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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Touchscreen Displays

written by: Tia Ahmed•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 8/30/2010

Like all technology, the touchscreen display is not for everyone. Some people may find it difficult to use their iPhones when it is very cold out and their fingers are gloved or freezing, while others love the ability to quickly scroll through icons, selecting songs, contacts, etc.

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    What is a Touchscreen Display?

    Touchscreen As technology progresses, the use of touchscreen displays are vastly becoming common. The basic idea of touchscreen displays is the elimination of buttons. The displays have built-in heat sensory pads that react to the touch of a finger or a magnetic pen or other such device that reacts to more than just heat.

    Touchscreen technology has been around for a few decades now, but the advancement of these displays are now found on hand-held devices, such as cellular or mobile phones, hand-held videogame consoles like Nintendo's DSi, and computer devices like touchscreen notepads.

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    The Advantages and Disadvantages of Touchscreen Displays

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    The Pros of a Touchscreen Display

    Touchscreen displays were made with the consideration to limit aching fingers and to also reduce what is known as "pocket dialing", where the phones with buttons used to randomly dial numbers from shifting in their carrying area (be it a purse or in the pocket). Naturally, one of the pros to such a display would be to save fingers from aching, especially if one texts a lot. Another advantage would be its ability to limit false dialing or to pocket dial.

    There are other advantages of having a touchscreen display and that is the improvement of user interface. The iPhone, for example, can access any icon without scrolling through like the older and non-touchscreen BlackBerry phones. In essence, it is faster to make a call, email, text, or play a game.

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    The Cons of a Touchscreen Display

    The three most dreadful complaints would be maintainability of the touchscreen, low precision, and lack of user interface in the event of a freeze. The first being that other accessories should be bought in order to preserve the touchscreen display from normal wear and tear and accidents, which can be expensive, such as the OtterBox products for the iPhone that can cost up to $50. Secondly, it is also costly to repair or replace in the event of an accident, even with warranty the device usually has to be replaced completely, such as the iPhone and iPod devices, or cost a lot to repair, such as the Barnes & Noble's Nook.

    Low precision is one of the curses to having a touchscreen display and through the many advantages and disadvantages of touchscreen displays, this one is key when deciding if it is worth it. Low precision means accurately typing, selecting, pointing, etc. on the display. For example, on a cold evening, the display may not pick up on the finger or may end up picking other icons around the finger. It makes it difficult for those who cannot use a pen or other such device for typing.

    Lastly, losing user interface is not only annoying, but can pose a serious problem when accepting and declining phone calls. Sometimes, in the event of a display freeze, having additional buttons help in restarting or exiting certain programs, but most touchscreen displays only come with a few buttons. Other disadvantages include hand fatigue from holding the device in one position for too long and cannot be used with just one hand like other devices with keypads attached.

    What this means is that if you like to take care of your phones, this would be perfect, but in the event that you aren't a very good caretaker for a touchscreen device, then sadly this type of display would not be ideal for you.