In addition, there are three rather more obscure ports. One is a mini jack for a supplied infra-red receiver, another is a mini VGA output, to which you attach a supplied VGA adaptor and the third is a USB port that is located very close to a power terminal and which takes a special cable so that you have the appropriate connections to attach a small HP inkjet printer, which you can sit on top on the IQ770 base unit behind the screen without any need to plug in another mains cable or to have a USB cable drooping down and looking unsightly.
HP TouchSmart IQ770 PC with HP inkjet printer attached on the base unit, behind the screen
The final connector on the base unit is an RF port for the integrated analogue and digital TV tuner, which works superbly well in conjunction with Windows Vista and the large screen.
It's clear that HP has worked hard to make the base unit small and compact, although it loses something of the neatness once you plug in the various adapters and cables. If you use a wireless connection to your router you can get away with just a single power cable and a TV aerial cable, which is just about as wireless as you could wish. Above the base unit is the 19in TFT touchscreen which we'll come to in a moment, and between the two is what we can only describe as a slab of grey and black plastic.
It's a huge unsightly thing that acts as a mount for the moving arm that supports the screen and which also acts as a drive bay for an HP Pocket Media Drive. An 80GB removable drive costs £65 and while there's no harm in adding a drive, we can't help but think that the design could have been done more elegantly. The Apple iMac anglepoise design is a case in point.
HP has instead gone for battleship engineering, and we were shocked to find that the IQ770 weighs a whopping 17.3kg. This means that you'll be plonking down it in your kitchen, living room, study or wherever and never moving it again. It's far from portable, which is a crying shame as a combined PC, TV and media centre that uses a minimum of cabling is the sort of device that could reasonably have more than one home.
Bet it won't play Hunt the Wumpus...
Looks nice, but as has been mentioned its a bit pricy and sadly, it runs a legacy operating system.
Now if it came with Linux, Beryl/Compiz and MythTV, it might be worth the price tag...
I reckon it's deliberate that the IQ770 weighs so much as it avoids any hint of screen shake if you're prodding at the touch screen. I can see that in some homes where you might have three or four IQ770s scattered here and there that the weight might be an irrelevance. If you don't intend to move it around then I am sure you could select a machine that is better suited to a specific purpose and which costs less.
My view is that the IQ770 is multipurpose and therefore can fulfil a number of functions in a number of locations.
Kids got their friends round? park it in their room so they can watch a movie
Cooking? put it in the kitchen to look up recipes
Email? On the coffee table
My problem is that the IQ770 is effectively a laptop with a 19 inch touch screen but it doesn't have the portable nature of a laptop.
Can HP please
...go back to rebadging iPods? It looks... *hideous*, and unless you wanted to go for the printer thing, it wastes a lot of space too. The total absence of elegance of any kind is nothing short of stunning, it's like a car accident. Even if this was the 80s this thing would be considered an ugly bloated abomination that you'd be ashamed to have in your house unless you felt a dire and urgent need to convince every visitor of your total utter straightness by displaying absolute absence of taste.
Nevertheless, the idea itself is swell. An undersized (screenwise), underpowered machine like this would make for a very nice digital pictureframe, plus it could be a touch-controlled-mediacenter-dumb-terminal of some sort, as long as you don't want to watch a movie on it. Too pricy for that though. So maybe HP can make it look more like an iMac - heck, an iMac G4 even - reduce the power even more, and sell it at half the price.