A Guide to Touchscreens, Keypads, and Performance

A Guide to Touchscreens, Keypads, and Performance

As the cornerstone of modern inventory and data management, RF (Radio Frequency) Terminals stand as silent sentinels of efficiency and productivity. At Intermax, we recognize that selecting the right RF Terminal involves peering beneath the surface.

From processing prowess to touchscreen finesse, these devices are more than what they appear to be. Let’s delve into the nuances of touchscreens versus keypads, as well as the spectrum that spans from budget to high-end devices, to empower you with the knowledge needed for a wise investment in your operational success.

The Brain and Brawn: Processor Speed and Memory

Processor Speed

The processor is the heart of an RF Terminal’s operational speed. High-end models sprint through tasks with high-speed processors, minimizing wait times and maximizing efficiency. Budget devices may have less horsepower under the hood, which can become apparent in demanding situations.

Memory Capacity

Memory is the canvas on which your data is painted. Higher memory equates to more applications and data being managed simultaneously. While budget terminals may have smaller “canvases,” premium devices offer expansive memory, akin to a vast mural accommodating intricate details of your operations.

Visual Clarity and Durability: Screen Resolution and Construction

Screen Resolution

The resolution of an RF Terminal’s screen impacts user readability and interaction quality. High-end terminals boast crisp displays, while budget versions might offer less visual clarity, affecting user efficiency, especially in detail-oriented tasks.

Robust Construction

Construction varies widely, from lightweight models for gentle environments to rugged terminals designed for the battlefield of industrial activity. The investment in durability translates directly to longevity and reliability in the field.

touchscreens pros and cons

The Interaction Spectrum: Touchscreens vs. Keypads


Touchscreen technology represents a move towards versatility and ease of use. High-end touchscreens offer responsiveness and clarity, even under rough use or when wearing gloves. They typically feature more durable glass and better touch sensitivity.


Intuitive use, reflecting the widespread familiarity with smartphones;

Easy to clean, essential in environments that require strict hygiene; and


Potentially less tactile feedback compared to physical keys, which can be a downside in certain operational settings; and

High-quality touchscreens can be more expensive, potentially increasing the upfront cost.

Budget vs. High-End Touchscreens

Budget touch screens may be less responsive and can suffer from visibility issues under various lighting conditions. In contrast, premium touchscreens maintain performance with higher resolution and better sensitivity, crucial for intensive tasks and environments.


Physical keypads offer a tactile experience that many users find reliable and fast for data entry, especially when wearing gloves or when tactile feedback is necessary for accuracy.


Tactile feedback for users who rely on touch to ensure accurate data entry;

Less prone to errors in high-activity environments where touchscreens may lead to accidental presses; and

Often more rugged and capable of withstanding harsh environments.


Can be more challenging to clean, with crevices that may harbor dirt and germs; and

Generally less flexible than touchscreens for dynamic software interfaces.

Key pad failures result in the device not useable

Weight of the units much heavier than non keypad units

Familiarization with different keypad devices for functions keys slows productivity

Where to be Cautious

When selecting between touch screens and keypads, consider the environment and the type of data entry required. For example, if users must enter data while wearing heavy gloves, a physical keypads or a high-end responsive touch screen would be necessary.

Scanner Performance: The Eye That Never Sleeps

The performance of the integrated scanner is paramount. From extra long range (10+ m) to standard range (1-2 m) – knowing where you intend to use the scanner is paramount to the right scanner selection.

High-end terminals effortlessly decode barcodes from various distances and conditions, while budget options may only perform well with clean, well-oriented barcodes. 

The Right Terminal for Your Business

Budget RF Terminals

Ideal for small operations and light use, budget RF Terminals can be the stepping stone for businesses exploring automation. Great for office use or in carpeted areas these are an economical option.

Mid-Range RF Terminals

These are the workhorses, suitable for businesses with moderate use, providing a balanced feature set at a reasonable cost.

High-End Professional RF Terminals

The pinnacle of performance, these terminals are designed for businesses where efficiency and uptime are critical, with features that justify the investment. Robust construction comes with a drop rating onto concrete ensuring the long life span of your investment.

At Intermax, our goal is to demystify the process of choosing the right RF Terminal. We understand that whether it’s the sharpness of a screen, the resilience of a keypad, or the swiftness of a processor, every detail contributes to a symphony of productivity.

Let us help you orchestrate the perfect balance of features for a performance that elevates your business operations to new heights.

for more information, contact intermax today! cta button

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