We spent over 50 hours testing nine of the latest touchscreen monitors made by major manufacturers. During our tests, we determined which displays are the most accurate and reliable as well as which are the most user-friendly and ergonomically designed. Based on our results, we think the Acer T232HL Ambjjz is the best model available. Its design addresses some of the challenges of using a touchscreen, and it balances screen size, ergonomics and touch accuracy better than other monitors. It is light enough you can tilt the whole screen with one hand, but it doesn’t compromise display size to make it easy to adjust.
This Acer touchscreen monitor didn’t perform the best in any of our tests; however, it’s the most well-rounded model we reviewed.
Touchscreens can be awkward to use for everyday tasks, but the T232HL’s thoughtful design mitigates a lot of the problems people face when they use this type of monitor. It struggles with color accuracy, but otherwise, it’s a great choice.
We reviewed displays that have larger screens than this monitor, but it is the thinnest and easy to maneuver with a single hand. Also, even though it doesn’t have the widest tilt range, its wide bezels make it comfortable to use for long periods of time. The attractive floating bezels lift the display, which makes it easy for you to rest your arms on the monitor. Since it has seamless bezels, your finger won’t bump against edges while you work.
This Acer model houses all its setting buttons, including those for brightness and color, on the side of the display. This is convenient because you aren’t likely to accidentally press them and bring up unwanted pop-up menus while you work.
The one area this Acer model struggles is color reproduction, which is a problem if you plan to use it to edit photographs or watch movies. However, the display’s other specifications are impressive. For example, it has a response time of just 5 milliseconds, which is great for fast action sequences, even if the colors are a little off.
The Planar PCT2235 looks like someone removed the base from a standard monitor and just plopped the display onto a desktop – the bottom bezel rests on the desk and wraps its way around the monitor. The bezels aren’t seamless like those on more luxurious models, but the PCT2235 also doesn’t cost as much.
Like the best touchscreens, it has an A-frame stand. The PCT2235, as well as its more expensive, premium sibling, the Helium PCT2485, have a wider tilt range than our best pick. This makes it easier to use the Planar monitor throughout the day. The screen is a tad on the small side, but at 7.9 pounds, it's also considerably lighter than other models we compared it to.
When we tested the display, it was a mixed bag. The device had one of the slowest response times of the models we reviewed, which means it took longer for pixels to change color on the display based on input from the computer. However, it had good color accuracy, which is important if you want to use the computer to edit photos or videos.
It isn’t a very flashy monitor, but if you’re looking for a touchscreen and are on a budget, the Planar PCT2235 is a durable, lightweight display that is easy to adjust.
Best Matte Screen
The Dell P2418HT’s matte screen reduces eyestrain and eliminates distracting glare and reflection on the screen. However, you lose out on the benefits of having a smooth, glossy display finish, and it doesn’t look as sleek as other touchscreen monitors we reviewed.
This Dell touchscreen display has a creative design – rather than an A-frame stand, it uses a flexible rotating arm to hold the monitor up. Because the arm lifts the monitor off the desktop, it’s far easier to adjust than other models. However, it also isn’t as stable, and it jiggles when you perform basic tasks like typing. It also doesn’t have seamless bezels, which make touchscreens more comfortable and easier to use.
The P2418HT is more energy efficient than other monitors we evaluated, which means it costs less to power it over time. It also earned better scores in our color accuracy tests than our overall best pick.
Still, its display has some drawbacks. For example, its gamma average, which measures the depth and dimension of displayed images, was lower than that of other monitors as was its lag time, or the time it takes for input to center of the screen. All in all, the Dell P2418HT is a decent monitor that’s different enough to stand out from the crowd and provides some much-needed options in the touchscreen market.
It was a close race between our best pick and the Planar PCT2485, partly because the Planar is truly the most flexible monitor we tested.
At 55 degrees, it has the widest adjustable angle of all the displays we considered. However, it’s a bit chunkier than the Acer T232HL, and it doesn’t have the clear bezels that make the Acer float on the desk. Still, overall, it’s a great choice for a monitor. Also unlike the Acer, when you lay down the Planar’s U-shape stand, the monitor can lie flat on the desk. It’s also the only touchscreen monitor we reviewed with a webcam, making it feel like a giant tablet. The PCT2485 isn’t the best monitor for gaming but could be useful as an extra tablet for reading or working on documents and graphic design plans. It comes in an even larger size, the Planar PCT2785, in case you need the extra screen space. Because of its large screen size, the Planar uses more energy than others, but its expansive, impressive screen and flexibility make it easy to use for a desktop touchscreen monitor.
This 21.5-inch ViewSonic touchscreen weighs only 7.9 pounds and still has all the essential features.
During testing, we found that the TD2230 was much easier to adjust than many of the other touchscreens we reviewed. That’s partially because, like our top pick, it has a 50-degree adjustable angle. The ViewSonic’s thin bezel means it sits closer to the desktop than we’d like, so it’s sometimes awkward to use. However, you can lower the stand so the device lies flat on the desk, giving it some versatility. There are plenty of ways to connect to the monitor, including a USB, DisplayPort and HDMI port. The ViewSonic’s screen quality also makes it a candidate for gaming. Further, it had the best lag time results and a short seven-millisecond response time. If you want a compact display, the ViewSonic TD2230’s flexibility and screen quality make it a solid selection.
Why Trust Us?
We spent over 50 hours testing and reviewing touchscreen monitors to find the best ones on the market. To evaluate the displays, we read reviews written by experts and consumers, pored over manufacturer specifications, and performed hands-on tests to evaluate performance and build quality. We had multiple users interact with each display, and we also tested each computer’s default display settings in our lab.
What Do Touchscreen Monitors Cost?
Touchscreens are pricier than their standard counterparts, and you also need to account for the cost of the computer, which you purchase separately. Creating projective capacitive technology, the stuff that allows monitors to register touch, is expensive. Only high-end gaming monitors with 4k and curved displays are more expensive. On average, a desktop touchscreen monitors cost just over $300, compared to between $50 and $200 for an everyday, non-touchscreen monitor.
How We Tested
During our research phase, we looked at each monitor's dimensions and build quality and noted which have notable or rare features, like discreet on-screen display options or speakers. We also evaluated each monitor’s connectivity options and counted the number of ports it has, since more is better. After we researched these products, we brought them into our lab for testing.
We tested each monitor’s ability to accurately depict color and display depth and dimension in videos and games by measuring the gamma and color averages. To get the most accurate display measurements possible, we performed these tests by connecting a laptop to a high-quality spectrophotometer, specifically the X-rite i1Pro. A device called a pattern generator transmitted color-accurate images directly to the monitor, and CalMAN software prompted the spectrophotometer to take images of the screen and plot the information onto charts and graphs. We used the results to help us determine which monitors have the best visual display.
Along with the above tests, we compared response time, which is the time it takes for the pixels in the display to change color. We also considered the distance between pixels, called the pixel pitch, and the time it takes the monitor to respond to input from an outside source, called input lag. The former impacts how sharp the display looks, while the latter is a measure of how quickly your input is processed by the display, which can sometimes impact gameplay.
We used the monitors for long periods of the time during the business day under normal office lighting to test how comfortable they are to use. We also did some typing tests to see how much the interface might impact job performance.
Important Features to Consider When Choosing a Touchscreen Monitor
We recommend looking for a monitor with an A-frame stand and wide tilt range. These features make touchscreen displays easier to use all day long as well as easier to adjust from one position to another.
When touchscreen monitors first became available, most couldn’t handle more than one or two points of touch, and most of them were difficult to use. Now, many have 10-point multi-touch screens, which means they can register up to 10 simultaneous touches at a time, making a variety of tasks much easier.
Touchscreen monitors with glass surfaces are the best because they are the most durable and comfortable to use. They also more closely mimic the shiny, glossy screens we are accustomed to on smartphones and tablets.
The only downside to a glass touchscreen is its reflective surface; it’s a bit distracting to see yourself and your surroundings reflected in the screen when you sit down to work. These highly reflective surfaces can also cause eyestrain. Some of the monitors we looked at have a matte surface, which eliminates glare but is not as smooth.
A lightweight monitor is typically easier to move around or hang, though it should also be sturdy. It’s also important for the monitor to have a large display because touchscreens have on-screen keyboards. Keep your eye on the dimensions versus the screen’s total viewing area; some manufacturers don’t account for the size of the bezels in their listed screen size.
Another design element that makes a big difference is the bezels – the plastic edge around the screen. The bezels shouldn’t interfere with touch capability. For example, you don’t want to spend your entire work day bumping your finger against the edges of the display. The best touchscreen monitors have edge-to-edge glass, and we find that these seamless displays also make monitors look sleeker and more attractive.
Finally, on most standard monitors, the display controls, which you use to change the screen’s brightness, color and contrast, are physical buttons located on the bezel. However, when these buttons are in the same place on a touchscreen, you constantly bump them while typing and using touch functions. While most displays have a feature that locks the buttons when they’re not in use, a few house the controls in more practical places. We recommend looking a monitor with display controls located somewhere other than the bezel.
Challenges With Touchscreens
One of the major problems that kept people from buying earlier touchscreen monitors was the fear of something called gorilla arm – the painful result of repeatedly lifting your arm to reach the touch display. Most manufacturers addressed this issue by sitting the monitors on A-frame stands that tip back, so they’re easier to use all day long. The best touchscreen displays have wide tilt ranges and are easy to adjust from one position to another. However, even with this improvement, we found ourselves tiring quickly.
Our day-to-day office tests revealed other issues that keep these monitors from replacing standard displays. For example, it’s difficult to type on their keyboards. Our testers compared their typical typing speeds on a hardware keyboard to the results of typing tests taken on the touchscreen monitors. The scores were always drastically lower on the touchscreen displays. While the scores would likely get better over time and with practice, other problems have no easy solutions, such as how much space the on-screen keyboards take up on the displays.
While touch technology on a desktop display is exciting in theory, we caution you to think carefully before committing to one of these monitors. Make sure you have a specific application in mind before buying.
Styli for Touchscreen Monitors
If you prefer the tactile feel of a pen for taking notes and drawing on a touchscreen monitor, a capacitive stylus is the best option. Not all styli are compatible with the touchscreen monitors we tested; some work only on certain tablets and touchscreen laptops. Here are some capacitive styli that work with every monitor we reviewed:
Adonit Pro 3
Adonit is well-known for making high-quality accessories for creative electronic devices, like tablets and touchscreen monitors. The Pro 3 stylus is not the most cost-effective solution for writing and drawing on touchscreens, but the smart and durable design makes it easy to toss in a laptop bag or briefcase without it breaking. The disc that surrounds the stylus tip makes it easy to create precision marks while allowing your hand to grip the pen at a comfortable angle. It has a textured grip for greater control and a magnetic cap to protect the tip.
Musemee Notier V2
If you are looking for a more budget-friendly stylus for a touchscreen monitor, the Musemee Notier is the best option. It costs less than $15 and comes with an extra replacement tip. The Notier V2 is available in four colors and is compatible with all of the monitors we tested, as well as with Android and iOS tablets and phones. Like the Adonit Pro 3, the Musemee Notier has a similar fine-tip design surrounded by a clear plastic disc, but it doesn’t have the same comfortable grip or magnetic cap.
Acer T232HL Abmjjz
The Acer T232HL Abmjjz has an ergonomic and attractive design and a quality multi-touch display. It isn’t the largest or most flexible touchscreen monitor, but it strikes a good balance between the most important features.
The Planar PCT2235 is a modest touchscreen with a light, uncomplicated design. It has a wider tilt range than our best pick, but it looks more like a standard monitor than a high-tech touchscreen.
Its flexible arm, unique design and matte display finish make the Dell P2418HT a good option for people concerned about eye strain and unsightly fingerprints on their monitors.
|Product||Price||Overall Rating||Touchscreen Performance||Design||Display||Connectivity||Help & Support||USB 3.0||Port Accessibility||HDMI||Legacy Ports||Headphone Jack||DisplayPort||Ergonomic Grade||Lies Flat on the Table||Smooth Surface||Edge-to-edge Glass||Adjustable Tilt Range (degrees)||A-frame Stand||Webcam||Speakers||Depth (inches)||Controls||Screen Size (inches)||Weight (lbs)||Typical Power Consumption (watts)||Gamma Average||Input Lag (ms)||Color Average||Pixel Pitch (mm)||Response Time (ms)||Brightness (cd/m2)||Live Chat||Online Product Support||Email Support||Warranty||Phone Support|
|Acer T232HL Abmjjz||View Deal||4.5/5||9.3||10||8||8.8||10||✓||A||✓||VGA||✓||-||A-||-||✓||✓||30 to 80||✓||-||✓||1.5||A||23||12.57||20.9||2.2415||10.4||32%||0.2594||5||300||✓||✓||✓||3 years||✓|
|Planar Helium PCT2485||View Deal||4.5/5||10||9.3||4.5||8.8||10||-||B||✓||VGA||✓||✓||B+||✓||✓||✓||15 to 70||✓||✓||✓||1.8||B||23.6||13.7||35||Not Tested||Not Tested||Not Tested||0.2715||14||250||✓||✓||✓||3 years||✓|
|Planar PCT2235||View Deal||4/5||7.5||8.5||7.8||8||10||-||B||✓||VGA||-||✓||B||✓||✓||-||15 to 70||✓||-||✓||1.9||B||21.5||7.9||27||2.2606||10.6||48%||0.24825||14||250||✓||✓||✓||3 years||✓|
|ViewSonic TD2230||View Deal||4/5||7.3||8.5||10||6.8||6||✓||B-||✓||VGA||✓||✓||B||✓||✓||-||20 to 70||✓||-||✓||1.9||B||21.5||7.9||25||2.1861||10||77%||0.24825||7||250||-||✓||✓||3 years||-|
|Dell P2418HT||View Deal||3.5/5||3.8||8.8||5.3||8.8||10||✓||C-||✓||VGA||✓||✓||C+||-||-||-||5 to 60||-||-||-||2.13||A||23.5||16.35||18||2.3151||15.1||97%||0.275||6||250||✓||✓||✓||3 years||✓|
|Lenovo ThinkVision T2364t||View Deal||3.5/5||5.5||5.3||7||10||8||✓||B+||✓||VGA||✓||✓||B-||-||-||-||10 to 70||✓||-||-||2.9||C||22.5||9.24||45||2.1509||15.3||100%||0.2652||7||250||✓||-||✓||3 years||✓|
|HP EliteDisplay E220t||View Deal||3/5||4||7.3||7.8||6||8||✓||D+||-||VGA||✓||✓||C||-||✓||-||30 to -5||-||-||✓||2.2||C||21||13.45||28||Not Tested||Not Tested||Not Tested||0.248||8||250||✓||✓||✓||3 years||-|
|Elo 2201L||View Deal||3/5||6.3||5.3||5.5||3.8||6||-||C||-||VGA, DVI||✓||-||C||-||✓||✓||30 to -5||-||-||✓||7.6||B||21.5||16.5||29||Not Tested||Not Tested||Not Tested||Not Provided||5||250||-||-||✓||3 years||✓|