Who uses a touch screen computer and why?

I’m not referring to the Ipad type computers but the HP TouchSmart style of computer. I’m doing some preliminary shopping for someone. She doesn’t have specific computer needs that any modern computer wouldn’t handle but she is interested in the idea of a touchscreen.

I see the point of an Ipad and I see the point of a flip screen laptop with touchscreen but what do people use the free standing touchscreens for?

I had an HP Touchsmart (still have, actually, but never use). I originally tried to use it like an iPad, until the iPad came out and it fell into disuse.

For looking cool, really, and pretending that their PC is better than yours because its mother had an affair with Apple.

While we’ve been using mouses for ages, being able to just stick your finger up and touch something is actually more intuitive. It took my mom years to learn to use a mouse.

There’s also some pretty cool gestures being built in to modern OSes that you can’t do when you don’t have a touch screen. If I had the money, I’d get one just for that. I can always use a regular mouse with it, but it adds a feature.

Finally, most touchscreens I’ve seen seem to be whole computers. That might be a convenience factor–having the CPU and monitor together. While there are non-touchscreens like that, those don’t give you the other benefits mentioned above.

Most of the screens made today go to kiosks, standing medical equipment, and the like; I don’t think they’ve really caught on with consumers.

Steve Jobs mentioned in an Apple keynote that they’d experimented with this a while back and gave up on it (in favor of the relocatable iPads), because the fatigue factor was so great that most people couldn’t use them for very long at a time.

There’s been some speculation about a horizontal or slightly tilted (like “keyboard” tilt) touchscreen computer getting around this, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one built or arranged that way.

A colleague uses it for applications involving autistic users. It’s not that many of them can’t use mice, but that the touchscreen is just easier.

We have a touch screen that we use during our product demonstrations. It is kind of cool for that, but I find it rather annoying to use “in real life.”

Freestanding touch screens will probably never catch on in general use for the same reason that light pens didn’t in the 1970s and 1980s: nobody wants to hold their arm out in front of their body, unsupported, for hours or even minutes at a time. There are probably some specialized applications where the multi-touch gestures afforded by the touchscreen will make it the preferred human input device, or people with certain disabilities which make touchscreens easier to use than mice and other pointing devices. But for general computing (web browsing, word processing, etc.) any advantage conferred by the touchscreen (so long as it’s vertically mounted, like most desktop monitors) will be negated by the arm fatigue it introduces.

This isn’t an all-in-one computer, but the Dell ST2220t touchscreen display is designed to tilt all the way to horizontal.

Also, the Wacom Cintiq series (LCD displays with active digitizers) is designed to be used horizontally or nearly so.

The all-in, one PC is actually pretty cool. It’s called all in one because the tower, CPU, etc is all built into the screen. This is quite handy because you don’t have all sorts of wires or other crap. It makes the PC semi portable

The touchscreen is more a “nice to have” than a “must have” feature. It’s great for things like sorting pictures as you can move them around, resize, rotate, delete, etc much faster an easier than using a mouse. It also is pretty nice as a family type PC near the kitchen.

It’s semi-portable. And you can add in a TV card so it is an over the air TV as well. I throw it in the trunk with the rest of the luggage when the family goes on a trip. Then I’ve got a nice big screen PC and second TV in the hotel.

As mentioned above, my autistic daughter LOVES it. She can’t use a mouse but the whole world of PC’s is opened up for her.

20 inch touch screen all in one PC’s start from around 600 dollars, so it’s not much more than a similar desktop with the same size screen. I think the cheaper iMac starts from $1500

Touch screens are nearly ubiquitous for industrial controls. Very intuitive to press a button or valve on the screen and have the expected action happen. In most cases they are less subject to trouble in harsh environments than trackballs, less of a pain to use than a touch pad, and there is often no good place to use a mouse, but can be troublesome if the operators hands (gloves in the cases I deal with) are contaminated.

I don’t have one right now; but I’d like to have an Eee Slate.

This is very true. This Wiki entry discusses the situation - for what is known as ‘Gorilla Arm’.

Point of sale systems frequently use touchscreens.

I have a Touchsmart that sits in our kitchen. I have it for the all-in-one factor more than the touch factor because of space. I hardly ever use the Touchsmart interface. It’s cool to sort through music and pictures, but not really practical for much else. There are a few games my kids like to p[lay with the touchscreen, but I still use the keyboard and mouse 98% of the time.

This has always been my gut feeling about them. I’ve seen them demo’d as part of a table top which is a lot more functional but even then it looked awkward.

I’m in the exact same situation. My wife likes it for recipes, although her iPad is slowly replacing it. We also have a tv tuner in it for occasional use.

The touchsmart software isn’t even on the computer anymore since I reformatted and installed windows 7.

Our two kids also find the touch screen more intuitive than a mouse.

Quite. Much like voice user interaction: no-one particularly wants to go hoarse repeating or dictating; and still fewer want to bark out commands to access porn with their family / others in the next room.
Even more difficult for those who surf porn at work.

Games. Mine now sits on the corner of my bar and serves as a touch gaming screen and music/video player. Also I put it on a large lazy susuan so that people can spin it around a little; makes it more socialble when it’s not tied to one persons seating view.