When it comes to the world of computers, one can easily get confused about the best product to buy. This is attributed to the fact that technology is quickly advancing and the tech features of one product differ from that of the other. Unless you are tech savvy, it can be really hard to pick on the best panel PC for your exact purpose in the market.
Even when you are buying the traditional computer or laptop, there are things that you need to consider and the choice will depend on what you intend to use it for. Such considerations include the operating system, size of the screen, the brand and the peripherals among others.
A panel PC is more than just a normal PC because it has more tech features than that of a traditional desktop computer. This is the reason why it is preferably used in an environment that is highly automated, industrial settings and a variety of Human Machine Interface (HMI) applications.
So, now that you have decided to upgrade your system, what are the things that you should know about panel PCs?
Panel PCs can be actively cooled or fanless
Depending on the place where you are going to use your panel PC, it is important to know that debris, dirt, chemicals, dust, moisture and other substances can get into the system and cause failure after sometime. This is usually the case in industrial or outdoor environments whereby substances can easily enter into the system through the vents during active cooling.
If you intend to use your PC in indoor environments without many contaminants, you may go for a panel PC with active cooling. Otherwise, you will need to invest in a fanless panel PC that is properly sealed to avoid frequent maintenance issues.
Panel PCs are available in two touchscreen options: resistive and conductive
Another distinguishing feature of panel PCs offer is the ability to function as a desktop computer yet offer a user-friendly tech in form of a touchscreen. However, the choice of the touchscreen tech that you will choose depends on where you intend to use your panel PC. This is because the two are different in terms of how they detect input whereby resistive uses the pressure that is exerted by the finger upon touching the screen while the capacitive uses an electrostatic field.
Practically, this difference means that resistive touchscreens are best suited for industrial setting where users wear gloves and exert more pressure on the screen while capacitive touchscreens are suited for settings that require accuracy and little touch pressure.
Panel PCs come in a variety of sizes and mounting options
Will your panel PC be mounted on a wall or panel, affixed to a stand or embedded within an enclosure? It is good that panel PCs come in a variety of sizes but the size that you need may be limited by the location and whether it will be mounted or not.
There are solid state and hard drive panel PCs
Given that it has no moving parts; SSDs can withstand frequent power cycling, vibrations and shock especially in an industrial environment than hard drive PCs.
The IP rating of a panel PC is important
IP or ingress protection rating indicates the effectiveness of a panel PC in sealing out solid and liquid ingress. The highest rating for solids is 6 while that of liquids is 8 and the best overall rating would have to be IP68.
Understanding panel PCs will enable you to choose the one with the best tech features for your purpose and ensure a good return on your investment.