Touch screens too costly for enterprise, says HP


HP believes that the cost of high-precision touch screen technology is still too high for deployment within the enterprise

The PC manufacturer's forthcoming HP Z1 All-in-One Workstation will not include touch-screen technology, suggesting that Windows 7 Professional is likely to remain the de-facto operating system for many enterprise users.

Jim Zafarana, vice president and general manager for the HP Workstations global business, told IT Pro that the technology is just not affordable yet.

"The business user needs a professional touch experience and the market is not quite ready to have the precision pen and multi-touch in an affordable package," he said at the launch of the HP Z1 series.

"We're looking to incorporate the technology into our long-term roadmap when there is an acceptable price-point for customers."

With Windows 8 widely tipped to launch later this year, there is no word yet on the types of enterprise-class devices that will be offered. However, it is likely that business specific systems with touch-screen functionality are going to be significantly more expensive than the 1340 base price of the HP Z1.

However, Zafarana did not rule out Z1 users upgrading to Windows 8, noting that the workstation has an ability to support a secondary display that could theoretically support touch functionality.

Microsoft has also claimed that the Metro interface on Windows 8 can be used with a traditional mouse, and there is no requirement for a touch screen.

The HP Z1 is set to start shipping in April. Users will be able to pre-configure units with costs ranging from 1349 to 2000. The design of the system also means that IT admins can carry out tool-less upgrades to help increase the longevity of the device.

The Z1 is set to be powered by Intel's eight-core Xeon processors, come with NVIDIA GPUs, enterprise SSDs, ECC memory and a 27-inch, 2560 x 1440 resolution IPS display.

Khidr Suleman is the Technical Editor at IT Pro, a role he has fulfilled since March 2012. He is responsible for the reviews section on the site  - so get in touch if you have a product you think might be of interest to the business world. He also covers the hardware and operating systems beats. Prior to joining IT Pro, Khidr worked as a reporter at Incisive Media. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.