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Find the best Touch Computers for your business

Touch Computers Buying Guide

What is a Touchcomputer?

Touchcomputers, also called All-In-One computers, are entire PC systems built behind a touchscreen. These computers run full versions of Windows or Linux and are designed to reduce the amount of space a computer uses. Since the computer is built into the screen, there is no need for a separate computer tower or rack.

  • Elo B Series Touch ComputerElo B Series Touch Computer
  • Pioneer Stealth M Series Touch ComputerPioneer Stealth M Series Touch Computer

A touchscreen is used primarily for one purpose – to allow a user to touch the screen instead of using a mouse. You find touchscreens in places such as smartphones, GPS devices, restaurant cash registers, kiosks, and vending machines.

How Does the Touchscreen Work?

  • There are several different touchscreen technologies available made by a wide variety of manufacturers. As such, each type of screen has strengths and weaknesses that make one type more appropriate for a certain environment than others. The technologies can be marketed using different names, but generally the technology types work the same way.
  • Resistive technology – Also called “Accutouch” by some brands. Resistive technology is one of the most commonly-found types. Resistive screens consist of a plastic sheet laid over the glass of the screen. The plastic has electrical sensors embedded. When a user touches the screen their finger interrupts the electricity between sensors, activating the screen and moving the mouse to the point of the interruption. Since the technology is pressure-sensitive, a user can touch the screen with any finger or any relatively narrow object, such as a stylus. It is typically recommended for use in relatively environments where there are minor contaminants, such as the grease of a restaurant or the dust of a warehouse, as most of these contaminants do not directly affect touch functions.
  • SAW (Surface Acoustic Wave) technology – Also called “Intellitouch” by some brands. SAW technology consists of extremely high-pitched sound waves emitted from sensors around the edge of the glass on a monitor. When a user touches the screen they interrupt those sound waves, causing a new pattern in the waves and allowing the controller to determine where the screen was touched. A user must touch the screen with a finger or special stylus, as there are only certain wave patterns that the sensors recognize. Any droplet of water or significant dirt build-up will interfere with touch functions, so this technology is best used in clean, relatively quiet environments such as retail stores or offices.

Other common touchcomputer features

  • Size & Shape – Models can range between 15 and 22 inches in screen size. Most manufacturers have several sizes of touchcomputer, but 15-inch and 17-inch models tend to be the most popular in the POS industry.
  • Computer Specifications – Touchcomputers come with a wide variety of specifications. Most modern computers have single-core or dual-core processors, ~1 GB RAM, and enough graphics capability to power the screen appropriately. Since the computers are designed to be POS systems, they tend to be underpowered compared to desktop PCs but are adequate to run basic cash-register programs or web browsers. Touchcomputers can often be more reliable than a standard PC due to the retail-hardened components inside. These components include heavy-duty frame and support structures, thick glass screens, coated electrical components, and heavy-duty fans.
  • Additional Peripherals – Touchcomputers often have optional peripherals that can be attached to the sides, top, or bottom of the screen in order to save precious counter space. Common items include integrated MSRs, customer displays, speakers, or fingerprint readers. These items can be field-installable (designed to be installed with minimal tools) or integrated (installed from the factory and not user-replaceable).

Common Touchcomputer Models

  • Elo Touch
  • B-series – Available in 15 inch (15B models) and 17 inch (17B models) screen sizes. Also available with additional peripherals such as MSR, customer display, and fingerprint reader. Three different computer specifications per size:
  • B1 series – 15B1 and 17B1 models come with dual-core 2.2 GHz Intel Celeron processor, 2 GB DDR2 RAM, Intel GMA X4500 graphics, and 160 GB hard-drive. Available in Accutouch or Intellitouch technologies.
  • B2 series – 15B2 and 17B2 are fanless models that include a dual-core Intel Atom processor at 1.66GHz, 1 GB DDR2 RAM, Intel GMA 3150 graphics, and a 160 GB hard-drive. Available in Accutouch or Intellitouch technologies.
  • B3 series – 15B3 and 17B3 come with dual-core 3.0 GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 2 GB DDR2 RAM, Intel GMA X4500 graphics, and a 160 GB hard-drive. Available in Accutouch or Intellitouch technologies.
  • C-series – Available in 19-inch (19C models) and 22-inch (22C models) versions. Two different specifications per size:
  • C2 series – 19C2 and 22C2 models are fanless models that include a dual-core Intel Atom processor at 1.66GHz, 2 GB DDR2 RAM, Intel GMA 3150 graphics, and a 160 GB hard-drive. Available in Accutouch or Intellitouch technologies.
  • C3 series – 19C3 and 22C3 models come with dual-core 3.0 GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 2 GB DDR2 RAM, Intel GMA X4500 graphics, and a 160 GB hard-drive. Available in Accutouch or Intellitouch technologies.
  • Pioneer POS
  • StealthTouch M5 – Pioneer's standard 15-inch touchcomputer. Specifications can be customized from the following: Intel Atom 1.6 GHZ, dual-core 1.9 GHZ, or Core 2 Duo 2.5 GHz processors – 512 MB, 1 GB, or 2 GB RAM – 160 GB or 200GB hard-drive – Resistive or Intellitouch technology.
  • StealthTouch M7 – Pioneer's standard 17-inch touchcomputer. Specifications can be customized from the following: Intel Atom 1.6 GHZ, dual-core 1.9 GHZ, or Core 2 Duo 2.5 GHz processors – 1 GB, or 2 GB RAM – 160 GB or 200GB hard-drive – Resistive or Intellitouch technology.