Windows 8: How to touch-enable your PC without breaking the bank

Summary:It's easy to touch-enable your existing PC without breaking the bank. Here are a few recommendation,along with some pros and cons for you to note.

Time to answer a popular Windows 8-related question from the Hardware 2.0 mailbox:

I've decided that my problem with Windows 8 is not Windows 8, but my PC's lack of support for touch. Can you suggest a way I can add touch to my PC without replacing my entire PC?

I sure can. In fact, I can suggest a number of ways you can add touch support t an existing PC.

Touch monitor

When we think of touch, we automatically think of touchscreen devices such as smartphones and tablets, which is why when we think of a touch-enabled PC, we think of a touchscreen PC. And there are a number of touchscreens on the market that you can buy to add to an existing system.

(Source: Dell)

There are a number of displays on the market, but here are three worth taking a look at.

  • Acer T232HL: 23-inch display with 10-point touch support. Price: $550.
  • Dell S2340T: 23-inch display with 10-point touch support. A gorgeous display packed with features such as a webcam, USB 3.0 ports, and a versatile stand. The only drawback is the steep price tag. Price: $650.
  • Viewsonic TD2220: A nice, cheap 22-inch display. The biggest drawback of this is that the bezel around the display makes getting to the edges for edge-gestures a bit of a pain. Price: $285.

There are pros and cons to touchscreens.

Pros:

  • Easy and intuitive to use.
  • Easy upgrade to carry out.

Cons:

  • You have to replace the whole monitor (unless you keep the old one and add it as a second screen).
  • Expensive.

Pen tablet

Another touch option is to add a pen tablet. This gives you a quick and easy way to add touch at a low price and without much fuss.

I recommend taking a look at the Wacom range of tablets, in particular the Intuos5 range, which come in small, medium, and large, and can not only be used with a pen, but also feature a touch-sensitive surface. Prices range from $230 to $500, depending on size.

(Source: Wacom)

Pros:

  • Great dual-use tool.
  • Perfect for artists, photographers, and creative types.
  • Option to switch between pen and tablet.

Cons:

  • Quite pricey.
  • Tablets take up a lot of desk space.

Touch-enabled peripherals

Windows 8 has spawned a mass of touch-enabled peripherals from companies such as Logitech and Microsoft , ranging from touchpads to touch-enabled mice.

(Source: Logitech)

Pros:

  • Cheap.
  • Easy to add to a system.
  • Plenty of choice.

Cons:

  • Can be confusing to set up.
  • Not as intuitive to use as a touchscreen.
  • Not a pure touch experience.

Topics: Windows 8, Hardware, Microsoft

About

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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