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January 25, 2012

Thinking about getting a touch enabled monitor…Consider this

by Darren W Baker

I have been working with the Windows 8 Developer’s Preview on my Samsung Series 7 Slate for a while now. I have traveled to Europe twice since the Win8 DPV came out, and the Samsung has been my primary machine since that time.

The ONLY issue I have had with the Win 8 DPV is that my DisplayLink  devices didn’t work, and that really hurt. I run 3 monitors side by side and I have also use the imation Wireless A/V Extender (also display link), when I do demos. The imation has a usb wireless connector and it allows me to walk around with my Windows Slate and the people can see what I see on the big screen.

I’m hoping the Windows 8 Beta (or Consumer Preview)  will handle drivers better, because I can’t demonstrate Windows 8 if the display drivers don’t work. Waiting for RTM is not an option, we need beta drivers that work. Display Link is apparently listening to its customers, as they just made beta DisplayLink drivers available mid-December. I wish other ISV’s would do the same.

Demonstrating Windows 8 on the Samsung is a pleasant experience. Everyone that I have let use Windows 8 on the Samsung wants it. The controls for task switching, and calling up the “Charm” controls are easy, you just glide your finger from the left or the right bezel onto the screen. Windows picks up the finger crossing the first pixel row and initiate the desired action.

At least, that’s what is supposed to happen. I have a ViewSonic VX2258WM 22″ Touch Screen monitor on my desk at the Sogeti office. It isn’t a capacitive touchscreen monitor, it actually has sensors in the bezel along the outside edge of the monitor. The advantage of this is, when my finger gets close to the screen, it actually places a pointer where my finger is about to touch it. I don’t have to worry about areas of the screen going dead like the self check in kiosks at the Continental Airlines counter.

But wait a minute, you might be thinking. With Windows 8, you have to swipe your finger from the left or right edge to make the Windows 8 controls come up. With this ViewSonic monitor, I can’t do that. I started looking at all the touch screen monitors that are currently available.  Apparently they all have raised plastic bezels, so none of these are actually going to work with Windows 8 for bringing up the controls. Do the touch screens that come with the newer all in one touch screen pc’s have a flat bezel to access those controls? It doesn’t appear that way. The only one that I have seen is the Sony L Series all in one.

This really concerns me. Shouldn’t there be another way to bring up the controls on touch pc’s without requiring a keyboard?

Redmond, I think we have a problem…

 

 

 

 

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