26
Oct 2018
by Andreas Köster

Multi-touch Table price – what costs to expect? [2022]

Multitouch table price - what is the cost of multitouch table

In showrooms, exhibitions and events, multi-touch tables are becoming an increasingly popular way of presenting companies and their products in an innovative and interactive way. But first, you may want to get an overview of the typical price range for multi-touch tables. How much should you budget for the hardware?

A multi-touch table can be a worthwhile investment. However, in order to be able to judge this, the cost – and whether it is reasonable in relation to the desired effects – is an essential metric.

Your initial online search has probably led you to the following conclusion: the market is confusing and definitive information on the prices of high quality multi-touch tables is not readily available online. In addition, the number of different technologies and configurations is seemingly endless.

What’s more, the price range for the hardware is extremely wide. At first glance, anything from €1,000 to €30,000 seems possible. You could contact each supplier individually and ask for a quote, or play an entertaining guessing game with your budget. However, the more sensible approach is to define your requirements first. Then focus your research on the criteria that will have a significant impact on price.

6 criteria that determine the price of a multi-touch table

Knowing the following aspects that are critical for the price of a multi-touch table will help you to better estimate the necessary budget.

1. Multi-touch screen size

Multitouch table price - inch size table

The bigger, the more expensive

Obviously, a 43″ screen that only allows a maximum of 2 people to work at the same time is less expensive than a 65″ screen that allows 4 or more people to work at the same time. 55″ screens offer the best value for money (in terms of size in inches and pixel density). The most affordable screens currently available on the market are made by the Japanese company Iiyama – prices start at less than €2,500 (before tax) for a basic Iiyama ProLite Multi-Touch Display” 55″ screen.

2. Screen resolution

Multitouch table price - resolution touchscreen

Aspire for UHD

We could go on and on about the relation between the pixel density of a multi-touch table and the typical viewing distance, but instead we are going to keep this short and sweet: Full HD monitors with a resolution of only 1,920 x 1,080 px are outdated and have been for some time. In short, the user sees the individual pixels. You should therefore focus your search on models with Ultra HD resolution (3,840 x 2,160 pixels).

3. Number of parallel touch inputs

Multitouch table price - number of touch points

The more complex the application, the greater the number of touch points required.

The number of possible parallel touch inputs that the tabletop can recognise and process is a crucial quality factor. Budget models with very low-cost sensors (such as the Iiyama models) can recognise around 15 touch inputs simultaneously. This may be enough for a simple application running on a relatively small screen, but not for four pairs of hands or capacitive object recognition. High-end quality sensors, such as those formerly produced by 3M, can recognise between 40 and 100 parallel touch inputs.

4. Integrated PC

Multitouch table price - integrated PC

Cut costs anywhere but here

With multi-touch tables, it’s the same as with any PC or laptop – it’s all about speed and reliability. There’s no bigger obstacle to an immersive experience than a “jerky” display or an application that crashes. The PC should have at least an i5 processor with plenty of RAM, an SSD hard drive and a dedicated graphics card. Beware of mini-PCs that are built into the screen itself, as they usually fall short of these requirements.

5. Table Corpus/Frame

Multitouch table price - table body design

How high do you want to set your design standards?

It’s the body or frame that turns a multi-touch screen into a multi-touch table. It unites the PC and the screen into an integrated interactive terminal. Aesthetic and practical aspects have to be carefully weighed: how exceptional and “beautiful” should the corpus look? How mobile and transportable does it need to be? In any case, the table must be stable, durable and free of visible cables. But remember: design is more than just a “nice to have”. In the end, it is the look that can attract many users. However, there is a price to pay and it depends mainly on the materials used. Common materials on the market are metal, MDF and Corian.

6. Customization and Service

Multitouch table price - service

How unique is your project?

There are both low-cost “off-the-shelf” multi-touch tables and expensive customised models (e.g. in terms of shape, colour, different object recognition technologies). Depending on the technologies used, a table can offer its users additional modes of interaction beyond the usual manual touch inputs. Your minimum customisation requirement should be that the table fits seamlessly into your corporate identity.

Service, on the other hand, is about your ease of planning and implementation and your satisfaction with the result. The decision depends on your own expertise: are you happy to take the hardware from the logistics company and assemble it yourself, or do you need professional on-site installation and training?

Of course, there are many more screws you can turn when it comes to hardware costs (e.g. 24/7 certification, screen contrast and brightness, glass quality). But for now, these 6 criteria will be useful in narrowing down the immense price range to a manageable size for budgeting purposes.

How much does a Multi-touch table cost?

Prices for a professional multi-touch table suitable for use in trade fair or business contexts usually are between 17,000 € and 25,000 € (before taxes). Hardware like this is built for 24/7 operation, so no unpleasant surprises are to be expected. Multi-touch tables beyond this price are typically highly individualized special orders, and cheaper models are viable options only for semi-professional use with low user‑frequency.

By the way: the price range mentioned above does not yet include the multi-touch software! Looking for suppliers who offer all-in-one packages including hardware and software may therefore be worthwhile in order to optimize the overall price-performance ratio. For you to be able to better assess the different multi-touch software providers, we have summed up the crucial criteria in this checklist .

Beware of “bargain” multi-touch table offers

If you look on the Chinese platform Alibaba.com, you will find multi-touch tables for €1,000 and in a supposedly “high quality”. However, these products only use the cheapest of all Full HD screens, which supposedly achieve a “4-carat resolution” through interpolation.

Sounds too good to be true. But it is: the touchscreens use outdated infrared (IR) technology, and the hardware looks and feels like it belongs to another era. If you want your company to look innovative, you would be well advised not to accept this offer.

Conclusion: You’re about to make a big investment. Treat it like one.

Before you embark on a challenging and probably overwhelming search, define your requirements and specifications as precisely as possible. Be aware that the decision to purchase a multi-touch table is an important investment in the future. The result should reflect your corporate identity and be an innovative and unique representative of your company. To achieve this goal, take the extra effort to seek professional advice beforehand and allow yourself enough time to make a decision.

If you find this article helpful, you will be surprised how much more useful you will find our personal and individual (and free) advice. We speak from experience and are happy to share it with you.

Download Our Free Whitepaper

If you are currently planning a multi-touch table project, our Whitepaper “Multi-Touch Table – 8 steps toward a successful project” supports you in that endeavor. Useful checklists and instructions guide you through the process, starting with conceptualization over hardware and software selection to an intelligent Content Management.

Infographic: Multi-touch table price

Multitouch Tisch Preis Infografik

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