With the popularity & use of touchscreen smartphones rising to the point of “commonality” it’s easy to think a touchscreen laptop would be a great idea. Now when say touchscreen laptop, we’re not referring to hybrid-convertibles or tablets, we’re talking about a common laptop form factor laptop with a touch-enabled screen. We’ve reluctantly sold a few of these machines to our clients whom all had the best of intentions, when we followed-up with them a few weeks later – all of them reported that they did not use the touchscreen at all, or very little.
Usually More Expensive
Business laptops with a touch-enabled screen are typically $50-$200 more expensive. In addition to the additional sticker price, they are less popular and often require special ordering which increases the delivery lead-time. Many business laptop models don’t even offer touch-enabled screens, further decreasing your options.
Impacts Battery Life
The always-on touch digitizer draws a significant amount of power. Independent tests have found a battery life delta of 15 to 25 percent. (Source)
Touching the screen of a tablet or phone is comfortable, because you’re able to hold the device at a comfortable angle. Touch-enabled laptops require a user to reach across the keyboard, which is extremely uncomfortable even with a stylus. The convertible or “hybrid” laptops are more portable and have the ability to fold flat just like a tablet, thus giving you a more comfortable experience.
Thicker & Heavier
A touch-enabled screen must be made thicker to accommodate the touch digitizer. This adds both a bit of bulk and weight to the machine.
Sunlight & Viewing Angles
Most touchscreens are made of a glossy material. This glossy material makes it extremely difficult to view the screen while outdoors. This type of screen also shows reflections, which limits viewing angles.
Lack of Software & Applications
Using programs like Microsoft Office is getting better as they improve their touch functionality, especially Microsoft OneNote (Read More about OneNote) – However, most applications are not “touch-friendly”. Applications that are not designed to be used with a touch interface can be extremely tedious and frustrating to use.
In our opinion, touch-enabled laptops are a gimmicky fad that’s quickly dying off, much like the “3D TVs” did. That’s not to say tablets aren’t great, we love tablets & the “hybrid” convertibles such as the Microsoft’s SurfaceBook or Lenovo’s YogaBook. However, if you’d like touch functionality, go with a tablet or a convertible & avoid the touch-enabled laptops.