With Windows 7 adding much-improved support for touchscreen input over its predecessors, it's perhaps surprising that there hasn't been more activity in the touchscreen monitor market, especially at the lower end of the price range. Acer hopes to rectify this with its latest 23in. model, the T231H.
Acer's 23in. T231H touchscreen monitor costs £319.99 (inc. VAT)
This is not Acer's first foray into this market: the T230H, another 23in. model, was launched in October 2009 with very similar specifications. What's new, however, is the stand. Whereas the T230H used a traditional height-adjustable pedestal stand, the T231H introduces a much more ergonomic solution that allows the monitor to be tilted between 5 and 60 degrees from the vertical, with the bottom of the monitor standing on the desk courtesy of a pair of small feet. An adjustable kickstand at the rear means the entire setup works rather like a photo frame. This arrangement should mean the monitor is rather more suited to extended desktop use, and is less likely to generate the notorious 'gorilla arm' problems associated with vertically-mounted touchscreens.
Although it's billed as a multitouch screen, the T231H only supports two simultaneous touch points, which is fine for basic navigation and object manipulation in Windows 7. The panel's specifications are fairly standard, with a 1,920-by-1,020 resolution, 2ms response time, 80,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio (using Acer’s Adaptive Contrast Management) and a claimed brightness of 300cd/m2. DVI and HDMI inputs are provided, and the viewing angle is quoted as 160 degrees in both horizontal and vertical planes.
Four traditional cold-cathode lamps provide backlighting, and typical power consumption is claimed to be 35.5W. At a price of £319.99 (inc. VAT) it could be an attractive choice for those businesses looking for a low-cost general-purpose touchscreen monitor.