HP TouchSmart 610-1030UK: Touchy feely
HP established itself as one of the best touchscreen PC outfits when it bought its first TouchSmart all in one PC out and built on that heritage with every version. It helps that the company also know how to make that touch work with some of the best multi-media touch software out and its new HP TouchSmart 610-1030UK is no slacker. Packed with high-end specs and a responsive touch screen on a brilliant 23-inch LED Backlit HD display, this bad boy might be expensive (£1,200rrp), but it’s worth it.
HP TouchSmart 610-1030UK: Design
The HP TouchSmart 610-1030UK comes encased in an elegant piano black shell but its shiny surface makes it prone to picking up finger prints. However, HP has done a sterling job of hiding its impressive connectivity through hidden access back panels. The power lead is a tad tricky to get in but everything else is pretty much easy to find. The right hand side hides a slot loaded Blu-ray player and two HDMI ports so you can plug a gaming console in if you're in whenever you're in an arcade mode. On the left is a volume rocker, mute, multi-format card reader, two USBs and audio jacks and tucked under a panel round the back is an LAN port, TV aerial and a further four USBs.
HP TouchSmart 610-1030UK: Screen if you want to go faster
The HD screen is stunningly vibrant, if a little over glossy. We preferred watching video in darkened rooms where the display excels. We also loved the detail capture on darker movies such as The Dark Knight because it coped without displaying any noticeable digital artefacts. We also adored the new swivel stand because the screen can now be positioned almost anywhere. The viewing angle is also very wide, giving you a perfect picture from every angle.
HP complements the screen with a brilliant touch responsive experience that's gimmick-free, thanks to the excellent Windows 7 Premium software. Like a Mac interface, HP has its touch enhanced icons at the bottom of the screen so we could scroll through all touch apps. Again, it's the video, pics and audio touch apps that are the best in our humble opinion.
HP TouchSmart 610-1030UK: Multi-media
This is the first time we've heard HP's Beat Audio added to a TouchSmart and the results are as impressive as the visuals. There's a real rich bass to the sub woofers that add an immersive depth to movies and games. It's by far some of the best audio we've heard on an all-in-one for a while.
HP TouchSmart 610-1030UK: Specs and performance
One reason the TouchSmart 610-1030UK is a seamless joy to use is because HP has jammeda million and one next generation components in like a tin of digital sardines. Our review unit had the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium, Intel's Core i5 650 running at 3.2GHz and 6GB of memory but you also have the option to add up to 16GB and a humungous 1.5TB hard drive -- more than enough space for storing HD movies.
When something is this good, why does HP have to stick a mid-range mobile 1GB ATI Radeon HD 5570 graphic card in? For the high price tag, we expected to see a dedicated gaming card because this system was designed for brilliant media playback. It's a real let down, although it could cope with Crysis 2 with a lot of concessions to turning off the graphics bells and whistles.