Windows 8 and a Touch Screen in Daily Use

More than anything, how the Acer performs is also going to be driven by how well a touchscreen works with Windows 8, and for that I had to build a whole new testing PC with Windows 8 on it. Coming into this I had zero experience with Windows 8, none with a Windows tablet, and none with a Windows Phone. I’ve been using Windows since 3.0 was released but hadn’t branched out into those newer areas yet. I found the experience a bit strange and even often, and I imagine many people moving onto Windows 8 may have a similar initial reaction.

Typically any monitor I have in for review is assigned as my main display. I want to use it as much as I can, do all of my work on it, and focus on it directly. Flanking the monitor in for review are a 27” LCD and a 24” CRT to serve as secondary displays, with the 27” filling in as my primary display when there is nothing here for review. Usually this is fine, but when using a touchscreen with Windows 8 as my main screen in a multi-screen environment I found this to not work as well.

Putting the touchscreen with the start menu seems good, and it seems you would want that in the center of your desk, but you quickly run into issues with Metro applications. As they are all now going to open on the monitor with the Start screen on it, that means secondary apps like the integrated Calendar or Mail are now filling your main display instead of being flanked to the side on a secondary display. You can move them to the side, but that moves the Start menu over there as well, which takes it off the touchscreen.

With a single display, this isn’t an issue. Everything stays on the touchscreen and you view what you are working on. With multiple monitors, touch is best relegated to a secondary display. You can keep your start menu there and your Metro applications, but you can have your real work on our other displays. It seems silly that Windows 8 has been designed without taking multiple monitors into account, but it almost feels that way to me. Trying to make the user experience the same across all the platforms seems to have focused on the average user and not the power user.

Now none of this is Acer’s fault, as they aren’t designing Windows, but it means that you’re possibly paying $500 for a monitor that is best as a secondary display, or it has to be your only displays, to get the full value out of it.

When using the touch features, the Acer was very responsive and accurate with my input. Moving around the Start screen, selecting applications, and moving them around was very easy to do with the display. I worried a lot about fingerprints and smudges with the glossy finish, but I didn’t find myself having to clean it that often, and typically they were hidden away well. Entering data with the on-screen keyboard worked, but I would never pick it over a regular keyboard for entering more than a couple of words. It did lead me to wanting to find a way to build my own Sooloos-style media server for my music room, but not as much for regular work.

So much for the Windows 8 side of the experience. Let's get to the display characteristics and see how the Acer stands up to other displays we've reviewed.

Introduction, Design and Specs Brightness and Contrast
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  • zero2dash - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Horrible decision.
    That thing will be filthy in hours.
    Reply
  • Flunk - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    You can't have a touchscreen with a matte finish, the two features have to go together. If you don't like it you can always get a matte non-touchscreen there are lots of those on the market. Reply
  • JanieMartin - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    Love my job, since I've been bringing in $5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online.(Click Home information)
    http://goo.gl/q9r5k
    Reply
  • Beaver M. - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    Funny, I have one of those right here. Works fine. Given it is also transflexive, but it is matte. Reply
  • Beaver M. - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    Transflective of course. Reply
  • shtldr - Thursday, February 07, 2013 - link

    I've seen a matte touch desktop display about 7 years ago. It was probably the resistive type as one had to use some force.

    Not sure if they're still being produced with all this tablet/smartphone glass capacitive fad of late, but they can be had.
    Reply
  • Tams80 - Friday, February 08, 2013 - link

    Absolute rubbish! I'm using a Tablet PC with a matte touchscreen right now. Reply
  • roberto.tomas - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 - link

    Is that true for proj. capacitive as well as optical? 2-point multitouch systems should probably need glossy, because they are optical. But 10-point is usually more expensive projective capacitive (and I didn't know if they needed matted too).

    My take on the monitor: horrible, disturbingly bad color gamut for a monitor that is glossy. The sRGB % for this thing is as low as a $60 commodity 11.6" laptop matte from AUO. But; full 10-point multitouch in the sub-$1 grand range, good range of pivot, and not entirely small 23". I'm lukewarm to the thing, if it went onf half off sale I might pick one up ... maybe.
    Reply
  • Homeles - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    Read the article, genius:

    "I worried a lot about fingerprints and smudges with the glossy finish, but I didn’t find myself having to clean it that often, and typically they were hidden away well."
    Reply
  • zero2dash - Wednesday, February 06, 2013 - link

    When you grow up, have sex, and have kids, you'll realize that glossy screens get fingerprints all over them.

    Maybe this monitor works for 1 person who cleans their hands every five minutes.

    In a normal household with more than 1 person and normal use, the thing would be filthy in no more than 24 hours. I have fingerprints on all my monitors, flat screens, and every other glossy screen device in our house...and half of those devices aren't even touch screens.
    Reply

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