How to Choose the Right Signature Capturing Device

A checklist to help you select the right signature tablet

Wacom STU 530 LCD Signature Tablet

A broad range of signature pads from various manufacturers are available on the market. Some companies require basic signature pads, while others require more advanced devices, depending on how the pads are to be used.

Here is a checklist to help you choose the right signature capturing device


  • Does your process require an LCD screen on the signature pad?

    • An LCD is needed:
      • Do you require only a black and white LCD or do you need color? If you want to display your company logo or other advertising on the device, you will probably need a color display.Some color pads – e.g. Wacom STU-520 - require a driver installation on the computer.
      • What is the minimum size of the LCD screen (i.e. 800 x 480 pixels) which you need?
      • How quickly and easily can you change the picture that is displayed on the pad?
      • Do you need the possibility to browse the document on the pad? If yes, be aware that you have to send the whole document to the pad before it can be displayed and browsed on the pad. Thus your network infrastructure must allow for that otherwise the signer might have to wait too long until he sees the document on the pad.

    • The possibility to view documnets in typical paper size (A4 or letter format) is needed:
      • Go for a 10 inch or larger color display
      • Do you need touch operating by finger?
      • You should check the mounting possibilities if needed?

  • What kind of pen do you need?
    • The pen should require no battery, because otherwise you will have to change the battery periodically. If the pen uses a battery, then you will want to be able to monitor the remaining battery life time so that you will not be surprised at an inconvenient time when the pen stops working and needs a new battery.
    • Especially in point of sales scenarios, the pen should be connected to the signature pad with a pen tether so that it does not get lost.
    • What are the costs forreplacing a signature pad pen? Some pens are expensive.
    • Is the pen and the pad suitable for right and left handers?

  • Technical Specifications
    • In addition to the x/y position of the pen, the tablet must also record the pressure flow during the writing process.
    • If you use LCD screens, a real-time visualization of the signature on screen is a must.
    • The LCD screen should only react to the pen and not to accidental touches by the hand or finger.
    • The used sensors should have a long lifetime and should not wear off as the result of scratches or mechanical impacts. For some manufacturers touch sensors are wear parts and thus not covered by the guarantee.
    • The tablet should be USB-powered. In special scenarios, where no USB port is available, you might need a serial accessory kit.
    • The sampling rate should be a minimum of 100 points per second.
    • The pen pressure levels should be at least 256 levels (not interpolated).
    • The screen resolution should be at least 600 lpi (not interpolated).
    • You should expect a coordinate accuracy ± 0.5 mm (center).
    • An LED that indicates the operation mode (Off / No connection to computer, Stand-by, Signature recording) can be helpful.
    • You might want an option for data encryption between the signature tablet and the PC.
    • In high security scenarios, you might go for signature pads where the encryption of the sensitive signature row data takes place on the pad, rather than in the unsafe “computer” environment.
    • You should check the mounting possibilities if needed.

  • Defect rate
    • Fewer than three percent of signature tablets are proven to be defective within one year of delivery.

  • Availability of spare parts
    • Expect guaranteed availability of the product for at least two years after the first delivery.
    • Expect guaranteed availability of spare parts for at least five years after the first delivery.

The Significant e-signature software solution is a device-independent solution, meaning it enables the use of a broad range of signature pads from various manufacturers. As some companies require basic signature pads, while others require more advanced devices, a signature pad independent solution offers the necessary flexibility and leads to improved satisfaction rates due to the fact that each customer integrating this solution can choose the signature pad that fits their needs most.

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