Of all the touch screen monitors that we tested, the Planar Helium PCT2485 was easily the most comfortable to use for extended periods of time. Touch screen monitors offer some unique opportunities over their standard counterparts, but even the best touch screen monitors can be incredibly uncomfortable to use.
Its large, almost 24-inch display and touch-enabled screen make it a little easier to navigate through desktop programs, and its slim design makes it more attractive than a lot of the other available models. The Planar Helium PCT2485 can't be bought directly from Planar, but you can currently find it on Amazon for $319.99, which is a little cheaper.
Planar Helium PCT2485 review: Design
- Thick seamless bezel
- Integrated webcam and microphone
The Planar Helium PCT2485 features a thick seamless bezel design similar to the one on the Acer T232HL. Again, bezels have become something of a dirty word since the Planar Helium PCT2485 launched eight years ago and it’s certainly not a great look. On the plus side, it is a seamless bezel, hidden beneath the glass cover for the screen which means you won’t run your fingers into it while using the touch screen, which is usually a constant source of irritation when using touch screen monitors.
The U-shaped stand has a 55 degree tilt angle range, giving you an impressive level of flexibility when it comes to the screen angle. The stand also folds away neatly if you want to lay the monitor flat on your work surface to draw on it.
The Planar Helium PCT2485 is the only touch screen monitor that we tested to come with an integrated webcam and microphone. It’s a full HD webcam too, which is impressive considering when the Planar Helium PCT2485 launched.
Planar Helium PCT2485 review: Screen quality
- Full HD ten-point touch screen
- Power hungry at 35 watts
The Planar Helium PCT2485 has a 24-inch full HD (1920x1080 pixel) resolution screen with a ten-point touch screen. These are the standard specs that we’ve come to expect from a touch screen monitor and while it doesn’t push the boat out, it does everything you want it to. It’s a bit of a power hungry beast though. The Planar Helium PCT2485 uses a whopping 35 watts, compared to the 20.9 watts that the similarly-sized Acer T232HL.
It’s rather a chunky monitor too. Even though the screen is only 24-inches, the huge bezel means that the Planar Helium PCT2485 is actually 27-inches across, which is a huge footprint on the average home office desk. If you need something on the opposite end of the spectrum, try the diminutive ViewSonic TD2230.
Generally the screen lives up to our expectations, but the slow response time is worth noting. At 14 milliseconds, it’s on the slower end of the spectrum among touch screen monitors and positively ponderous compared to most normal monitors, which can often have a response time of 1 millisecond.
Planar Helium PCT2485 review: Usability
- Wide bezels mean it's comfortable to use
- Ports are easy to access, but position can bend cables
While we do think that the Planar Helium PCT2485 is one of the most comfortable touch screen monitors on the market, that comfort does come with a few drawbacks. The connection ports sit fairly close to the bottom of the monitor, facing downwards. This means that it’s easy to bend and stress the cables when using the Planar Helium PCT2485 at lower tilt angles.
The wide bezels we moaned about earlier do have one saving grace though - they raise the usable area of the screen off up from the ground, meaning you won’t be scraping your hand along the desk when touching the bottom of the screen. It sounds like a small detail, but these little comfort-focused features really add up during extended use.
The ports are all easy to access though, thanks to the folding U-stand. There is a HDMI and DisplayPort connection, along with a USB hub for connecting peripherals to. There are also built-in speakers so you don’t need to get an extra set unless you’re looking for high quality sound output.
Should you buy the Planar Helium PCT2485?
There are plenty of touch screen monitors that offer more than the Planar Helium PCT2485. Some have better screens, some have more aesthetically pleasing designs and others have more flexible stands. But if comfort is your goal, the Planar Helium PCT2485 is the clear winner thanks to some intelligent ergonomic design choices.