HP TouchSmart 600
Touchscreen iMac wannabee
The remote has a good range of well-spaced and clearly labelled buttons, including those for recording TV onto hard disk, along with a big central button for returning immediately to the top level of Windows Media Centre. Given the choice of operating the computer by touch, mouse, keyboard and remote handset, we had a great time using all of them.
Thanks to the raised stand design, you can slide the keyboard underneath when not in use.
The only component that didn’t seem to fit the pattern of attention to detail was the power supply cable. The transformer block on these cables gets smaller every year: the one for the TouchScreen 600 was the size of a house brick.
While the home computing market is full of business computers clumsily adapted with cheesy software and ugly peripherals, the HP TouchSmart 600 accurately targets what most people want at home: a very smart-looking, all-rounder with skilfully implemented Windows 7 touchscreen abilities and highly versatile media playing options. The only problem is the price: if you didn’t need the touchscreen or TV inputs, you could buy a much more powerful, 27in, 3GHz Apple iMac for less money.
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