Stunning touchscreen, let down by limited gaming potential
HP shows it hasn't lost touch with its ability to build some of the best touchscreen All in One (AiO) PCs on the market with its flagship Touchsmart 600.
HP was the first outfit to craft a touchscreen PC in 2007 using Vista as the media centre software platform of choice. Since then, the evolution of its Touchsmart series has got better with each incarnation. The proof of concept is the updated HP Touchsmart 600-1220.
HP Touchsmart 600-1220: Touchscreen
HP has again opted for understated elegance with its shiny black finish that accrues smudges and finger prints like they are going out of fashion. It throws in a media centric remote and slim line optical wireless keyboard and mouse that are nice to use but the money shot is the beautiful 23-inch 1920x1080 multitouch HD display.
While, the touchscreen is responsive compared to other AiO PCs, it’s not the same experience as a touchscreen phone. It's not quite the incredible user experience that Sony offers on its flagship AiO Vaio, but it's the best of the rest. We experienced only barely perceptible lag flicking between HP's fantastic Touchsmart software apps. The apps are exceptionally comprehensive and the screen also offers is a top notch bright colour range that's not too reflective and not too dull. We were equally impressed by the movie and music audio fidelity with very rich bass thumping out the system.
HP Touchsmart 600-1220: Connectivity
HP has gradually added more externally functionality as it realised punters would rather have accessible features than sleek aesthetic design lines around the chassis. Our review unit has ports and connectivity galore. There's an added instant launch for the Touchsmart software, volume and mute buttons on the right and a multi-card reader. HP also bundled a slot loading Blu-ray drive that can play your HD content.
Elsewhere there are two USB’s and a couple of audio jacks on the left, peel off a plastic guard to reveal more. You get another three USB 2.0s (no 3.0 unfortunately) LAN, HDMI and some more audio connections. The cheap plastic guard's a let down though and there's no Firewire.
HP Touchsmart 600-1220: Processor
Flagship means expensive and exceptional performance. Our HP model comes with the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium, Intel's Core i5 M430 running at 2.27GHz and a massive 1.5TB hard drive, which is an obscene amount of storage space.
For such a large amount of cash you might expect more than the 4GB of memory and lightweight NVIDIA GeForce GT 230 graphics. Dedicated gamers will be sucking through their teeth because it's not enough for next generation PC gaming unless you are willing to play at low resolutions with all graphical bells and whistles turned off. But it is fine for casual gaming and the 4GB of memory is enough to ensure a silky multimedia touchscreen experience.
The Touchsmart 600 won't win the hearts of gamers but for a powerful system with a responsive and high quality HD screen, it's hard to top. It's also aided by the best touch software in the pack.
HP Touchsmart 600-1220 launch date: Out now, link HP
HP Touchsmart 600-1220 price: £1100-£1500 online