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Three touchscreen displays that bring Windows 8 to life

James Galbraith | April 4, 2013
You don't necessarily need a touchscreen monitor to use Windows 8, but swiping your finger to invoke the Charms bar is a lot more fun than holding down the Windows key and pressing C. I'll admit that initially I had to force myself to use the new touch gestures, but after a short time with the OS I found myself reaching out to touch even my MacBook Pro's screen.

You don't necessarily need a touchscreen monitor to use Windows 8, but swiping your finger to invoke the Charms bar is a lot more fun than holding down the Windows key and pressing C. I'll admit that initially I had to force myself to use the new touch gestures, but after a short time with the OS I found myself reaching out to touch even my MacBook Pro's screen.

Since the debut of Microsoft's latest operating system, monitor manufacturers have been working to bring touchscreen support to desktop users. At first it was near impossible to find a display that responded to all the gestures in Windows 8, but now we're able to review three 23-inch models with 10-point multitouch support (meaning the monitors recognize all 10 fingers on both your hands).

We put the three monitors through a gauntlet of tests to find which one offers the best value, quality and feature set to win a spot in your workstation.

Acer T232HL

Acer's T232HL is a 23-inch, 10-point touchscreen LCD monitor with a resolution of 1920 by 1080. It uses environmentally friendly LED backlighting and a high-quality IPS panel for wide viewing angles.

The T232HL offers VGA, HDMI, and DVI inputs. Acer thoughtfully includes cables for each connection type in the shipping box, but we still found the initial setup to be a bit tricky. The T232HL's stand uses a hinged design that lies flat against the display for shipping. It took a lot of force (and courage) to open the stand, but eventually we were able to pull it into position. A note in the setup guide would go a long way to alleviate fears of snapping the base off your newly purchased monitor. The stand doesn't allow for height adjustment, pivot, or swivel, but it does tilt back to a 45-degree angle very easily, once you've set it up.


Acer's T232HL touchscreend iscplay has the edgiest design aesthetic of the three models we reviewed.

We connected the display via HDMI, and our test PC recognized it automatically as a Windows touchscreen device, booting directly into its native resolution without issue. The T232HL delivered impressive performance as we ran the display through our battery of test images. On our solid-color screens, we found no stuck or dead pixels, and color and brightness were uniform across the screen. Its viewing angle was top notch, losing contrast only at extreme angles. Its glossy surface, which can be problematic in terms of glare, helps to enhance the appearance of photographs. Even gray tones appeared neutral at its default color settings.

 

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