Difference between Resistive Touch Screen and Capacitive Touch Screen

This page compares Resistive Touch Screen vs Capacitive Touch Screen and mentions difference between Resistive Touch Screen and Capacitive Touch Screen including their advantages and disadvantages.

A touch screen is video display with embedded touch sensors. The screen is used as pointing device like mouse and trackpad. Touch screen reports position as well as pressure. Touch screens are widely used in smartphones, tablets, photocopiers and laptops. Two major versions used widely are resistive touch screen and capacitive touch screen.

Resistive Touch Screen

Resistive Touch Screen Panel

• Resistive technology senses pressure and hence allows items other than finger to activate the touch; even gloved hand will work. It requires harder contact with touch panel and hence stylus responds more accurately.
• It is very useful for handwriting recognition with a stylus.
• It can operate at any level of humidity.
• Resistive touch panel is made of several layers. When you press down onto the touch panel with finger or stylus, the top layer flexes and pushes back onto a layer behind it. This will complete the circuit and tell the controller which part of the panel is being pressed.

Capacitive Touch Screen

Capacitive Touch Screen Panel

• It is extremely durable and hence withstands water, dust and grease.
• It will activate with either bare finger or capacitive stylus.
• It supports I2C interface and multi-touch support.
• These panels are made of insulator which is coated with transparent conductor. These panels consist of glass as insulator coated in Indium Tin Oxide (ITO). Human body acts as electrical conductor and distorts electrostatic field of the touch screen. This distortion is read by controller of the touch screen panel based on program or code. As a result display will respond accordingly.
• The grid pattern on the conductive layer is either created by etching on either a single layer of a conductive layer or by etching parallel lines on two separate perpendicular layers of conductive layers.

Following table summarizes difference between Resistive Touch Screen and Capacitive Touch Screen types.

Features Resistive Touch Screen Capacitive Touch Screen
Construction -As explained above- -As explained above-
Sensitiveness Not much sensitive More sensitive
Input Requires stylus instead of finger Does not require stylus and finger is enough
Multi-touch support It does not support multi-touch. It supports multi-touch.
Displayed image Poor contrast Brighter and sharper, high clarity and resolution
Cost Cheaper Expensive
Damage Flexible membrane is vulnerable to damage from sharp objects Glass is more prone to breaking and hence requires tempered glass as touch screen protector.

Also refer advantages and disadvantages of resistive touch screen >> and capacitive touch screen >>.

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