Today’s technology musing – HP TouchSmart
I like this. If you’re looking for a middle-of-the-price-range entertainment PC, you might have just hit the jackpot. I actually first really got to know the HP TouchSmart at Staples, but there’s a lot of buzz about it on the intertubes. I was checking out some specs on it last night and am fairly impressed – HD capable on some models (provided you aren’t on the short end of the DRM stick, as Mark wrote), touchscreen capability, nice and speedy, and it uses the newly-almost-popular monitor-only form factor. I really like the wireless keyboard and mouse. Very sleek and stylish. Prices range from $1300 USD to $2000 USD. Check out the video for more demonstration of the touch screen.
All in all, I am pretty impressed with it. They have brought touchsreen to a level and price point where it could be useful for entertainment purposes. I would enjoy having one wall-mounted in a den or in my recording studio (if you would be using one for that, I would point out that I seem to remember it being very quiet).
I usually like to point out some cons too. This one is obvious – is it good for anything except media? It seems heavily oriented toward pictures, video, and the like. However, I don’t see it ever being popular as anything else. Perhaps a kiosk computer. I would also point out that the lower end models use integrated graphics, which steals some of your RAM and is just plain bad if you are into gaming. The higher end model (IQ816) has an NVidia GeForce 9600 M GS HD, which is a 512 MB video card capable of doing a decent job for gamers. Still, I just don’t see this catching on for much else besides entertainment. But then, most Americans seem to have at least one computer whose primary function is Web surfing and entertainment.