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Windows 8/How important is touchscreen feature for Win 8 laptop?



How important is the touchscreen feature when you buy a Win 8 laptop?

As you know, those laptop, which has the touchscreen function, is more expensive than those with comparable specs.

Is it true that you need the touchscreen to really enjoy Win 8. Otherwise, you will dislike Win8?

Thank you.

ANSWER: Hi Liam!

It depends :) Windows 8 is optimized for a touchscreen, so it is capable of taking advantage of touchscreens like previous versions of Windows could not, BUT you do not necessarily need a touchscreen to "really enjoy" Windows 8, nor will you necessarily dislike Windows 8 without one.

I have tried Windows 8 on touchscreens and can see that it is nice, but all my main computers do not have touchscreens and I like Windows 8 just fine.

Here are some things to consider:

1.  As you said, the price of a touchscreen is higher than non-touch ... Can you afford the premium?  Would you use it?  Would your money be better spent on better hardware (a memory, video, or processor) upgrade?  For example, my computer needs to have as many processing cores and memory as possible for what I use it for ... if I have $1000 to spend on an $800 laptop, I would rather upgrade the processor and/or memory instead of paying for a touchscreen.

2.  Touchscreens typically have a lower screen resolution than non-touch (price premium is even higher for high resolution touch displays).  I would much rather have a 1080 HD display than a 720 HD touchscreen.

3.  What do you use your computer for?  If you primarily play mouse-driven games, type (work, homework, writing, blogging, Facebook, etc.), then chances are you will not be using the touchscreen very much.  However, if you just need a PC for browsing the Internet or playing touch-enabled games (Bejeweled, etc.), then a touchscreen provides a great interaction with those applications.

If you need more clarification, please tell me what you want out of a new computer, what you hope the touchscreen will do for you, and what you use your existing computer for.

Good luck!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you so much. I need to buy a new laptop for music making. I mainly use softwares like Reaper, Sony Acid Pro, and some sample packages.

I don't imagine yet how touchscreen can help me with this purpose. Although when I tried the demo at high street stores, it seems that touchscreen maded it quicker to search and look for the softwares on your computer. That is the extent of my knowledge.

Thank you.

You will probably not find yourself using the touchscreen for music making ... it may require more precision (with a mouse) than you can get with a touchscreen/finger (although they do also make styli for touchscreens).

Trying it out in the store is a good idea ... it can help you decide if it will be comfortable to use.

Also keep in mind that your choice of touch/non-touch will not affect your ability to use a mouse/touchpad ... you can switch seamlessly between the touchscreen and the touchpad/mouse, without changing any settings - if you can't do what you need to with the touch, you can simply move to the mouse/touchpad.  With a touchscreen, you can always go "back" to the standard pointing interface.  There are a few exceptions - some devices that fold/twist/convert to "tablet" mode may not have touch enabled in laptop/keyboard mode (or it may behave differently).

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I can answer nearly all questions about Windows 8 - installation, upgrade, virtualization (Hyper-V, etc.), configuration, how to get the most out of it, how to buy it, etc. I won't pretend to know it all - nobody can - if I don't know, I will try and find the answer. If I can't find it, I'll tell you.


I worked as an analyst in Dell server support for 2 years, and have since worked with many Dell PowerEdge servers. I am currently employed as IT Manager. I have been using Windows 8 since the early Developer Preview days and use it on all of my primary PC's for a number of activities.

I have a BS in Computer Science and have earned the following certifications: CompTIA Security+, A+, Project+; CIW Web Design, Database Specialist; Microsoft Windows 7; Dell DCSE Server. I am also an expert in Windows 7, Servers, and Hard Drives (I don't normally do XP - not because I don't know it inside and out, but because I have "retired" personal support for XP, and I want to see it die :)).

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