5 Jun 2019

Capacitive vs. Resistive Touchscreens: What are the Differences?

Whenever you buy a touchscreen, it isn’t always advertised whether it’s a capacitive or a resistive touchscreen. Yet, touchscreens of both types are used throughout the electronics industry.

If you pay attention, you’ll notice the difference between the two screens. In the case of capacitive touchscreens, such as on very expensive smartphones and tablets, are very responsive to the slightest touch. Meanwhile, resistive touchscreens may require more pressure, or the use of a stylus.

The reason each type of touchscreen responds so differently is the underlying technology.

How Resistive Touchscreens Work

The resistive touchscreen has always been the most common type used in industrial electronics. This is mostly because they’re cheaper to make and are easier to use in difficult environments.

The technology relies on resistance, meaning the pressure that’s applied to the screen itself.

This type of touchscreen is created out of two very thin layers of material, separated by a thin gap. The top layer is typically some type of clear poly-carbonate material, while the bottom layer is made up of a rigid material.Manufacturers typically use PET film and glass for these layers.


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