Windows 8 and Touch Screen PCs

So we all know that Windows 8 is more intuitive when used on a touch screen device like a tablet, (or phone?) but what about touch screen desktop PCs? I mean they are touch screen and they can run Windows 8. So what should be the problem?

I have actually thought about this a lot before I read this article written by PCWorld. I just couldn’t imagine all the touch features like sliding and pinching working on a desktop PC. I thought that touch screen PCs just didn’t seem to have the same kind of touch screen that phones or tablets do, but apparently they do have the same capabilities for the most part.

Also, before I start, I must first note that it is never really optimal to use the touch screen on a desktop unless you are standing up, and no one really wants to do that.

For the test PCWorld used the HP TouchSmart 620 3D and the Lenovo Ideacentre B320. They picked these because of all the extra features such as the 3D, TV tuners, and BluRay disk drives. They wanted this so they could run Windows 8 with as many preloaded apps as possible just so they could get the media oriented experience of a tablet.

From what it says in their review, I take it that PCWorld’s installation was normal. At least it was about the time that mine was, and that is 15-20 minutes. Startup seemed to actually take a little longer than mine does 20 seconds vs. 7-8 seconds.

I have never actually used Windows 8 on a touch screen device so this next part is only based on what PCWorld said, and results may vary because this is a desktop and not a tablet. So according to PCWorld, Touching on the tiles normally didn’t offer the same response that you might get from another tablet like the iPad or Galaxy Tab.

If you tapped it, there was no response, if you pressed for too long, the tile would tilt “which…looks as if you were pressing on a ceramic tile resting on a mushy surface.”

Your muscles will apparently get used to it, but PCWorld hopes that Microsoft will release some sort of software update that will make the touchscreen more responsive on desktops. Pinching and zooming actually worked for the most party perfectly. The same goes for sliding, and you will get used to some of the new gestures too. “It…feels kludgy since the performance and click sensitivity isn’t optimal yet.”

Using full screen apps and playing games was easy enough and actually provided some use, but browsing the internet was difficult and required multiple gestures and actions to perform simple tasks such as copy and paste. I’ve noticed this too, browsing the web using Metro isn’t easy. It’s slow and you always have to keep right clicking to bring up toolbars. That is why I mainly use the desktop mode to get real work done.

So according to PCWorld, installing Windows 8 on a touch screen desktop would be a good choice if you want to get used to the touch gestures of Windows 8 and not buy a new tablet, but only if you have one that isn’t being used that much.

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  • Avatar Roku

    Being the owner of a touch screen Windows 8 PC I can assure you that article was very bad and that you are making false assumptions. For example you claim that copying and pasting in Metro is hard or harder. This is completely false. You highlight the text and long press your finger or right click the text to be given the option of cut/copy/paste. How the hell is that “harder in Metro”??? There is literally no difference from any previous version of Windows with respect to copy paste.

    Also tapping a tile brings up the app instantly just like iOS or Android. You do not move apps by long pressing, instead you slide your finger up or down the tile to select it for editing. It is different than iOS but arguably a superior design since it allows you to select multiple tiles to edit at one time while iOS only allows you to work with one app icon at a time.