Sure, just because you use Windows 8 doesn’t mean you need to purchase a touch display, but it does make the whole experience a bit more intuitive. Manufacturers have caught on to that, releasing their own touch displays to match the touch-friendly OS. Dell’s P2314T is one such offering, touting a 23-inch Full HD display up front, and a slew of connection ports at the back.
Design-wise, the P2314T differs from the rest of Dell’s offerings, with an adjustable easel-like stand compared to the usual base-and-neck setup. The adjustable stand opens up the display to a variety of usage scenarios. If you’re standing and the monitor is on a desk, then you can let it lie almost flat horizontally for easy operation with minimal elbow and wrist movement. And yes, it can also default to your standard upright position. If you don’t fancy the stand, you can unscrew them and use your own VESA-compatible mount. Considering that a lot of touch displays lack VESA compatibility, I’d say that’s a pretty nice touch.
And now, we proceed to the business end. The P2314T features a 23-inch touch display with a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The IPS LED display, like all IPS displays, has a wide viewing angle of 178 degrees. This means that your image won’t suffer from discolouration if you so much as move your head slightly, which is a common problem in TN panels. The P2314T supports 10-point multitouch, so all you able-bodied, 10-finger-owning lot can go wild. Just keep a cleaning cloth handy to wipe the grease and smudges away. The bezel is a bit too large for my taste, but that’s a minor niggle.
In terms of connectivity, the P2314T hides all its ports at the back, facing downward. This arrangement makes installing the monitor a pain, as you need to lift the monitor (stand and all) to plug your cables to it. The problem is non-existent if you use an alternate mount, but for the majority of consumers, this is not very user-friendly. Display connectors include VGA, HDMI and DisplayPort, and there is a lone USB upstream port, and a pair of USB downstream ports. Touch functionality requires the USB connection, so do take note of that. The power jack connects to a small external power brick, which then goes to your typical 3-pin socket.
After connecting it to the testbed, I played several media files of differing resolutions, and tried using the display for some basic Windows 8 navigation. Playing 1080p movies on the display is, quite frankly, fantastic. Colours are a bit muted, especially when compared to flagship smartphone displays, but it is more comfortable to look at, which is important when it comes to larger displays. Touch functionality is generally solid, with some slight hiccups when accessing the Charms Bar, but that is easily remedied with some practice.
To sum it up, if you’re looking to purchase a touch-capable display to complement your Windows 8 setup, this might do just the trick.