Touchscreen vs. Button: Which Chartplotter Type is Best for You?

  Georgie Girl HelmWith so many mainstream electronics utilizing touchscreens these days, it’s easy to see the appeal in having the marine electronics installed on a boat use a touchscreen as well.  With many units offering easy scrolling and pinch-to-zoom capabilities, the touchscreen has brought a new level of control to the helm.  Yet, there is still a strong contingent of boaters and anglers that prefer to have a button interface.   Both provide the same information and benefits but vary slightly in the way you interact with the chartplotter.


The touchscreen brings unprecedented levels of control to your fingertips by easily accessing the information you need most from your chartplotter.  Pinch-to-zoom has become a common feature and a recognizable term with most of our modern technology and allows you to quickly zoom to whatever data or information that you want to focus on.  It also brings a new level of ease to scrolling and customization, providing for a very user-friendly experience.  We offer various sizes of touchscreen chartplotters, from our 7" GPSMAP 741xs and echoMAP 70dv to our GPSMAP Glass Helm series, ranging from 8" to 19" displays.  

10 inch button handButton:

A button interface is more of the traditional format that you’ll find on marine electronics.  The same features found on a touchscreen unit can be found here as well, only with a corresponding button for the desired action on the chartplotter.  The user-experience is still great and simply requires a bit more interaction with the chartplotter.  This is often times the preferred chartplotter interface if exposed to colder temperatures, simply because the buttons can be pressed while wearing gloves.  Ranging from our 5" GPSMAP 547xs and echoMAP 50dv to our 8" and 10" GPSMAP 840xs and 1040xs, we've got various button interface options that will provide a great experience on the water.

At the end of the day, the type of chartplotter that should be purchased is based off of the technology that you feel most comfortable with.  If more of a traditionalist, the button interface is probably the best choice for someone that likes the feel of button feedback.  If more comfortable with pinch-to-zoom, the touchscreen option may be best, especially if touchscreens have been utilized before. When out on the water, the user experience needs to be an enjoyable and comfortable one, so whichever provides that experience is best.