Should Laptops Have a Touchscreen – My Opinion

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I see the need, but…

Touchscreen Laptop
Photo by Surface on Unsplash

I found myself assisting a friend in selecting a new laptop for her business. One recurring question that surfaced while exploring our options was whether the laptops featured touchscreen capabilities.

Having owned and used multiple touchscreen laptops, I never actually used the touchscreen, mainly because it wasn’t as good compared to an actual tablet or smartphone.

That got me thinking, should all laptops have touchscreen capabilities in this day and age?

I mean I can see why Apple decided not to include this feature with their MacBooks!

Personally, I don’t think it’s a feature I will often find myself using, but let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of laptops having touchscreens…

The Benefits of Touch Screen Laptops

To be truthfully honest, touchscreen laptops do have potential, especially if the laptop is able to convert into a tablet, in the same way as my Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 360.

However, based on my experience these touchscreens tend to be poor quality, but we’ll get to the disadvantages a little bit later in the article.

The first advantage of your laptop having a touch screen is intuitive navigation. You no longer have to rely on that dreaded trackpad for your navigation, you can simply tap the screen wherever you need to go.

It’s a faster form of navigation that many people are used to since we all own smartphones these days. You’ll be surprised by how many people I see tapping screens thinking that they’re touch screens!

Touchscreen tend to also be easier to use compared to trackpads, which in all honesty have gotten so much better over the years, especially as they now support gesture navigation. Put it this way, I always use the trackpad on my keyboard case with my iPad!

They are great for home use, sometimes you don’t need to use a physical keyboard, for instance when you are watching videos or playing games with a controller. This is particularly true for 360° laptops.

The touchscreen can also prove to be good for creative applications, such as drawing.

The Drawbacks

I know I’ve said it before, but in most cases, the touchscreens that are included with some of these laptops are just poor. Not only is the touch not very accurate, but they feel like normal screens making them fragile. I’m talking from personal experience here!

On top of that these laptops often cost significantly more compared to versions without the touchscreen.

Since we’re talking about costs, if you want your laptop to have a decent touchscreen, not just any touchscreen, you will have to splash out even more money!

The potential for screen damage is huge, especially on the cheaper models and speaking about damage, depending on the model, they can be more difficult to repair.

Touchscreens can also have an impact on the battery life as they can consume more power than traditional displays.

Some laptop models are made thicker, this is mainly true for 360° laptops. I knew that having my Samsung Chromebook in tablet mode would make it thicker, but I didn’t realise how much thicker it would be compared to my iPad.

The last drawback I wanted to talk about is the fact that not all software is optimised for touch input which can make the user experience worse as they may find that gestures don’t work and that touch control generally performs poorly.

Personal Experience with Touch Screen Laptops

As an IT engineer, I’ve worked with many laptops over the years and many of these laptops were touchscreen-enabled. I’ve also worked in a tech store that sold laptops.

But in many cases, I found the touchscreens to be poor, especially if we compare them to smartphones.

A large number of these laptops, don’t even come with protective glass, so you are effectively touching the screen and all it takes is a sharp nail or a slightly stronger tap and you can potentially break the screen.

This is something I see very often with touchscreen laptops, a customer will come in for a repair because they accidentally smashed the screen.

Some of these screens can be extremely sensitive too and all it takes is a crumb or a bit of dust to trigger a touch input making navigation a nightmare!

The worst part is that in many cases people don’t realise that that could be an issue. Working in industry, not many people even realise that their laptops have a touch screen so this can truly become a nightmare!


Personally, I can fully understand 360° laptops which turn into a tablet, but I just don’t see the need for a standard laptop having a touchscreen.

I don’t know if it’s just me who feels this way, but I just find the touchscreens to cause more hassle than it’s worth.

But, here’s the thing, we live in a world where everything around us has a touch screen, even my washing machine has a form of a touch interface!

So thinking about the current market and how people interact with technology, touchscreen laptops are understandable.

But my biggest advice if you are planning to buy a touchscreen laptop is that you visit a store that sells it before buying to ensure the laptop has a protective layer of glass on it and that the touch control works correctly. It’s also worth looking at 360° laptops.

What do you think, should laptops have a touchscreen?