We have previously posted an in depth technical post comparing Capacitive Vs. Resistive Touchscreens. The following video shows clearly the differences in real world use scenarios including pouring water onto the screens.
The effect of water on the two touchscreen options available on our 8 inch IP65 Windows Tablet is striking and of course would quickly determine resistive touch as the appropriate choice if you are working in wet conditions. Equally if you are working with thick gloves or if you prefer to work with a stylus, perhaps for greater touch accuracy, then again resistive will be the clear choice.
Your users are however a very important factor in technology decisions as acceptance is a major factor and rightly so. Due to the huge rise in consumer use of smartphones, the majority of users are now more familiar with the capacitive experience and are touch-interface savvy. This had been a gradual shift since the launch of the iPhone which has popularised smartphones but more specifically capacitive touch screens. Previously smartphones were the reserve of businessmen and specialist industrial devices but always with a resistive screen and most typically accompanied with a physical stylus. Because of this consumer shift, most people now use the pad of their index finger when touching a touchscreen rather than the tip and do so quite softly in expectation of a response. This leads some users to feel that a resistive screen isn’t responsive. Thus in dry/indoor use when gloves are not being used, capacitive is likely to be a more popular choice amongst users simply due to familiarity.
If you’re not sure which type of touch screen is right for you please get in contact to discuss this further. Rarely does a single device model offer the choice of different touch screens so your device choice may not be lead primarily by this feature but if it is then it will narrow down your choices which in some instances can be very helpful.