There are several key benefits of a touchscreen laptop, especially compared to one without this technology.
The benefits of a touch screen laptop include utilize it as a digital whiteboard, drawing, scribbling hand written notes, and navigating your operating system without a mouse or keyboard.
Not only is a touchscreen laptop have the benefit of being easily portable, but a touchscreen laptop is good because it has the advantage of typically being more lightweight, especially if the model you choose doesn’t have a keyboard and extra features attached.
Considering a touchscreen laptop?
- We compared the Surface pro vs an iPad to show you the differences of an iPad vs laptop.The Surface Pro is a 2-in-1 laptop, which is similar to the Lenovo Yoga models.
- If going Lenovo (one of the top touch screen laptops); you’ll want to see the difference between Lenovo Flex Vs Yoga – Which are two of their most popular models.
In this post we’ll go over the benefits, disadvantages and how a touch screen laptop compares overall, why its good, and how it pairs up next to the standard, non touch screen laptop.
Also see the Best laptop for note taking (our top picks)
- 1. Note taking for work or class
- 2. No need for a mouse: Easy device navigation
- 3. Can be used as a Digital whiteboard
- 4. Drawing advantages
- 5. No need for a external or wireless keyboard
- 6. Extremely portable
- 7. Easy image editing
- 1. Better hardware for the same price as a touchscreen
- 2. You'll save money if you don't need a stylus pen
- 3. Battery won't drain as fast as a touchscreen laptop
- 4. Non touchscreen laptops are more lightweight
- 5. Touchscreen laptops require indoor use
- 6. Users can optionally connect a drawing tablet to a non-touch screen laptop
- Pros and Cons explained
Touch Screen vs Non Touch Screen Laptops
Choosing between a laptop with a touchscreen and one without is not easy. Both options have advantages and disadvantages. Usually, it comes down to your personal needs and preferences.
Two of our top favorite touch screen laptops are Lenovo Flex and the Microsoft Surface Pro. These are the most portable, flexible options and they also are compatible with a stylus pen for work, art, and projects.
Related: 9 Best Non Touch Screen laptops
For example, if you are a demanding gamer or like larger screens, traditional laptops are the best way to go as cheaper touch screen laptops aren’t particularly designed with CPU-heavy tasks in mind.
On the flip side, touchscreen laptops are better for tasks like note taking and drawing. Also, a touchscreen device is usually more portable and better for editing than traditional laptops. Let’s dive deeper into the pros and cons of touchscreen laptops.
Benefits of a Touch Screen Laptop
Blower all the benefits of a touchscreen laptop that we personally tested and found to prove incredibly useful for consumers.
1. Note taking for work or class
When it comes to work and school tasks, touchscreen laptops are way better than non screen. You can take better notes with a touchscreen laptop because you can draw and write strokes and lines that you can’t get done on a non touchscreen.
The common app that most people use is OneNote. In such a way you can crop different graphs or diagrams when using a touchscreen laptop; making the manual note taking process more tailored for class or work.
Examples include math, problem solving, and other uses you couldn’t get done with a non touchscreen laptop.
Also, IT really shines when you include the stylus for precise strokes and handwritten details. This makes a touchscreen laptop an amazing choice for working professionals and students. There are free apps, such as Evernote and additional choices such as Google Keep, Simplenote, and more.
2. No need for a mouse: Easy device navigation
Navigating on a touchscreen laptop is faster and easier because you have more alternatives than you would on a device without a touchscreen.
- A powerful option that can replace your laptop with ease is the Hp Spectre 2-in-1 touchscreen laptop.
On a touchscreen display, you can use the touchscreen to navigate if you don’t have a mouse or your trackpad stops working. Also, most of us are very familiar with navigating on smartphones. This means that you can easily learn how to navigate on a touchscreen laptop.
Also, using an active or passive stylus can further enhance the device navigation of a touchscreen laptop. Using a pen instead of a mouse or keyboard is a brilliant thing to do, especially when it comes to taking notes, drawing, etc.
3. Can be used as a Digital whiteboard
In a few words, a touchscreen display makes it easier to interact with your laptop. A good example of this is using a laptop as a digital whiteboard. This is a very common problem that many people have with non touchscreen laptops.
- With a device that has a touchscreen, you don’t need any external devices (drawing tablet or graphics tablet). All you need to do is draw directly on the screen of your device with a pen or simply with your finger.
4. Drawing advantages
As mentioned earlier, touch screen laptops have the key advantage of drawing directly on the display. This is the main reason why touchscreen laptops like the Microsoft Surface Pro are popular when it comes to artists. In fact, if you are a graphic designer, photographer or even an architect, you should definitely opt for a touchscreen device.
If you’re considering touchscreen drawing, you’ll want to view our post on the best touchscreen laptops for drawing.
With a stylus pen and a high-quality touchscreen display, you can work quickly and efficiently with software like AutoCAD, Photoshop, or Illustrator. With a touchscreen laptop/pen combo, you can easily use the layering and editing features of such software. This means you no longer need to use a mouse to draw or retouch photos.
You’ll be using a stylus with pressure sensitivity in most cases, which means you’ll want to consider the Best Stylus pens for touch screen laptops
5. No need for a external or wireless keyboard
Non-touchscreen laptops require the use of an external or wireless keyboard in case your keyboard fails. On the other hand, touchscreen laptops do not require a keyboard to be fully functional.
In fact, most touchscreen devices have an on-screen customizable keyboard. (think of similar devices like the iPhone, iPad, or Samsung mobile phones)
For example, the latest Surface Pro has a Signature Type Cover that can be removed or added from the device at any time. This kind of flexibility is crucial. The fact that you don’t need a keyboard to work on a touchscreen laptop is very important because it doesn’t interfere with your commands.
The fact that you do not need an external or wireless keyboard also saves you from spending money on accessories.
6. Extremely portable
Although there are laptops without touchscreens that are very flexible, laptops with touchscreens are simply better in this regard. You can take touchscreen laptops with you anywhere as most of them are extremely lightweight and compact. Also, most touchscreen laptops do not take more than a few seconds to charge.
Their ultimate flexibility makes touchscreen laptops a brilliant choice for students and artists on the go. In most cases, touchscreen laptops also have a very long battery life. This means you can use them for more than 9-10 hours without relying on a power supply. For this reason, touchscreen devices are generally ideal for travel.
7. Easy image editing
As mentioned earlier, touchscreen laptops are a great choice for photographers, in fact anyone who wants to do basic or advanced photo retouching should own a touchscreen device. Laptops like the new Surface Pro 7 or the HP Pavilion x360 work like a charm when it comes to photo editing.
Although photo editing software like Litrum and Photoshop can be used with a mouse and a touchscreen laptop, editing on a touchscreen with a stylus is a completely different experience. So when it comes to photo editing, touchscreen laptops are faster, more accurate, and usually have better display quality (better color gamut).
Disadvantages of a Touchscreen laptop
Unfortunately, touchscreen laptops also have some noticeable drawbacks. Most of them are more expensive than traditional laptops. Also, because of the touch screen, their battery tends to drain faster than non-touch screen laptops. At the same time, using a stylus pen is not important for everyone.
Although this feature is important for professionals, students, and artists, it doesn’t come cheap. Even though touchscreen laptops are generally smaller, laptops without touch screens tend to be lighter. Finally, laptops with touchscreen displays are not ideal for use in direct light. For this reason, most of them need to be used indoors. Let’s take a deeper look at why laptops without touchscreens are the better solution for many of you.
Benefits of a non touch screen laptop
Below we cover the benefits of a non touch screen laptop and how they compare to a laptop computer with a on screen. touch display.
See our post on the Best Non Touch Screen laptops.
1. Better hardware for the same price as a touchscreen
As mentioned above, non touchscreen laptops are generally faster than touchscreen devices. A touchscreen display is expensive. This is why non touchscreen laptops typically cost less. Thus, if you compare two laptops for the same price, the non touchscreen one will typically have better RAM, more powerful processor, battery life, etc.
This is why non touchscreen laptops are better for gamers or people who use demanding editing software (i.e., Adobe Premiere Pro). For instance, the Microsoft Surface Pro costs around the same as Acer Nitro 5, which is a high-end gaming laptop with an integrated graphics card.
2. You’ll save money if you don’t need a stylus pen
Although the combination of a touchscreen laptop with a stylus pen is handy, it is not a priority for all people. Thus, if you are not drawing for art purposes or writing for class, there is no real need to spend extra money on such a combo. It all comes up to your personal needs.
For example, if extreme multitasking is a priority for you, you should go for a non touchscreen laptop without a stylus pen. Of course, this doesn’t mean that touchscreen laptops are slower. Still, as analyzed before, non touchscreen laptops are generally cheaper.
3. Battery won’t drain as fast as a touchscreen laptop
Touchscreen laptops use more resources because the constant communication of the device with the display and the stylus pen is one of the core the main reason why touchscreen laptops’ battery drains faster.
In fact, the inclusion of the touch panel drains the battery faster. On the other hand, non touchscreen laptops don’t require such resources. For this reason, battery drain doesn’t occur often.
That being said, if you need a laptop with exceptional battery life, non touchscreen devices are generally safer choices than a touchscreen. For example, the battery of Surface Pro lasts up to 10 hours when the latest Dell Inspiron 17 can last up to 11 hours (even though it has a much bigger screen).
4. Non touchscreen laptops are more lightweight
Even though touchscreen laptops generally have smaller displays than traditional laptops, the addition of the touch panel adds bulk and space. For this reason, most touchscreen laptops are heavier and have a bulky design. Although the differences aren’t huge, even 100 grams is a noticeable weight difference for laptops.
Thus, if you want an extremely lightweight laptop with a sleek design, non touchscreen devices are generally the best way to go. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. For example, the new Surface Pro 7 from Microsoft weighs only 1,7 pounds and has an ultra-slim design.
5. Touchscreen laptops require indoor use
Non touchscreen displays have been around for ages. This is the reason why laptops with non touchscreen displays are better to use in direct light and outdoor spaces. Touchscreen models usually have glossy finishes for a better touchscreen experience. However, this also acts as a magnet for fingerprints and smudges.
This type of display makes it tough to see outdoors. For this reason, purchasing a non touchscreen laptop is a better choice for those who use their laptops in areas with direct light.
6. Users can optionally connect a drawing tablet to a non-touch screen laptop
Although touchscreen devices are popular among artists, this doesn’t mean that non touchscreen laptops can’t also be used for drawing. In fact, there are numerous drawing tabs for both beginners and professionals. Also, many graphic designers argue that using a specially designed drawing tablet, like Wacom Intuos or Cintiq, is better for advanced drawing.
Therefore, a smart thing to do is buy a more affordable non touchscreen laptop and combine it with a top-tier drawing pad. In such a way, you might end up with a more advanced build at a better price. The only thing you have to compromise in such a scenario is flexibility.
This means using a capacitive touchscreen display and a passive stylus vs using a more advanced system where a dedicated active stylus pen can utilize pen pressure sensitivity, palm rejection, tilt sensitivity and more.
Pros and cons of touch screen laptop
As with all types of computers, touchscreen laptops come with pros and cons. Practically, a touchscreen device is an amazing choice for artists, work professionals, and students. Thus, if you use a graphic design or whiteboard apps, purchasing a touchscreen laptop is a smart thing to do. Also, devices like the Surface Pro 7 are generally very easy to navigate and extremely portable.
On the flip side, touchscreen devices also have disadvantages. Most of them are quite expensive and don’t include advanced hardware builts. Also, the touchscreen feature and pen drain their battery faster. Finally, most touchscreen laptops have bulkier designs than traditional ones.
The touchscreen laptop is easier to use than the traditional laptop because the screen is facing out towards you and all of the buttons are placed on one side of the computer so they are easily reached with your fingers.
This is different than how a traditional, non touch display laptop has many buttons that can be easily missed by fingers when trying to press them quickly. This may seem obvious to some, but during our hands on testing we found this incredible more useful than it sounds when hands off.
Pros and Cons explained
Compared to the standard laptop without a on screen touch display, you can use a laptop with a touch screen for note taking in class, for writing papers, or even for gaming.
At times, especially in college, it is too hard to take notes in class with the standard keyboard and mouse that are required when using laptops at school ( this is why so many uses Tablets in college) See our post where we answer: can an iPad Replace a Laptop for a College Student?
There are limitations to using a touchscreen laptop when it comes to typing in large text documents because you will likely need to use the track pad instead of the touchscreen.
With a touchscreen laptop, theres no need for a mouse. there is easy device navigation. The screen also acts as a touchpad so you can move the device without using it. This allows easier typing since you no longer need to use the trackpad or pointer. (source)
The touchscreen makes this easier because it provides smooth navigation, but the traditional laptop required to use this feature properly.The drawing capabilities of these devices are also pretty good because you can draw on the screen. The accuracy that produces your sketch is not perfect, but this shouldn’t be an issue when trying to create something that is meant to be temporary.
Is a touchscreen laptop worth it
I get asked often if a touchscreen laptop is worth the purchase. A touchscreen laptop (or a 2-in-1 laptop) is worth it if you want the durability & portability of a tablet, but also need a keyboard and an operating system such as Windows. We cover this in full detail in our guide: Is a touchscreen laptop worth it?
The operating system of a tablet such as android or iOS may not be functional enough for your needs. A touchscreen laptop will be worth it if you’re in search of both tablet and laptop functionality.
Since touchscreen laptops have noticeable advantages and disadvantages, you’ll need to decide what your needs are.
For this reason, touchscreen devices are usually best for:
- Working professionals and students who use note-taking and whiteboard apps.
- Graphic designers and artists who take advantage of the touchscreen and pen on software like Adobe Illustrator, Procreate, etc.
- Photographers who need a laptop for quick and efficient photography retouching.
On the other hand, you should go for a traditional, non touchscreen laptop if:
- You want to stick to your budget.
- You want a powerful device at a reasonable price.
- You prefer drawing on graphic tablets like Wacom Intuos.
- You need an exceptional battery and a great display for outdoor use.
The benefits of a touchscreen laptop are that it is more portable, easy to use, and incorporates features added features such as drawing, not taking, and utilize a onscreen keyboard. It also sustains al the benefits of a standard laptop such as being able to watch movies or videos.
Touchscreen laptops are typically more portable than standard laptops, but modern models have evolved and can now be folded into a smaller size, making it easier to transport. A standard laptop still requires an external keyboard to type, while a touchscreen may not depending on the model.
You can expect to pay a bit more for a touchscreen laptop because these 2-in-1 convertible touch screens need to keep up the RAM, processing power, in addition to providing the new touch display technology and software into their computer. The Touch display feature also means optimizing the device and software for finger swipes, antiglare, security, and problems around breaking the screen if you touch or press too hard.
This means more testing and care must be done to operate these devices if you want them to last. however, the added benefits of a touch screen laptop is being able to draw, scribble notes, and navigate the screen more efficiently is very advantageous for business, art, and school.