What's a Touch PC?
Also known as a terminal or an all-in-one, a touch PC is a variation on a desktop computer. Touch PCs include all of the traditional elements of a desktop with the addition of a touch screen monitor. Touch PCs run your POS system and are effectively the most important part of your system.
What are the minimum specs for a Touch PC?
Your POS software determines the minimum computing specifications you need. We recommend having at least 4GB of RAM and at least a 1.8GHz processor. As you increase the number of POS stations at your business, you'll also want to increase the processing power of your Touch PC. We recommend at least a 2.0GHz processor for the server station if three or more stations are located at the same store (the server station is the POS station that houses your database and acts as a server for the other terminals).
Why do prices vary so much?
Prices can vary significantly based on name brand (as with anything) and, even more importantly, computing power. If a price looks too good to be true, double check the computer's specs and make sure they meet the minimum requirements of the software. Another huge difference can be found between commercial grade products and consumer grade products. POS systems are meant to be used in a harsh environment. Have you ever seen a bartender enter an order while patrons scream at him? He doesn't use his touchscreen gently. Consumer grade touchscreens are much cheaper, but do not withstand the daily requirements of a point of sale. We never recommend consumer grade touchscreens.
What about the monitors themselves? Do I need a touchscreen or could I use a mouse?
Your touchscreen effectively functions as a giant mouse by allowing you to point and click (i.e., touch). The biggest advantage of the touchscreen itself is that it allows for a faster workflow. With most software platforms, order entry is significantly more efficient and quicker with a touchscreen. In fact, these programs are designed specifically to be used with touchscreens - for example, they often include large buttons that are easily pressed. There are, however, some software programs that include small buttons and dropdown menus and function better with a traditional mouse.
There are several different types of touch technology on the market, and if you've ever used a POS system, you'll quickly notice that the screen is different than your iPhone. This is because POS systems typically use resistive technology, which basically means the monitor is covered with pressure sensitive film (iPhones on the other hand respond to changes in electrical current, not pressure, which is why you can't operate your phone with gloves on).
Are there any substitutes for a Touch PC?
We also occasionally sell a traditional desktop PC bundled with a separate touch monitor. This is a more cost effective solution, but we don't necessarily like it as much. Touch PCs are designed for commerical environments and are slightly more rugged than traditional towers.