All Women's Talk

HP TouchSmart IQ770 PC Review ...

By Chip

We think the HP TouchSmart IQ770 PC ($1,800 direct) has taken interactivity to a whole new level in terms of how people communicate with one another. Thus, while the Apple iMac can be credited with embedding the entire innards of a computer into the monitor, the TouchSmart all-in-one PC takes it a step further by effectively incorporating the use of touch screen technology and adding a bit of hardware muscle to drive Microsoft’s Vista Home Premium with Media Center as well as intuitively using its proprietary HP Smart Center Software (more on this later). And while the TouchSmart isn’t all built in to the screen, this by far is not a drawback.

Nestled under the hood of the TouchSmart PC is a 1.6GHz AMD Turon 64 x2 Dual-Core Mobile Technology TL-52 processor and 2048MB of PC2-4200 DDR2 SDRAM, a 320GB hard drive, slot-loading DVD burner2 with LightScribe technology and the NVIDIA GeForce Go 7600 graphics card with 256 dedicated memory, which is enough to make any hard core computer geek green with envy! Other features include: An integrated 1.3-megapixel HP WebCam with a built-in array microphone, wireless and blue tooth access, a 19” anti-glare touch screen monitor, embedded speakers, a wireless keyboard and mouse, a stylus, FM radio tuner, a NTSC TV tuner and over-the-air ATSC high-definition television tuner and a Media Center Remote Control. Clearly HP did not skimp in the hardware department! Also, we noticed nary a flutter in performance as the TouchSmart PC was able to multi-task with having several applications open at once.

Setting up the HP Touchsmart PC took less than five minutes and HP’s instructions were very easy to follow. The epic-center of the TouchSmart PC is its Smart Center Software which is activated by touching the “home” key on the front bezel of the PC. Thus, incorporating SmartCenter on the touchscreen gives the TouchSmart PC a truly kiosk feel and enhances the computer experience ten-fold. Using your fingers or the stylus to navigate around in the Smart Center is very quick and responsive and although one was compelled to reach for the mouse a few times, eventually using fingers over the stylus became the preferred method of exploration.

The whole premise of using the The TouchSmart PC centers around using HP’s Smart Center to take advantage of leaving video, audio or written messages as well as selecting it as your primary hub when your computer boots up (this is optional but if you set things up to your liking, then everything that you need is within the Smart Center and simply pressing the esc key returns you back to the Vista desktop) and doing this was very easy to say the least. Additionally, the Smart Calendar gives one the ability to keep track of appointments, make edits and the sticky feature even enables one to use the stylus to leave written messages. Now, how cool is that! Also, one is able to set up as well as customize several Smart Center accounts using a myriad of themes and templates. You can also use the Smart Center for web access, using applications, viewing or recording television, or to listen to your favorite radio station and you can also configure the Smart Center to display the local weather, TV, music, and even solitaire. The TouchSmart PC takes advantage of its own hardware devices such as using a HP PhotoSmart a510 or a610 compact printer (you can use any printer with the TouchSmart PC, but will not fit behind the screen) which fits inconspicuously behind the screen, and the photos slide out of the slot under the screen, and when used in tandem with the Smart Center module, this looks just like the kiosk set-up in a local print-it-yourself photo store.

Additionally, the HP TouchSmart PC is amply equipped with a generous amount of USB slots (both front and back), has a DVD player that you can use without the remote due to its play, stop, and other function buttons on the unit, has connections for both analog S-Video and digital Firewire, and it even has a cool multi-card reader for digital camera’s data cards and did we mention it has additional storage space with for a new Pocket Media Bay drive (the slot for this drive is cleverly located on the right side of the monitor), which is notebook sized and increases the storage of the SmartTouch PC in 80GB and 160GB increments.

D(["mb","u003c/p>nnnnu003cp>Listening to music (be it CD’s or via the internet) over thenembedded speakers in the unit wasn’t very awe inspiring as the speakers wouldnfizzle out at a moderate volume adjustment but viewing DVD movies, TV u003cspan> u003c/span>and DiVX content on the TouchSmart PC’s 19-inchnwidescreen (1,440 by 900 resolution) were superbly crisp and clear.u003cspan> u003c/span>We also have to hand it to HP for being intuitive enough for providing a 5.1nexternal speaker outlet as well as a head phone jack! Thus, using 5.1 speakers as well as a good quality pair of head phones proved to be quite the improvement.u003c/p>nnnnnu003cp>All in all, we think that the HP TouchSmart PC is a very formablenopponent to the iMac and has raised the bar and upped the ante for other PC makers.u003cspan> u003c/span>HP has definitely put back then“fun” in PC use! u003cspan> u003c/span>Great job HP!u003cbr>We give the TouchSmart PC kudos for its sleek design, use ofnhardware and software technology, it’s 19 inch adjustable monitor, placement ofnconnections ( USB slots, S-Video slots, etc., etc.), and it’s innovation andncreativity.u003cbr>Improvements that we’ll like to see with the next renditionnof the HP TouchSmart PC: Include a combo HD/DVD player , u003cspan> u003c/span>include a cable card, make the right shift keynon the keyboard into a full one (thus, move down the arrow keys), offer Windows Vista Ultimate as Oppose to Windows Vista Home Premium, slim down thenweight of this device and lower the price (we think that most PC consumers willnnot find the initial asking price favorable to their budget regardless how goodnthe technology is). None the less, we think that HP's TouchSmart PC is a step in the right direction!u003cbr>u003c/p>nnu003cp>u003cbr>u003c/p>nnu003cbr>u003c/div>u003cbr>u003cbr>u003cbr>u003cblockquote>u003chr>Date: Tue, 29 May 2007 16:56:18 -0400u003cbr>From: u003ca hrefu003d”mailto:chipchick@chipchick.com” targetu003d”_blank” onclicku003d”return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)”>chipchick@chipchick.comu003c/a>u003cbr>To: u003ca hrefu003d”mailto:kgeter63@msn.com” targetu003d”_blank” onclicku003d”return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)”>kgeter63@msn.com”,1] ); //–>

Listening to music (be it CD’s or via the internet) over the embedded speakers in the unit wasn’t very awe inspiring as the speakers would fizzle out at a moderate volume adjustment but viewing DVD movies, TV and DiVX content on the TouchSmart PC’s 19-inch widescreen (1,440 by 900 resolution) were superbly crisp and clear. We also have to hand it to HP for being intuitive enough for providing a 5.1 external speaker outlet as well as a head phone jack. Thus, using 5.1 speakers as well as a good quality pair of head phones proved to be quite the improvement.

All in all, we think that the HP TouchSmart PC is a very formable opponent to the iMac and has raised the bar and upped the ante for other PC makers. HP has definitely put back the “fun” in PC use! Great job HP! We give the TouchSmart PC kudos for its sleek design, use of hardware and software technology, it’s 19 inch adjustable monitor, placement of connections ( USB slots, S-Video slots, etc., etc.), and it’s innovation and creativity.

Improvements that we’ll like to see with the next rendition of the HP TouchSmart PC: Include an option for a HD-DVD player, include a cable card, make the right shift key on the keyboard into a full one (thus, move down the arrow keys), offer Windows Vista Ultimate as Oppose to Windows Vista Home Premium, slim down the weight of this device and lower the price (we think that many home consumers will not find the initial asking price favorable to their budget regardless how good the technology is). None the less, we think that HP’s TouchSmart PC is an innovative step in the right direction.
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