Panel PC or micro/nano/pico ITX with touch monitor?


Thread Starter

Ken E


Many may have seen my postings related to operator interface/HMI options. We have decided to go with a PC based touchscreen which opens up a lot of options and seems to be the lowest common denominator in performance and compatibility. We will be programming it with C# and windows forms so we don't need any software compatibility besides having a version of embedded windows and the .NET runtime installed.

We have looked at the usual suspects for panel PCs from various vendors and although price isn't paramount, we are not looking to spend much over $1000 on a celeron or Atom based processor panel PC in the 10", 12, 15" size range. I don't want the bottom of the barrel either, quality and consistency are important. Spending $2k - $4k on an "industrial panel PC" is just not going to happen though.

Anyone have a source for Panel PCs that offer decent cost, medium performance, and quality/consistency? I think we would be well served with a high end Atom dual core processor or a low end mobile processor in the 2Ghz range.

Alternatively I have been contemplating buying a mini or pico ITX system with a high end Atom or equivalent processor and a separate touchscreen monitor. This may allow us to get the best of both worlds, an upgradeable processor box, and a mid level touch monitor (Elo, etc) that we don't have to replace until it fails. It means packaging a separate box and desktop P.S., I've seen these for under $300 with a decent dual core Atom CPU, memory, and power supply.

If we end up going with a 15" monitor Elo makes a nice mobile celeron based panel PC for just a little over $1000 (They also have an Atom, but it is one of the lower end ones). I've had good luck with their monitors, don't know about the Panel PCs. Their all glass surface acoustic wave screens are nice and robust, albeit a bit heavy.

I'd appreciate any input from the community at large. There are almost too many options in this arena and prior experience would be appreciated.

I've used quite a few units from and been quite happy with price and performance. You can see one being used with a .NET application in this video: