HP TouchSmart 600
Touchscreen iMac wannabee
Review Every now and again, reviewing a new PC can be a pleasure rather than a chore. The feeling is not the result of blistering performance or a full set of ticks next to a spec list, but the natural response to using high-quality kit that works exactly as you want it to. HP’s TouchSmart 600 looks beautiful and reveals an approach to product design that suggests the company has thought carefully about every component and feature, and how best to implement them.
A touch of class? HP's TouchSmart 600
The main body of the computer is an all-in-one CPU and 23in widescreen TFT-LCD monitor, encased in luxurious-looking, shiny black plastic. The display resolution is 1920 x 1080 pixels, making it just right for full HD video playback. Inside the unit, HP has fitted an Intel Core 2 Duo P7450 64bit processor running at 2.13GHz, and supplied 4GB of system memory and a generous 1TB of hard disk as standard.
This is a good basis for any home computer, but the big difference with the TouchSmart 600 is in the product design. For example, a pair of rubberised feet raises the main unit from your desktop by a few centimetres, leaving space to slide the keyboard all the way underneath when it’s not in use.
The computer leans back on a single, sturdy rear prop – touchscreen devices need this setup rather than tilt and swivel – with a cut-out area through which you can gather power and other cables. The rear prop makes a toe-curling crack sound when you hinge it backwards to its initial setting, after which it provides firm but smooth adjustment to allow the screen to be angled between five and 40 degrees.
The front of the main unit incorporates a built-in mic and webcam along the top bezel, and a pair of stereo speakers underneath the screen. Although such speakers are never going to offer adequate bass, the quality and volume of the TouchSmart 600’s audio output is unusually good for built-in speakers. If you were to use the computer for TV and movie viewing in a living room, the sound would be more than acceptable.
Here’s a fine idea: a built-in camera card slot supporting six formats
The on/off button is found on the right-hand edge of the main unit, with the on-screen display (OSD) menu button further down, along with volume up/down/mute controls. Below all of these, close to the bottom, is a conveniently located single memory card slot that supports six formats: xD, SD, SDHC, MMC, MS and MS-Pro. We have seen the slow appearance of these slots on notebooks and peripheral devices, and it is good to see them being built into desktop PCs more often.
Ok, sell me on this...
So, here we have a 1500 quid machine, which has the guts of a 500 quid machine. And what exactly is it that makes up this price difference? The "luxurious plastic"? Or that wonderful touchscreen?
Tell me again why I'd want a touchscreen on a 23" monitor? Just for rotating a picture WITH TWO HANDS? Wow, that must be some freaking advantage if I've just paid a thousand for it. And yet, it still gets a 90% raating, which tom e suggests that El Reg recommend I buy this piece of (sh/k)it.
Great range of machines
You can pick up the same machine give or take a few specs and with Vista on it for £600 with the Touchsmart IQ500....which at that price, its not exactly a costly upgrade to drop in a 7 upgrade and your sorted for half the price and the same level of glitz.
I use one of them as a presentation machine, great fun to play with, and the screen is beautiful
Imac or Touchsmart? no contest really. With some good shopping the entire line of Touchsmarts have always been kickass and utterly smoke the leg waxers with the yellow screens :P
I'm looking for something like this - though this is too pricey
I'm thinking to get an all-in-one touch screen computer for my future small office room at home. I plan to use it as a business computer and a controller for playing the music in the house (occasional playing would be goo). I would though prefer to use it hanged on the wall; this could also be something good for the kitchen (on the fridge, like LG once did), browse the recepies and cook in the same room - though it's not ruggedised.
So far the price is too high, but the Acer Touchscreen all-in-one seems to be better value for the money and more appropiate for gaming (1000Euro).
An important criterion is connectivity (to a console, other computer) in my evaluation, and if in the kitchen how well it holds against in-air fat.
Let's be practical...
...and call it what it is: an iMac with a non-yellowing screen. Selling point?
Sing along now...
"Whaaaat a friend we have in Steve Jobs..."