Choosing the Right POS Terminal Part II

So what’s the answer? It starts with finding a reputable provider who has the knowledge and will not try and oversell you on what you need.

In the first article in this series, “Choosing the Right POS Terminal,” I introduced several factors to take into consideration when looking to select a POS Terminal.  Let’s consider a few more things.

The first question:

Technical Specification.  This one could easily be the most confusing of the topics and one I spend a lot of time explaining to both internal and external customers.

Seeing all the acronyms and technical terms can be overwhelming.

  • How many MB of memory do you need?
  • Do you want HDD or SSD and how much storage do you need?
  • Do you want resistive or projective capacitive touchscreen?
  • What MHz do you want on your CPU?

And the list seems to go on and on…

So what’s the answer?  It starts with finding a reputable provider who has the knowledge and will not try and oversell you on what you need.  It comes down to listening to you and understanding your business and budget requirements.

In order to suggest a terminal, you have to understand the POS application and other software requirements that will be loaded on the terminal.  You also have to take into consideration what peripherals will be connected.

Legacy POS packages usually require more memory, a higher performance CPU and larger hard drives, since the front of house, back of house, and POS databases may reside on the terminal.  For this type of system, you would be looking at a high-end Celeron or Core CPU, and 4+GB of RAM at a minimum.  Check out the PAR EverServ8300 or 8500 series for these types of platforms.

More modern POS systems like Brink’s Cloud based POS have less requirements on the local machine, since a lot of the processing requirements are off loaded to the cloud, making the application that resides on the machine much less dependent upon the CPU and memory.  For this, you can use an Atom or lower end Celeron based system with as little as 2GB of RAM. PAR’s EverServ 8100 or EverServ 550 would be a good choice to consider in this situation.

For touchscreens, this is about personal preference and POS functionality.  Resistive screens are the most cost-effective but have a bezel and may not be offered in vivid colors and is a different kind of touch. The Projective Capacitive allows you to have that modern edge to edge clean look without a bezel like most modern laptops and tablets.

Customer displays is the next thing to consider. Line Displays simply show item descriptions and price, as well as tax and total in a text format.  Graphical allow you to show advertising, as well as, show a running order that can be used for order confirmation and order accuracy.  Some of this may be now done on payment devices as well, so the line display may be all you need.

Aesthetics is becoming a much larger part of a POS terminal than ever before. Restaurants are spending a lot of money remodeling their sites to make them look more modern, so do you really want this big bulky box of a POS terminal on your counter as a barrier between your employees and your customers?  Choosing a terminal that is sleek, modern looking and reduces the barrier to have a better interaction with your customers.

Ok, so now you understand the acronym soup a little better!


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