Android Tablets: Tablet PC Touchscreens, Capacitative Or Resistive?

Posted by erlan | Posted in smartphone | Posted on 20-02-2011

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Android tablets are the newest way to catch up with your friends, browse the web and check out music and movies. They are usually just a solid, black slate and they shed the bulk and large keyboard usually associated with larger laptop pcs.

If there is no keyboard though, then how do tablets work? How can you type anything?

Every tablet has what is known as a touchscreen. This is a screen that reacts to your touch, the same as your touchpad on your laptop. So instead of using a mouse to select icons on screen you can simply touch them with your finger or a plastic stylus (like a pen with no ink). But there’s more, as you can also ‘sweep’ your finger across the screen to change page, play games and move icons.

There are different types of touchscreen however, so let’s look at what they are and the differences between them:

Resistive: These touchscreens are a sandwich of layers that are very slightly apart. As you touch the screen and place pressure you will cause the layers to touch in a certain point and then your tablet will know that you have touched here and react accordingly. Perhaps opening an app or pausing a game.

Their strengths are that they are pretty tough as they are usually made from a kind of plastic glass. Since they are relatively simple technology they are also quite cheap, so a resistive touchscreen will keep costs down.

The drawbacks are that some people believe that they aren’t too sensitive, as the tablet has to wait a few instants for your finger or stylus to make the connection between layers. They also really need a stylus or long fingernail as just touching with your fingertip sometimes doesn’t register.

Capacitative: This touchscreen is a flat, hard pane of glass coated with an electrical conductor. The human body is also an electrical conductor, therefore when you touch the glass it creates an electrical connection which is your ‘selection’ just like clicking a mouse.The strengths of this type of screen are that they actually look brighter and sharper than resistive screen as they are glass not plastic and that they register touch very quickly and easily so there’s no need for a stylus.

The drawbacks are that they are quite expensive as they are complex and, being glass, are prone to breaking if the tablet is dropped or squashed.

So which to choose? Honestly neither is better than the other, but you may want to think about if you’re happy to use a stylus instead of your finger. Capacitative screens can often look brighter, so if you’re into movies then they may be the way forward. They’re also good for heavy gamers as they can often react faster to your touch. However if you’re just looking for an Android tablet for general use (a bit of email writing, music and web browsing) then you can save cash and have the same functionality with a resistive screen.

So if you’re ready to buy your tablet where should you look? The best source is definitely online where prices are lowest. So create an account with an online store today and join the fun tablet revolution!

 

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