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Is a Touch Screen Laptop Worth it? (Touchscreen vs Non Touch Screen)

Is a Touch Screen Laptop Worth it? (Touchscreen vs Non Touch Screen)

If you’re torn between choosing a touchscreen laptop vs non touch laptop, then you should first ask yourself: Is a touch screen laptop worth it in the first place? 

I often get asked “Are touchscreen laptops bad?” and for this reason we conducted extended research to answer this reasonable question.

I discovered the top 7 Benefits of a Touchscreen Laptop (see full post) – These may surprise you due to the new technology available today.

We know that touch screen laptops are necessary for creative professionals and students because of their advanced note taking and drawing features.

With a touch screen computer, you can easily use the screen as your canvas for drawing with a stylus pen (without a keyboard or mouse).

See the 10 Best Touch Screen Laptops for Drawing

So, a touch screen laptop is a great choice for online teaching, animation, drawing, and note keeping. 

Comparison Touchscreen vs nontouchscreen 1

But, that’s not all. In this article, we will explore if a touch screen laptop is worth it in terms of storage, processor, graphics card, and more. So, what is the point of a touch screen laptop with a pen and is it worth it? Let’s find out.

Is a touch screen laptop worth it?

quick tip Is a touch screen laptop worth it

Touch screen laptops are innovative, reliable devices and super effective for professionals like creative artists. So, they definitely are an excellent choice. If you are a professional designer and want a device to draw on with a pen, then we recommend a touch screen laptop for best results. 

So, a touch screen laptop is ideal for art lovers and those who want to navigate more quickly. It enables you to create art and digital signatures using your laptop as a real-time board.

Nevertheless, why are touch screen laptops good for other professionals or students? Well, if you are a student you will love the advantages of touch screen laptops: they are lightweight enough to carry around all day, easy to navigate and allow you to take notes smoothly with a pen.

Related: Are Touch Screen Laptops Good for Gaming? (The Truth)

At first, touch screen laptops were meant for high-end users and creative professionals. But since the demand is great, some of them now come at an affordable price. 

For alternative touch screen devices, see the 11 Best Digital NotePads

So, if you want to have control of your work on a high-quality display and use a pen to do so, touch screen laptops are the best way to go.

A touch screen laptop works well for architecture, for example the surface pro is ideal for those who use apps on their laptops like sketchup and autocad.

Chromebooks are the best choice for those who want a lightweight device with solid performance. On the other hand, if you need a touch screen laptop for heavy-duty jobs like gaming or demanding apps (e.g. AutoCAD), more powerful touchscreen devices like the Acer Predator Helios 300 are the best way to go.  

Is a Touchscreen laptop better than a standard laptop?

Is a Touchscreen laptop better than a standard laptop

Touch screen laptops have some key differences from standard laptops that make them very useful for users, professionals or not. But, is a touchscreen laptop better than standard laptops in terms of completing daily tasks?

  • A Touch screen laptop typically has a stylus paired with it – this means a third party drawing tablet connected to a laptop for drawing is no longer required.
  • Professionals who use touch screen laptops claim that touchscreen devices allow them to complete tasks quicker and increase their productivity. Moreover, they are ideal for a variety of applications for drawing, sketching or note keeping.
  • Another advantage of touch screen laptops is that (due to the touch navigation on display) they are easier to handle. 
  • Furthermore, their display is, in most cases, better than conventional laptops. Usually, touchscreen devices come with a display that provides high color brightness and accuracy, making them ideal for artists and designers.

Touch screen laptops may offer all these key benefits but, it all comes down to your personal needs. So, if you want more customization and functionality, a touch screen laptop is the best way to go.

When comparing touch screen laptops vs normal laptops, we have to examine the reliability and features of each solution. Let’s dive into it. 

Are Touch screen Laptops reliable?

Are Touch screen Laptops reliable

When it comes to reliability, touch screen laptops are devices that offer a wide variety of settings and options. That makes them extremely reliable and useful for professionals. 

In comparison to regular computers, touch screen laptops include better color accuracy, brightness, vibrancy and reproduction, elements that professionals need for their projects. 

We did some research on how long laptops last and cover how touch screen devices and 2-in-1 laptops compare in regards to lifespan.

But, where touchscreen devices actually shine is when they are combined with active pens. So, if you want a laptop for note taking or drawing, a touchscreen device can help you do that. Although the battery of touch screen laptops used to drain faster, that’s not the case anymore. 

In fact, brands like Microsoft and Apple have developed new technologies that allow for touch screen devices to last longer, and in many cases touchscreen devices offer an autonomy of more than 12 hours. This makes touchscreen laptops much more reliable when it comes to the battery life.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs:  “We have been able to achieve 10 hours of battery life,” and finally “I can take a flight from San Francisco to Tokyo and watch video the whole way on a single charge.”

These elements make the touch screen laptops both reliable and efficient. The display of these devices offer many features that are necessary for more demanding projects and tasks. 

Examples of a touch screen laptop and 2-in-1 tablets

Examples of a touch screen laptop and 2 in 1 tablets

After some extended research, we concluded that the best touchscreen laptops and 2-in-1 tablets on the market are: 

  • Lenovo Yoga: A great budget 2-in-1 laptop for both beginners and professionals
  • ASUS Chromebook Flip: A premium touch screen laptop for professionals 
  • Dell XPS 13: A great alternative to ASUS Chromebook Flip (premium)
  • Microsoft’s Surface Pro: Microsoft’s flagship is a powerful 2-in-1 tablet for professional creatives who prefer working on Windows 
  • Asus Transformer: Budget-friendly, lightweight 2-in-1 laptop 
  • iPad Pro: By far the best choice for Apple fans and Procreate users.

Considering a touch screen device? See the difference between the Lenovo ThinkBook vs ThinkPad.

Do you need a touch screen laptop for school and work?

Do you need a touch screen laptop for school and work

But the question remains. Why would someone need a touchscreen laptop? Well, the abilities of a touch screen device are exceptional, especially if you want to use it for school activities or work.

Firstly, multitasking is a great advantage of these devices. We know that work professionals and students use to run multiple apps at the same time. A touch screen will give you the opportunity to access apps just by clicking on the screen. 

This will save you time, especially when taking notes. Considering that your primary task is note taking and typing, a touch screen laptop can provide you with a natural typing and writing experience with a pen.

Additionally, touch screen laptops offer the ability to employ multi-touch motions, such as pinching and zooming into photographs or websites. 

In the past touchscreen laptops were known to drain battery faster. However technology has advanced significantly and users are reporting that they’re getting anywhere from ten to twelve hours of battery life in session charge.

Laptop manufacturers have found a way to increase this and compensate for the fast battery drain touch screen laptops were once known for. So, if you’re getting a newer model (compared to an older model) you may not have to worry about battery drain as a disadvantage. 

So, it becomes evident that the advantages offering the touch screen laptops are tailored to what students and professionals need. 

Touch screen vs non touch screen laptop

Touch screen vs non touch screen laptop
Feature/AspectTouchscreen LaptopsNon-Touchscreen Laptops
Display QualityTypically offer better color accuracy, brightness, and resolution.Standard displays, may not have the same level of color accuracy or brightness.
NavigationFaster navigation using touch gestures. Can be more intuitive for some users.Relies on trackpad or external mouse for navigation.
FunctionalityIdeal for note-taking, drawing, and digital art.Better for tasks that don’t require touch functionality, like typing or coding.
Battery LifeTends to drain faster due to the touch functionality.Generally longer battery life as there’s no touch screen to power.
WeightSlightly heavier due to the touch screen components.Typically lighter since they lack the touch screen components.
PriceTend to be more expensive due to the added touch functionality.Generally more affordable as they lack the touch screen technology.
DurabilityMore components that could potentially fail (e.g., touch sensors).Fewer components to worry about, potentially longer lifespan.
PerformanceMight not always have a dedicated GPU, affecting performance in graphic-intensive tasks.Often have better specs for the price, including dedicated GPUs for gaming or design.
User ExperienceOffers a more interactive experience, especially for creative tasks.Standard experience; some users might find it more straightforward and distraction-free.
Maintenance and CleaningRequires regular cleaning to keep the touch functionality optimal.Less frequent cleaning required.
VersatilityCan often be used in multiple modes (e.g., tablet mode, tent mode).Typically used in the standard laptop mode.
Comparison Table: Touchscreen Laptops vs. Non-Touchscreen Laptops

When it comes to purchasing a laptop and you are wondering if you should go for a touch screen or a standard one, we got your back. Huge tech corporations like Microsoft have released touch screen laptops due to the continuing demands over the past years. 

Models like Microsoft’s Surface Series, the iPads, and Lenovo Yogas are very popular for many reasons. If your interests are between digital art and design, touch screen laptops are the best way to go. The main reason for opting this kind of device is the great display with brighter and most vibrant colors. 

Additionally,  multitasking is another advantage of touchscreen devices over standard laptops. The experience of the user gets better because you can navigate easily and fast between programs. Also, touch screen laptops tend to be lighter than non touch screen devices. 

Still, in most cases, touchscreen laptops are more expensive. So, if you don’t need these aspects (great screen, multitasking, lightweight) from a laptop, you could opt for a standard one. 

Moreover, the battery life (usually) drains faster in a touchscreen device and standard laptops are simply better for gaming (especially those with a dedicated GPU). Even though there are games for touch screen computers, those aren’t as demanding.

Note: Both types of touch screen devices require the proper cleaning.

The first question you should answer before buying a laptop is what you intend to use it for. It’s much easier to choose the laptop’s specs and hardware once you know what it’ll be used for.

What is a touch screen laptop?

A touch screen laptop is a computer with a touch-sensitive screen. Touch screen laptops are split into two kinds. The first kind is called resistive and requires an e-pen to operate. Resistive touchscreens have two layers. A good example of a resistive touchscreen is the electronic signature device.

The other is a capacitive touchscreen, which is designed to operate with a touch of the user’s finger. Capacitive touchscreen is a single-layer display. Tablets and smartphones are made with capacitive touchscreens.

But, how do touchscreens work? Well, The top of the display that you touch comes into contact with an electrically conducting layer underneath it in a resistive touchscreen. There is always an electrical current flowing through the layer below. The stream alters and registers your touch when the two levels touch.

When you push your finger on touchscreen devices, you’ll probably have already noticed that they flex somewhat. This is happening because of how they work. See our post on How to Write on a Computer Screen with a Pen

When you touch a pen against the top display at the checkout counter, it makes contact with the layer just beneath it, which registers your movement.

Features of a laptop with a touchscreen

Touchscreen laptops offer various features that, depending on your usage, prove to be very useful. The main difference of a laptop with a touchscreen is, as the name suggests, the touch-sensitive display.

A touch screen is a type of display that allows a user to interact with a computer by using a finger or a stylus. They’re a good alternative to using a mouse or keyboard to navigate a graphical user interface (graphical user interface). But, that’s not just it.

Most touch screen laptops offer a high resolution display with bright and vibrant colors. So, apart from the screen being touch-sensitive, the display is usually better than most standard laptops.

Apart from the screen, touchscreen laptops have the same hardware components with any standard laptop or desktop (CPU, RAM, SSD drive, GPU).

What is a non-touch laptop?

A non-touchscreen laptop is a typical laptop that uses the built-in touchpad and keyboard (instead of a touch screen) to input data. In many ways, the touch screen and non touch computers are identical. 

The touchscreen capability used to be reserved for high-end business laptops, but now you can get a touch screen laptop for a reasonable price. Non touchscreen (or standard) laptops are usually better than touchscreen devices in terms of performance. In general, touch screen laptops don’t have a dedicated GPU and have less powerful CPUs.

On the flip side, non-touch laptops like the Acer Nitro or the Asus ROG Strix have a powerful GPU and everything a gamer needs. This is also why non touch laptops are generally better than touchscreen for large projects on demanding software like AutoCAD.   

On the flip side, standard laptops can’t be used for drawing with a pen (without an external drawing pad) and are less portable.

What is a 2 in 1 laptop?

A 2-in-1 or hybrid laptop, on the other hand, is a touchscreen device that’s generally more powerful than a standard tablet. 

What is the difference between a touch screen laptop and a 2-in-1 laptop? The most notable distinction is that this laptop is more interactive and can also function as a tablet. For maximum versatility, the keyboard is frequently hinged or detachable.

2-in-1 laptops (sometimes known as 2-in-1 PCs or just 2-in-1s) are becoming increasingly popular because they provide many of the features laptop and tablet users need. Take as an example the latest Microsoft Surface Pro 8. It has a large, high-quality touch display, and it is very lightweight. 

At the same time, the new Surface Pro outperforms many standard laptops and can handle extreme multitasking. 

Pros and cons of Touch screen laptop

Now that we have analyzed what a touch screen laptop is, let’s have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of this genre in terms of user experience, navigation, display, battery, price and more.  

Touchscreen Laptops: ProsTouchscreen Laptops: Cons
Better displays in terms of color accuracy and brightnessSlightly shorter battery life
Faster navigation on all operating systems (touch gestures)Touch screens are heavier than regular screens
Better for note taking and drawing (active pen allows you to draw directly on the screen)Touch screen laptops are more expensive 


Touch screen laptops have many advantages, especially when it comes to drawing, using them as digital whiteboards, taking notes, and navigating any OS without an external device (keyboard or mouse). But, what are the most important benefits of a touch screen laptop vs a standard laptop? 

  1. Display: Touch screen laptops are simply better than regulat laptops when it comes to the display. A full HD display with a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 is standard on touchscreen laptops. The optimum viewing experience is provided by a display with a high contrast ratio and high resolution. 
  2. User Experience: One of the main reasons you’ll want to pick one of these laptops in the first place is that they’re really simple to navigate and utilize. Instead of needing to use the trackpad, which might be inconvenient, a touchscreen allows you to use hand gestures and active pens for quick navigation. 
  3. Note-taking: The smooth note-taking function of a touch screen laptop is well-known. This is why touch screen laptops have received positive reviews and are recommended for artists, students, and anybody else who needs to take notes on the go. 
  4. Digital Art:  When paired with the appropriate stylus/pen, touch screen laptops can be used to draw and create your own drawings and sketches on apps like Photoshop, Illustrator or Procreate.

Related: iPad vs Laptop Pros and Cons: Replacing a Laptop with iPad

Disadvantages of touch screen laptop

So, if touch screen laptops have so many advantages, why would someone buy a regular laptop? Well, touch screen laptops have some cons that make regular laptops and desktops a better choice for specific categories of beginners and professionals: 

  1. Battery life: While there are touchscreen laptops with long battery lives, they tend to drain the battery far more quickly. This implies you’ll probably have to charge them more, which is inconvenient, especially for professionals on the go. 
  2. GPU: Most touchscreen laptops don’t come with a dedicated GPU. And those who do, are very expensive. This is why touchscreen laptops aren’t the best choice for games and GPU-intensive apps like AutoCAD or Maya 3D.
  3. Price: While a touchscreen may be the better option in many ways, it is often more expensive than a traditional screen.
  4. Weight: Touchscreen laptops are usually heavier than their non-touchscreen equivalents. How much heavier? Well, they’re usually 0.2 to 0.25 pounds heavier. .

Are Touch Screen laptops good for students?

In a few words, touch screen laptops have high-quality displays, are portable, perfect for drawing and can help a student with note taking. This is why we consider touch screen devices an awesome choice for students. 

Of course, this isn’t always the case. For example, if you’re an engineering student, a touchscreen 15.6 or 14-inch laptop with a competent graphics card is nearly impossible to come by, and if it is, it will be prohibitively expensive. So, if you need a dedicated GPU for intensive apps, there’s an issue with price.

On the flip side, buying a touchscreen laptop has a number of advantages for you as a student. Multitasking is one of the key advantages. When you multitask, you can perform numerous things at once.

The ability to employ multi-touch motions, such as pinching and zooming into photographs or websites, is another benefit. Finally, touchscreen laptops are, by far, the best choice for graphic design and art students. 

With an active pen and your touch screen laptop, you can easily draw and edit on software like Adobe Photoshop or Procreate (for iPads). 

So, we can safely say that touch screen laptops are the best way to go if you need a portable laptop with quick OS navigation and use creative software for college. 

Does disabling or turning off touch screen functionality on a laptop save more battery?

No disabling a touchscreen functionality on a two-in-one laptop will not save much battery. 

If your device is on 5% or less and you really need to save battery it is a good idea to turn the setting on if it does not take long. 

Otherwise you’re just using your laptop more and the time it takes you to disable the touch screen will drain your battery even further. 

In most cases you are forced to use a touchscreen laptop as the touch functionality is on by default. Keep in mind that there are almost always settings that can turn them off.

Can you write and draw on a touchscreen laptop?

Absolutely. Touchscreen laptops are perfect for writing and drawing, especially when combined with a stylus or active pen. You can handwrite notes and draw or sketch objects in your notebook with OneNote. 

Apart from the OneNote software, touchscreen laptops allow you to take notes and edit documents on Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

For drawing, you can opt for a creative software like Photoshop, Procreate, or Krita (free alternative). A program like this allows you to sketch or paint with your finger or an active pen. Look for and download a drawing program built for touch screen computers.

Touch screen Laptop FAQ

Let’s have a look at some frequently asked questions about touch screen laptops. In this section, we will examine how good touch screen devices are  in terms of battery lifespan, performance and resistance of materials. 

Do touch screen laptop use more battery,

To answer this question briefly, yes. Touch screens use more battery than regular displays. The difference in battery life between a touchscreen laptop and a standard laptop is typically 15 to 25%. Let’s start with a simple example.

We compared the battery life of two Lenovo ThinkPad T460 models that were otherwise indistinguishable. The touchscreen model of the ThinkPad T460 has a battery life of 13 hours and 12 minutes, whereas the non-touch model has a battery life of 17 hours and 4 minutes.

Thankfully, the latest touchscreen technologies have improved the battery life of touchscreen laptops and this isn’t such a problem for most users anymore.

Do touch screen laptop run slower,

Although touch screen laptops usually don’t have a dedicated GPU, this doesn’t mean such devices are slower than standard laptops. 

Premium touchscreen laptops like the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 integrate some of the best (and most powerful) i7 CPUs and are very powerful in terms of RAM and SD storage (can be upgraded with a large Micro SD card).

This is why touchscreen laptops are very reliable when it comes to multitasking and running creative apps (e.g. Photoshop, Krita, etc). 

Do touch screen laptops break easily

As with non touch laptops, the display of touchscreen laptops can break after an accidental fall. This is more than reasonable and can happen to any electronic device. This is why you should always carry your touchscreen laptop in a bag or backpack. 

A good screen protector can also help you protect your touchscreen device. Although it won’t help a lot with hard falls, that’s not the only reason why you should use one. 

You will want to keep in mind that touch screen laptops could require a certain cleaner and cloth compared to standard laptops.

Do touch screen laptop need screen protector

A screen protector is necessary for touchscreen laptop owners since it protects the screen from scratches, smudges, and keyboard markings (from when the computer is closed).

Also, screen protectors can help you improve the drawing experience on a touchscreen device. In fact, matte screen protectors will improve the screen friction and result to a more precise drawing on software like Illustrator or Krita.

For example, a digital notepad has a touch screen display and may not require a screen protector, but a touch screen laptop can benefit from one.


In this article, we found out that you should get a touch screen laptop if you need a portable device for note taking or drawing. 

Also, touchscreen laptops are reliable devices and their battery isn’t draining fast anymore due to the new technologies brands like Microsoft and Apple have introduced. 

Touch screen laptop accessories include the (very handy for students and creatives) active pens, detachable keyboards, screen protectors and more. They are also useful for online teaching, gaming, animation, architecture

Apart from the flexibility they offer, touch screen devices have better (in terms of color accuracy) displays than standard laptops and offer a faster navigation to any OS.

Considering that the displays of touchscreen laptops are, in many cases, smaller too, they are an awesome choice for kids who love drawing. 

So, to answer the initial question hidden behind this blog post: touchscreen laptops worth it, especially for art professionals, business and school (or college).

About the author:

Photo of Paul Michael, Founder of MediaPeanut

Paul Michael

Paul Michael is a media and technology expert whose research reveals how technology and media are being used in the world today. He has expertise on computers, the internet, streaming, Roku, electronics, and education. He also enjoys graphic design & digital art. Paul has his Bachelors of Arts and Science(s) from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ