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Does Everything Need a Touch Screen?

Even coffee makers are making like the iPhone and getting all touch-friendly. Lest we end up in a world of fingerprints and head-colds, it's worth asking: does everything that plugs into the wall need a touch screen?

Lexmark Interact printer

The latest case in point is Lexmark's new Interact printer, which has a little iPhone-sized touch screen build into its face. There, you can noodle your way between all the usual print-copy functions, and since it's a WiFi printer, you can also see the weather. And the answer here is most decidedly, yes: This is one case where touch can finally make a difference.

I have a Lexmark multi-function printer from last year; it feels as if it has 7,000 buttons on its face (and by printer standards, it's easy to use). This Interact printer, by contrast, presents its options neatly and readably, with dummy-proof icons and big gorgeous touch-surfaces. It's not very often you can get excited about a printer, but the Interact takes another iPhone cue: you can set up Web-enabled apps to automate your most common workflows.

Lexmark Interact printer

You can pick up an Interact for about $150 street price.