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 Breeze All-In-One finished the test at 101 seconds, putting it among the fastest in the group. This, due primarily to the Intel D525 1.8 Ghz Dual Core processor with 2GB of memory. CPU utilization only reached 25% during the test.
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. Indeed, many were classified as “bench repair only,” which means that Nelson felt the units would be best serviced off-site by a bench technician. Others could be serviced on-site with minor considerations.
The Breeze, Nelson felt, could be serviced onsite with no difficulty. In fact, Nelson felt strongly enough about Touch Dynamic’s overall design to remark that they were one of three manufacturers that should “take a bow” for making the lives of VARs easier when it comes to onsite repairs.
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. The results showed that the Touch Dynamic model had issues keeping up with his finger’s movements. Investigation led Nelson to believe the lag was due to drivers.
The lesson here is you can sell your customers the best hardware and software, but if the OS and drivers aren’t properly configured, speeds will suffer. Ultimately, if manufacturers aren’t going to fine-tune the systems, it’s up to you as a VAR to step up on your customer’s behalf and learn how to make such changes. Whether such fiddling should be your responsibility or the manufacturer’s is another story.
Fit, Finish, Other Considerations
In the end, we asked Nelson to choose his top picks for many of the verticals VARs sell into today. While the unit can be used in many different applications, he felt the Touch Dynamic Breeze would be one of his choices for mom-and-pop retailers (where cost and basic needs win) and small grocery stores (where reliability and price are important).