Capacitive touch or Resistive touch?What is the best choice?


We all use touchscreens every day, it’s just so common, we don’t really pay much attention to it. Just think about it – you use it when you’re typing out a text message, when you’re getting cash from an ATM, and when you’re adjusting the temperature in the office.

You may have wondered what the difference is between a resistive and capacitive touchscreen. You may have questioned which one is best for your situation.

The three main components of every touch screen are:

  •        Touch sensor

  •        Controller

  •        Software driver

You can choose two versions from our website: the capacitive and resistive touch panel.

But first,let us understand the differences between the resistive touch screen and the capacitive touch screen.

The resistive touch panel

The history of resistive touch panels starts in the 1970s. For years, that was the most common touch input technology. But it wasn’t just the number of years the resistive touch panels had over capacitive ones – resistive technology is cheaper than capacitive.

As the name of the technology suggests – the resistance measurement is what detects the touch. The pressure on the screen translates directly to change in the Ohm value.

A resistive touch panel has several layers:

capacitive touch panel

The conductive layers of ITO or Indium Tin Oxide (see the image above) are separated by spacer dots – that prevents them from touching one another while the touch panel is not being used. When a finger touches the panel, that space disappears, the layers detect the resistance change, and the coordinates of the touch are calculated.

Advantages of  Resistive Touch Screen: 

  • The position of the touch is pretty accurate, which makes it good for handwriting recognition and similar usages.

  • Resistive touch panels are cleaner: since users most likely use stylus pen or other robust semi-sharp objects, there are less germs and skin grease on the touch panel.

  • Low cost

  • High resistance to dust and water


Disadvantages of  Resistive Touch Screen: 

  • The screen senses pressure, this may be a bit frustrating, since not every touch is going to be recognized, only the ones with enough pressure applied

  • Lower display quality: since light has to travel through two film layers, the light transmission is lower, which results in lower display quality

  • Not too sensitive,and force needed when you touch the screen

  • No possibility of multi-touch recognition.

  • The surface is easily scratched

The capacitive touch panel

Capacitive touch panel technology relies on the capacitance of the human body, and not on pressure like resistive technology. There are two types of capacitive touch panels – surface capacitive and projected.Both work on detecting the change of capacitance on the screen.

As you probably know, a thin glass surface covers capacitive touch screens. Under this glass surface, covered with a protective layer, lies a thin layer of electrodes. The electrodes on the corner of the panel provide the voltage for the thin film layer. When the finger touches the screen a small electrical charge is transferred to the finger, and the electrical circuit is complete. This creates a voltage drop on that part of the screen, and the touch is detected.

touch screen

Advantages of Capacitive Touch screen:

  • Good display quality:Capacitive touch screen looks brighter and sharper

  • Highly touch sensitivity and Accurate touch recognition,no force required

  • Supports multi-touch

  • No force required.

  • Long service life

Disadvantages of Capacitive Touch screen:

  • CTPs are usually a little bit more expensive than RTPs

  • Hygiene: since a full finger connection is needed, usually these types of screens are more stained and

    germ filled than capacitive ones


Next time when you’re starting a project, maybe you can check out this article. Think of what kind of environment the device will be in. If you are planning to use it in a more rugged, industrial setting, a resistive touch panel will work better, since you can use it with both gloved hands and a stylus.

If on the other hand, you’re planning the device for a more sophisticated application, a capacitive touch panel is our recommendation. With capacitive touch panels, multi-touch is not a problem, you can scroll with ease, and have excellent sensitivity.

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