The difference between the touchscreen and an LCD screen

hands_no_qm_1_small_1A touchscreen is an electronic input device that the user can control with single or multi-touch gestures. The touchscreen enables the user to interact directly with what is being displayed, rather than using a mouse, touchpad, or any other intermediate device.

Some touchscreens can be controlled by fingers; others may require the use of gloves with a particular type of coating, or the use of a special stylus pen.

The touchscreen prototype was developed in 1977 by Ben Stumpe, a Danish electronics engineer. Multi-touch technology development began in 1982, when the University of Toronto’s Input Research Group introduced the first human-input multi-touch system. It was using a glass panel with a camera placed behind the glass. Later, in 1985, the University of Toronto group including Bill Buxton developed a multi-touch tablet that used capacitance rather than bulky camera-based optical sensing systems.

Nowadays, touchscreen devices have established themselves as an industry standard for most smartphones, tablets and a large fraction of laptops. Most households will have at least one device with a touchscreen, and our customers are no exception.

As a result of the wide popularity, these screens brake on an occasion. What many users fail to take into the consideration, is that the touchscreen and the actual LCD screen are two independent parts.

So:

Touchscreen (AKA digitizer) is the thin transparent layer of plastic, which reads the signal from the touch and transports it to the processing unit. It is the part that you can touch without disassembling the device.

LCD screen is the panel that is inside the device, which displays the image. You can not get to the LCD without taking the device apart first.

When only the touch screen is broken, you should still see what is happening on the screen, and the screen should still function as normal.

When only the LCD is broken, you can still use the touchscreen, but the panel will have dark blobs or spiderweb-looking cracks (or both).

When both LCD and touchscreen are damaged, you may still be able to use portions of the touchscreen, and some parts of the LCD may display the image, but you will incur obvious difficulties in using the device as normal.

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18 Comments

  1. Sam Hicks

    I broke my screen Sunday evening and it is the last week before exams. I received my screen in one day and had it in and my laptop up and running in twenty minutes. I will recommend you guys to everybody! Thanks for the save! Sam I Be

    1. LaptopScreen.com

      Thank you Sam! We do appreciate and thank you for your business.

  2. Peter Holeczek

    Got my screen in the mail today. It arrived within 48 hours after ordering. After watching the instruction video on my spare monitor, it took less than 20 minutes to replace and fire up. Excellent service and support. I thought I would need to replace my laptop, so I saved a bundle. I am almost 70 and living on a small pension, so thanks a lot.
    You guys should be proud. You run your business very well.

    1. LaptopScreen.com

      Thank you Peter! We are certainly happy to hear the repair was a breeze for you. Hope you won’t need to, but if the laptop breaks again, we hope to be able to help you!

  3. Ronald W Hill

    Excellent service, fast delivery, great product! I used UPS 2 Day Priority mail and received my laptop screen 2 1/2 days after ordering it. Easy replacement in about 20 minutes. I ordered the matte screen to replace the original glossy one after it was cracked in an accident. I love that it is easier to see without distracting reflections. I would recommend LaptopScreen.com to anyone who has a broken screen#

  4. Roger

    Hi! Great information! I have an Asus Zenbook UX31E-XH71. I love the computer, but I tend to use it in odd places like in the car, on the couch, in the bed, etc. Unfortunately, I bought it about a year before they made a touch screen version. I would like to convert the screen to the touch version. Can you tell me what parts I would need? I think I only need a digitizer. The computer has Windows 7 Pro with the Microsoft Pen and Touch feature. Thanks!!

  5. Rick

    I have a new Dell Inspiron i15RVT-6143BLK with cracked touch screen. Is there anything special about ordering a new screen? Is there any difference for a touch screen or is it the same as a non-touch screen replacement? I think it is an LCD display. Thanks

    1. LaptopScreen.com

      Rick, the LCD and the touchscreen are two entirely separate pats. Please see this article for more information.

  6. Pingback: WHAT TOUCHSCREENS DO WE SELL AT LAPTOPSCREEN.COM? | Blog.LaptopScreen.com

  7. bushra

    My tablet screen is broke and touch system is dead but image is clear whether I change only touch system or LCD

    1. LaptopScreen.com

      If the image is clear, you only need to replace the touchscreen component.

  8. Pingback: A LIMITED AMOUNT OF TOUCHSCREENS FOR SELECT LAPTOP MODELS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE. | Blog.LaptopScreen.com

  9. Dennis

    Hi there,

    I’ve got a question about my hp elitebook folio 1040 g3, it came with a Full hd (1080p) display but has no touch. So if i would just buy a LCD digitiser that would make it a touchscreen display or is it much more complicated then that?

    Thanks in advance

    Dennis

  10. Michelle

    Hi! I have a touchscreen laptop and I dropped it on one of the corners. The screen cracked around the surrounding black portion of the screen. One of the cracks extends from the top cracked corner to the bottom corner towards the keyboard on the same side about 1/6 of the screen. Only that portion of the screen seems to be acting up. The touch screen does not respond under and around the cracked area. The picture is not distorted at all, but at times if I move the laptop, the screen will select/touch on its own as if I was selecting using my fingers (on the cracked side). I was reading wonderful reviews of your site while searching for answers and wondered if you could help me find a solution. I am a college student and cannot afford to replace my computer for several years. Can the screen be replaced? What all needs to be replaced? I was reading your article about touchscreen vs LCD screen. What do I need to replace? What is the cost? Can I do that, or can you replace it for me? Please tell me there is a solution other than replacing my laptop.
    Thank you so very much,
    Michelle

  11. John Davenport

    Hello
    My lapotp digitizer screen has a small crack at the top so it does not work. Possible to remove the digitizer screen and still use the laptop? Maybe they are fused together? Not having touch is okay with me, I just want to use my laptop with my mouse or trackpad.

    Thanks

    John

  12. Nella

    My daughter dropped her laptop. The touch screen (the actual digitizer screen) cracked, for the first couple days, it seemed fine. The touch feature just would not work around the cracked areas. However, after those first couple of days, her screen started going wonky and jumping around everywhere.
    So we replaced the screen itself. But now that we have a clear picture, the display is still jumping all over the place, sometimes it’s like phantom clicks, but yet, if you use the touchscreen, it doesn’t register and does nothing. Also, the color has a blue tint all over it. If I press down in a certain area, it goes to normal. Other then the touch not working, color and jumping around, the display is clear.

    Does she need a new LED screen?

  13. Rohan

    hey plz help me…my phones screen is broken…touch is OK..but my display have lines and some part of my display has become whie…whether i can repair my display at home or not

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