Monday, 8 December 2014

HDMIPi now working, and some further PiTouch Comparisons

My HDMIPi is now working - the board needed replacing. Thanks to the guys for the excellent support.

So, how do they compare?

The screen on the HDMIPi advertises itself as full HD (1920x1080) on my Mac, but according to the spec on the kickstarter site is 1280x800. The PiTouch is also 1280x800. TBH, whichever resolution they are is irrelevant at these pixel densities. I can scale either to match the other and can't see the pixels either way. The quality of the picture on the displays is similar, though the perspex(?) cover on the HDMIPi detracts very slightly from it. Definitely not a problem right now, though.

The extra screen size on the PiTouch (10" vs 9") is quite nice for my mostly text-based work. And it doesn't add too much bulk because the bezel is a little slimmer. It is a little bigger though, but by less than you would expect.

The buttons are much nicer on the PiTouch, as is the case, though the actual screen is a little more exposed - inevitable, I guess, since it is a touch screen. It seems strong enough to resist scratches, but I'm going to be careful with it. Overall, the whole package of the PiTouch is more professional. It's also quite nice that it comes ready assembled for people with limited time or manual dexterity.

The HDMIPi is able to use a more standard USB power supply, which is nice for portability, but needs a separate stand. The PiTouch has a kickstand built-in. The PiTouch's built-in speakers and USB hub are also nice touches.

The HDMIPi allows you to store the Pi inside the case but the PiTouch mounts it outside on the kickstand. But keep an eye out for the campaign if you are interested because I believe that there are plans for a version which integrates the Pi more completely.

Feel free to post questions here if you are considering the PiTouch and I'll do my best to answer them.

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At 25 December 2014 at 01:51 , Blogger Screwball Rave Comedies said...

hello, thank you for sharing this information. since you asked for it then i have a bunch of questions for you. =)
what software and/or drivers did you install in order to work pitouch on mac?
did you need to do something extra in order to use multi touch functionality and multi touch gestures?
did you experienced any lags or crashes?
what is your opinion about the latency?
also do you think is it possible to use pitouch as a primary monitor on a mac mini or mac pro?
thank you

At 25 December 2014 at 21:21 , Blogger Tim Wentford said...

The only driver I needed was for the touch. I got it from here: . As a monitor, it worked out of the box - no special software required.
I just realised that I haven't tried multi-touch on the Mac. I'll try and get around to it later. I usually have an app which displays the status of our system running on the PiTouch and that doesn't have any need of multi-touch.
No lags. Some screen resolutions have a bit of noise on which I think will be addressed in the next firmware. I only noticed because I was forcing other screen resolutions to compare with the HDMIPi.
There is no latency, AFAICT. It's a straight HDMI feed so it seems as fast as any other monitor. There were small lags when I tried it out with a DisplayLink adapter from a USB port - but that was entirely down to the DisplayLink software and nothing to do with the PiTouch.
The mac gui is not really designed for that size screen so some of the icons and text are a bit small for use as a primary monitor. Selecting lower resolution on the display options in the Mac increases the sizes of things, but then you run out of space quite quickly. It's definitely possible, but I don't think I would like to use it as my only monitor - but only because of it's size, functionally it's fine. Note also that the touch would normally be too imprecise for the tiny targets you'd get on a Mac, so you'd need a mouse/touchpad. Something like Android, which is designed for touch, would work fine.
Note though that I generally have two 24" monitors as my primary workspace. A single 10" monitor can't really compete :).

At 26 December 2014 at 01:34 , Blogger Screwball Rave Comedies said...

Thank you for your fast answer. I will definitely buy one of PiTouch for a live music project to run with a mac mini as a primary monitor. I will be using whole system just to run one standalone dsp software which will start fullscreen on login. Dsp software itself has a fine designed gui and it is very likely to use it full functional via touch screen. But i will be stashing a touchpad within the system as you advised. Please let me know about multi touch stability on mac.


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