A touch screen monitor plays a vital role in addressing modern-day user requirements. Therefore, the guide illustrates all essentials for picking the right one.
Digital gadgets have replaced most of the traditional paper-pen management systems. Nowadays, users of all clans, whether engineers, home users, or business owners, use interactive devices to connect and communicate. A touch screen monitor is essential in modern-day work and home environments.
Touch monitors allow you to operate a GUI interface without using other devices (mouse, keyboard, etc.). Some models use light pens or styluses for input, while others detect finger taps.
Since touchscreen monitors are expensive, having a feature checklist while selecting one is a good practice. The guide below encompasses all the factors essential for selecting industrial touchscreen monitors.
Some monitors work ideally indoors, while others resist outdoor and semi-outer glare fittingly. Indoor screens work best for applications like HMIs, educational projections, medical diagnosis machines, etc. An outdoor touch monitor is suitable for digital commercial billboards, highway tolling screens, etc.
Semi-outdoor screens are suitable for implementation in semi-shaded environments. Typical illustrations of semi-outdoor touch screens include public ATMs, biometric security machines in schools or offices, time displays, and sheltered digital signages.
Screens differ in their mountings as well. For instance, a touchscreen monitor for PC has a desk placement. In comparison, large screens require drilled supports in walls or ceilings. Hence, deciding the use environment helps pick a suitable touchscreen monitor as you know how much space you can allot.
Touch screens vary in their display types as well. Here are some common ones.
As the name implies, an open-frame monitor is fully exposed without a bezel edge. A closed-frame touch display has a well-defined bezel, similar to consumer-grade LCD monitors. Some familiar illustrations of closed-frame touchscreen monitors are touch panels in sales terminals and ticket houses.
Open-frame monitors are more versatile as users can insert them into their custom enclosures effortlessly. In contrast, closed ones must be used according to size and housing compatibility.
· Desktop Monitors
The desktop monitors are touch screens mounted on desk stands. These monitors offer different bending angles so users can work without straining their eyes. Some desktop monitors are also height-adjustable, which works aptly for users with increased screen time.
· Pure Flat Monitors
Lastly, there are pure flat monitors. These monitors use triplex glass, resistant to mechanical stresses and abrasions. The glass layers envelop the touch-sensitive screen to ensure its safety and longevity. Pure flat monitors are suitable for industrial or public setups.
Standard mountings for touch screens include VESA, front, and rear embedded mounts. A suitable mounting is essential to scale up your overall screen experience.
VESA mounting is the most versatile type of mounting. Commonly these mounts come with four mounting holes fitted at the back of the screen. However, for larger screens, extensive VESA stands are also available. These allow you to mount a touchscreen monitor against a table, wall, or ceiling without complex drillings.
Embedded mountings are available in two kinds. The front-embedded braces are visible around the touchscreen screen. While the rear embedded mounts have a compact yet sturdy base which drills into the wall, and the screen rests upon it, hiding it. Front-embedded mounts are usually preferable when the touch screen has a side folding placement.
Picking the correct LCD specification for your touch monitor is crucial. However, the below-listed factors will help simplify the process.
The first thing is to decide the size you want. Most PC touch screens come in 7 to 32 inches. However, a touch screen display can also size up to 50 or 60 inches. Larger screens are more expensive so picking an optimal width is necessary.
Resolution is the number of displayed pixels on a screen. Higher resolutions mean the screen will produce more brilliant pictures.
Common resolutions include 1024 by 768, 800 by 600, 1280 by 1024, or full HD (1920 by 1080). However, it is essential to note that more resolution requires more upfront.
Brightness indicates the light the screen emits. A touch monitor with higher brightness levels is more readable in light-intensive environments.
For a screen to be sun-readable, it must have at least 800 nits of brightness. However, indoor screens can work with lower brightness as well. Considering the use case in case of uncertainty about brightness levels helps pick the rightly bright screen.
· Viewing Angle
Touchscreen display technologies are classifiable into three types: IPS, TN and VA. The IPS or in-plane switching monitors have a crystal layer between two glass layers. The crystal molecules are parallel to the glass screens, which rearrange to let the light through and create images.
The VA or vertical alignment touchscreen monitors have perpendicular crystal molecules with the glass substrate. Lastly, there are the TN or twisted nematic touchscreen monitors. When the light passes, the liquid crystal twist and let the illumination through.
IPS is the superior touchscreen technology. These monitors are minutely dependent on the viewing angles and produce the brightest images necessary for professional and industrial uses. The VA screens are known for their higher refresh rates, color contrasts, and depths. However, as compared to IPS, they have lower display quality.
TN screens are the cheapest touchscreen technology. They have less blurring rate and low input tag, making them an ideal choice for touch screen monitors for PC gaming. However, their viewing angles and color sharpness do not fit industrial uses.
· Display Port
Touch screens have different display ports, including VGA, HDMI, DVI, and DP. Display ports allow you to project media from other devices onto your monitors. Understanding the capacity of each of these technologies is essential to pick the ideal one.
HDMI and DP (Display Port) are the most versatile technologies, supporting all video and audio formats. VGA (Video Graphics Array) and DVI (Digital Visual Interface) only support video streams. Hence additional cables for the audio stream are needed.
· Working Temperature
Touch screens implemented in industries need to have a wide range of working temperatures because temperature extremes affect the working of the touchscreen. The capacitive touchscreens work suitably within the temperature range of -5 to 60 degree Celsius. Therefore, their performance significantly drops in outdoor applications with below-zero temperatures.
In comparison, a resistive touch screen monitor offers more performance in external temperatures. They work optimally in temperature ranges from -20 to 65-degree Celsius. Both capacitive and resistive touch screens make a good pick for indoor applications as the temperatures are not very stressful.
· Touch Screen Type
Touch screen monitors may look identical on the outside. However, the working mechanisms behind the scenes vary significantly. Two types of touch screen technologies are capacitive touch and resistive touch.
The capacitive screens interpret natural human conductivity. In comparison, the resistive touch screen monitor makes sense of the mechanical movements made on the screen.
Resistive screens are more suitable for industrial applications as they meet the sealing standards such as IP65/66, which make them resistant to environmental contaminations. They also offer high-precision touch recognition and are operatable with styluses and gloves.
Resistive touch screens are most apt for the food and beverages industries as there is no danger of glass fragments spilling into foods in case of damage.
Capacitive touchscreen monitors avoid reflections and provide more brilliant results than resistive screens. They also offer more clarity and support multi-touch. Higher abrasion resistance makes them ideal for use in commercial restaurants and harsher environments, as they resist defacement.
· Touch Screen surface treatment
The final coating on the glass also impacts the screen's overall performance. The glass sheets used in touch screens are commonly AG, AR, AB, and AF.
AG refers to anti-glare. A chemical spray on the reflective surface of the monitor produces a matte effect. Therefore, an AG touch monitor works ideally in light-intensive environments.
AF anti-fingerprint or anti-fouling glass is best for oil and stains repulsion and is resistant to fingerprint marks. Moreover, a treatment AF-treated touchscreen feels smoother than other screen mediums.
The AR is an anti-reflective glass treatment that produces brighter images without reflecting the users' form on the screen. Anti-bacterial or AG glass treatment has the most bacterial resistance. The surface of the glass is coated with silver ions which reduces bacterial contaminants up to 99% and prevents fungal growth.
· Bonding Method
The bonding method signifies the placement of touch-sensitive and glass layers within a touchscreen screen. The standard techniques are air and optical bonding.
An air layer separates the touch-sensitive screen and glass panel in air-bonded touch screens. It allows the screen to display clear, brilliant images required in indoor environments. However, they are not great for outdoor applications as temperature extremes may affect the inner vacuum layer.
Optically bonded screens have no air gap between the layers. These screens are more durable and less reflective. However, they are more expensive as compared to air-bonded technologies.
· Cover Material
The covering of the touchscreen monitor plays an essential part in ensuring its longevity. Touch screen monitors are available in plastic, iron, and aluminum closures.
Plastic ones are the most affordable but falter under temperature extremes. In comparison, aluminum covers offer more resistance and anti-corrosive properties. But they are relatively expensive. Iron housings are usually suitable for touch screens in rougher environments.
Touchscreens and screen enclosures for industries typically follow NEMA 12, 4, and 4X exposure-resistant standards. In addition, resistive screens also fulfill IP65 and IP66 (standards for water and dust resistance).
· Power Supply
Touch screen monitors work on both AC and DC currents. Standard voltage inputs for most industrial screens are 2.8 to 5.5V DV. However, it is best to follow the instruction manual for the power specification of the product.
After deciding the specifications, it is time to allocate the needed budget. If you are buying a touchscreen monitor for pc, you will need less upfront. However, comparatively industrial touchscreens require more budget due to their high-end features.
Choosing a touchscreen monitor may be challenging with countless alternatives in the market. However, the process becomes easier if you follow a strategic approach. Analyzing the requirements, product application, and reasonable budget is the key to finding the targeted product.
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