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It's hard to predict the kind of pounding that a device might have to withstand once it's deployed in the field. That's especially true when they're destined to be touched by humans, as are kiosks, interactive exhibits or touch-screen input systems. Equally difficult to guess are the types of materials that people might use as a pointing device.
Addressing all of these challenges are the Interactive Digital Signage (IDS) touch displays from Tyco Electronics' Elo TouchSystems business. The company sent a sample of its newly expanded product line to the CRN Test Center, and testers were impressed with its ruggedness and suitability to task.
The first thing we noticed about the 3200L IntelliTouch Plus was how heavy it was for a 32-inch monitor. The unit itself, which lists for $1,604, weighs 53 pounds without the optional desktop stand. Its hefty weight is offset by sturdy carrying handles placed at the top of the unit's rear panel. The desktop stand kit includes a pair of rubber-bottomed steel legs that screw onto the back panel; they also can be bolted onto the mounting surface. List price: $193; additional weight: more than 12 pounds. Together they make one heavy-duty display.
Then there's the PC plug-in module. Tyco sent its high-end model, which is built around a 3.0-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (model E8400) processor running 32-bit Windows 7. Its peak Geekbench 2.1.11 score of 3328 ranked well on the all-time list of similarly equipped machines. Better than its performance was its easy installation. The aluminum-clad box slid on track-like guides into an opening on the monitor's back side and required no further finagling. Listing for $1,043, the PC module powers up from the same control as the monitor, which is tucked away under the bezel's bottom right side and shrouded in rubber. That's also where the unit's power LED is located.
Also nearby and further toward the back are the 3200L's input ports, which include HDMI and VGA, COM and audio in/out. As such, they're somewhat hard to get to from the front. That's intentional, of course, as the device is not designed to be serviced by its intended user. There's also a port for the OSD remote-control, which we didn't receive but would have liked to test. Because testing the OSD with controls we couldn't see from the front led us to accidentally press the power button a few times. The OSD also can be controlled through the serial port, and the company said it is enhancing its remote control capabilities, but would not comment further.