation for the duration of table mode (and return it to standard orientation, the moment the screen rises above the keyboard plane).

All these things will be fixed, I believe, in almost no time at all. This coming spring and summer should see a crop of computers that are actually intelligently designed instead of rushed to market.

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Answer
Touch system Laptop/tablet computers
by waynecnet1 / January 30, 2016 11:24 AM PST
In reply to: Touchscreen Laptops

Well we have a Laptops non touch , Desktops, kindle fire ,Ipad4 all of them have there uses and pitfalls. Old Laptop was ideal for homework for our 2 children & our desktops were great for doing our business related work and emails. the Kindle fire great for eBook reading in bed and playing games. Our IPad is great to take on vacations but not very useful when we need to printout forms plus keeping the screen and be a real hassle.    But for overall portability and best of both worlds touch 2&1  would be a person best bet. if you find your screen getting dirty get a good bottle of rubbing alcohol & bottle water mix a 50-50 solution in small spray bottle and spray on terry cloth or old t-shirt . Also I find baby wipes works good too.

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Answer
Touchscreens can quickly deteriorate!
by bryantdh2 / January 31, 2016 11:18 AM PST
In reply to: Touchscreen Laptops

I ordered a Win 8.1 laptop, custom made for me, through Toshiba before Win 10 became downloadable--it was shipped from China. The touchscreen, which was a new experience for me, quickly turned into a nightmare. For a few days, it would let me move things around by touch, by "dragging" them on screen, also "select," etc....and then all that ceased. And now, while I am working in Word or Excel, the screen will zoom to either huge or tiny--often--and I have to find the screen view percentage to return the text size to usable. I have tried to totally disable it, but without success. Since the screen was working when I received it, it would appear that trying one out in a shop would not give you true long-range usage. And it's not because of hard use or abuse--I've used it very little because it drives me nuts--and I do not move it around. I suppose I received one of the high-priced "lemons." I am still relying on my old 2008 M305 Tobshiba--which I love. I do pray it will hold up for awhile.

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Your Data is Out-of-Date
by mijcar / January 31, 2016 3:51 PM PST

If your machine, custom-made or otherwise, was built before Win 10 became downloadable, then it is probably at least one generation out-of-date. I have seen none of what you describe of any of the many touchscreens I have seen. Toshiba is still a pretty good company; they might fix your screen issue with a good replacement.

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Answer
Well my advise is
by orlbuckeye / January 31, 2016 12:20 PM PST
In reply to: Touchscreen Laptops

a touch screen allows you to use any input form your want Trackpad, mouse, pen or touch. But you aren't restricted to use it. So to my it's not a big factor in my decision. I have a Surface Book and use the pen a lot. But the touch screen works good when I use it. Lots of people complaints about it but you don't have to use it and the cost isn't that far off for non-touch versus touch.

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