Tucked just behind the right-hand bezel is a slot-loading combo CD/DVD writer that is also capable of playing Blu-ray discs. For some reason, it consistently took up to a minute to recognise Blu-ray media, during which time the HP MediaSmart DVD program displayed a misleading ‘No disc loaded in the drive’ message. Wait long enough, however, and the disc mounted and played without problem.
Recessed behind the screen bezel, the slot-loading optical drive can be a little difficult to locate.
A small concern with the location of the drive is that you are forced to load discs by feel. Since the slot is hidden behind the front bezel rather than in it, you cannot actually see it without having to peek all the way around the back of the computer. Blindly guiding a disc into the narrow slot invariably involved a bit of scraping.
The left-hand edge of the unit bears an ‘ambient light’ button that switches on a full-width strip lamp under the bottom bezel. Being ‘ambient’, it is no replacement for a desk lamp but is bright enough to let you see the key caps on your keyboard in a darkened room. You can even use an on-screen utility to change its colour, mimicking those pink and blue undercar lighting effects so beloved of Need For Speed Underground fans.
A pair of USB 2.0 ports, plus 3.5mm audio in and headphone out sockets are also provided on the left-hand edge. Removing a large plastic cover section at the back reveals a good collection of additional interfacing. These include three more USB 2.0 ports, a single HDMI port, a digital audio out socket, a stereo speaker socket, and ‘in’ ports for composite video/audio, S-Video and TV stereo audio. The TouchSmart 600 houses an analogue and DVB-T TV tuner, so you can also connect a TV aerial directly.
For cabled networking, a Gigabit Ethernet port is provided. Otherwise, the product supports wireless connectivity with 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.0. Both the keyboard and mouse are Bluetooth peripherals, both designed in the same black plastic as the main unit.
The sturdy lean-back prop adjusts screen tilt between 5 and 40 degrees
The mouse is a fairly average two-button, laser-accurate scrollwheel device but the keyboard is ultra-thin with notebook-like action. Not everyone likes these keyboards because they favour soft typing over violent jabbing, but we actually prefer them. HP’s keyboard for the TouchSmart 600 is a particularly good example, too.
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..."