Comparing Capacitive and Resistive Touchscreens


Not all touchscreens are created equal. Learn the difference between resistive touch technology and capacitive touch technology to make sure you’re buying the right stylus.

Device Tech 101: Capacitive versus Resistive Touchscreens

Cellular phones. iPads. PDAs. There’s little doubt–tomorrow’s technology is getting smaller and going mobile. That said, you should know that not all touchscreens are created equal. Learn the difference between capacitive touch technology and resistive touch technology to make sure you’re buying the right custom stylus pen for your mobile device.

The Capacitive Touchscreen

  • A capacitive touchscreen panel consists of an insulator such as glass, coated with a transparent conductor
  • Touching the surface of the screen results in a distortion of the screen’s electrostatic field
  • You need a special capacitive stylus, or a promotional stylus tipped with some form of conductive material
  • Capacitive touchscreens are more expensive to manufacture and offer a significantly lesser degree of precision

The Resistive Touchscreen

  • A resistive touchscreen panel comprises several layers, the most important of which are two thin, transparent electrically-resistive layers separated by a thin space
  • When an object, such as a fingertip or stylus tip, presses down on the outer surface, the two layers touch to become connected at that point
  • A major benefit of resistive touch technology is its low cost
  • Disadvantages include the need to press down, and a risk of damage by sharp objects

So What’s the Bottom Line?

Make sure you’re buying the right stylus. Check out InkHead Promotional Products wide variety of personalized stylus pens and our stylus compatibility filter. Still not sure? Give one of our promotions experts a call and they’ll make sure you get the right component for your mobile technology. It’s just that simple. Stylus pens are subject to availability and may not be in stock at the time of your order. Please call 800-554-0127 between 9 AM and 8 PM ET Monday through Friday to confirm stock is available.
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