When it comes to retail, restaurant, and grocery IT, no system is as crucial as the point of sale. While margins have eroded over the years, and there’s been outside pressure from tablets and similar mobile technologies, the time-tested POS continues to stand as the primary customer payment and interaction device. With that importance in mind, Business Solutions teamed with Greg Nelson, VP and CTO of Genesis POS, to test 10 all-in-one units from a variety of leading manufacturers. The goal: to arm you with the information you need to either confirm your existing product line or shorten your time of evaluating new products.
All-In-One Speed Test: More Than Just Hardware
One of the most significant ways you can help your customers is by enabling them to churn through patrons. That is, your customers need technology that’s going to keep the checkout lines moving quickly and efficiently. Therefore, testing the processing capabilities of the POS units was something we definitely wanted to do.
Of course, if every manufacturer was able to exactly meet our specs, this comparison test might produce exactly the same speeds and prove to be a wasted effort. As it would turn out, we received a variety of slightly different configurations, which yielded some surprising results. The PartnerTech unit finished our speed test in 180 seconds. During the testing, the CPU maxed out at just 24%.
Note that despite our efforts to get units with 2 GB of memory installed, the PartnerTech came with just 1 GB. To see how big a factor memory was in the testing, Nelson added memory to the unit and removed memory from others. He found that in some cases the extra gigabyte of memory yielded a 50% increase in speed. As you’ll see later, memory also affected touch screen testing. Therefore, we concluded that extra RAM is a must and a great upsell opportunity.
The ability of VARs or even your customers to easily service the terminals also played a factor in our testing. Nelson found the units to fall across a spectrum of serviceability ease. As far as the PartnerTech unit was concerned, the VAR felt that while field servicing could take place, a bench repair was your best bet.
Touch Screen Testing
The part of the POS system your customers are going to experience most often is the touch screen. For that reason, we wanted to see how the screens responded to the most basic of tests. Nelson opened Windows’ Paint application on each unit and dragged his finger to create a line. Additionally, he performed a series of gestures where he tapped his finger around the screen.
The results of this test were either pass or fail. In the event of “fail,” Nelson tried to understand why the unit was struggling to keep up with touch gestures.
The results showed that the PartnerTech unit had issues keeping up with his finger’s movements. Nelson blamed low memory (1 GB) for the sub-standard performance.