The consumer technology industry is notoriously prone to creating bandwagon’s on which any manufacturer who wants to get anywhere should jump. Recent examples of course are the likes of 3DTV technology, tablet’s and more specifically, touchscreens.
Touchscreen technology as a result of the sudden surge of touch smartphones has grown exponentially and the most recent capacitive displays are of quite astonishing quality when you look back a year or perhaps even less. However, capacitive doesn’t work with large screens, and amongst other things, this has been the problem with touchscreen desktops.
On top of that, of course, is the ergonomics of the whole stretching out in front of you job in order to actually use a desktop touchscreen. So, in a worryingly similar fashion to an Apple patent we saw towards the back end of 2010, HP has rolled out a pair of TouchSmart All-in-One PC’s, with a reclining mechanism, which in theory transitions the traditionally stanced PC into a relaxed touch panel, capable of providing touchscreen technology on the desktop that is actually usable to some extent.
However, first impressions don’t exactly work in HP’s favour here. You see, the machine’s look dreadful. And that’s no understatement. Like something out of the early 90’s, so archaic in design, you might be forgiven for disregarding it as an old refurbished unit, perhaps. Secondly, there’s the size of it. It’s bulky, to say the least, and given that you’ll be heaving this thing around a lot if you want to actually use it as anything more than a standard desktop PC, it appears far too heavy. Uncomfortably so. Continuing with the slam on the design, HP has decided to place the speakers on the bottom. Never a good idea.
The 23-inch display is not exactly small, but being the only option it seems a bit limited. When you look at the Apple iMac, without doubt the pioneering device of the all-in-one PC market, which comes in 21 and 27-inch flavours, it just seems a little too restrictive, without catering for anyone in particular. The display, which as I mentioned before is unsurprisingly not a capacitive one, uses infrared beams along the horizontal and vertical to pin point your press. It’s cheap, it’s effective, but it’s not the nicest experience in the world by any means.
You can basically choose your own internal hardware from a range of processors, either Intel or AMD. Up to 16GB of RAM, with up to 1 terabyte of storage, or 160GB of solid state storage. A blu-ray drive as well for the media fanatics who will be buying this.
So, a pretty poor effort in truth. The HP TouchSmart 610 and 9300 touchscreen all-in-one PCs are not the most innovative machines, it’s not the most beautiful machine by a long shot, and it is probably not the most powerful nor the cheapest. There will be worse, but there will be a darn sight better coming later in the year, perhaps even from Apple, so if I were you, I’d hold on to that cash for the time being.