What are the best Windows 7 Multitouch Displays?

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I’ve been working on some Windows Multitouch applications.  These apps have been built using WPF and .Net 3.5 using Microsoft’s Touch Interop Library.  Since .Net 4.0 isn’t officially released yet, I haven’t been using it for any production apps, even though it would be the preferred choice for Windows Multitouch.

One of the bigger challenges with trying to design and create applications that take advantage of Windows 7’s native multitouch support is the hardware.  There is currently a fairly limited choice of external displays that you can add to your setup to begin working with.  All of the displays work the same in that they connect to your computer via a standard display port (VGA, DVI, HDMI, etc) and then also connect via USB to supply the touch device.

3M has two option currently in the works.

3M Display M2256PW

The 22 inch M2256PW which is currently slated to be released sometime in April, or the 19 inch C1968PW, which may or may no longer be available any longer.  I have one on my desk, but can’t find anything on the 3M site at this time. This is my favorite display since it support up to 10 touch points and is the most responsive of all the displays.  The glass screen is pretty reflective, but can be corrected with an antiglare coating.  The other down side, is price the developer kit for the 19” is $1499.

So aside from the 3M display being expense and impossible to buy it would be my pick.  However, because of those challenges I’d like to mention a few other great options.

The next display I’d like to talk about is the 21.5 inch HP Compaq L2105tm


At $299.00 this is the best priced option available for multitouch.  It only supports two touch points and uses optical sensors in front of the glass.  This is the same technology that’s in the HP TouchSmart all in one systems.  The optical sensors can act a little wonky every now and then.  For example when rotating an image if your fingers cross the pass the beam then it can get confused with which finger is which.  Same is true if you put more then two fingers on the screen.  The HP supports VGA and DVI-D inputs.

The next display that I’ve found is the 21.5 inch Dell SX2210T


At $349.00 is a little bit more expensive then the HP, but it offers a few more features.  Unlike the HP, the Dell support HDMI along with the DVI-D and VGA.  It also has built in speakers, Microphone, Webcam and USB port hub.  From a value standpoint and as a replacement to an existing monitor I think the dell is a much better value.  The multitouch technology is the same optical sensor as in the HP.

Next up is the 23 inch Acer T230H


I haven’t had a chance to use this display yet, but it’s worth mentioning since it’s the largest available.  I found it for sale via Amazon for $378.00. No built in webcam or audio but it does support input from Analog (VGA), Digital (HDMI + DVI with HDCP).

So you’ve looked at all these options and you’re saying Ryan, I need something much bigger.  Well then there is an option for you.  Planer makes custom displays to order for your needs.  Go and check out their touchscreen technology option and have them build the display of your dreams.

Last but not least is a special shout out to Mimo monitors.  Their displays are not yet multitouch, but they are a true Windows touch based device and not a mouse input as many inferior products are.  If you just need to play around with single touch interface design then you can get one of their iMo Pivot Touch displays for only $179.99

There are also many great laptop and tablet PC option out there, but that’s another post.

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