The wrinkle, as always for all-in-ones, is the standard desktop tower. Asus' $650 Essentio CG5270-BP004 is just one example, but it shows clearly that you can spend significantly less than the HP for a much faster tower desktop, with enough money left over to match the desktop with a monitor, thereby eliminating the all-in-one's advantage in its built-in display.
In addition to finding it suited to a relatively narrow usage scenario, we're disappointed that HP left off a few of the features we appreciated so much in the TouchSmart 600. We miss the HDMI video-input most of all. That feature lets you connect a cable box, a game console, or any HDMI-based video source and pump it into the TouchSmart 600 (a feature HP borrowed from Sony's all-in-ones), greatly expanding its utility as a home entertainment display. We've even seen an HDMI input on a $600 Asus Nettop, so HP can't exactly claim cost savings as a motive for leaving it off the TouchSmart 300. There's also no Blu-ray drive in the TouchSmart 300. We haven't seen Blu-ray in a sub-$1,000 all-in-one yet, but we don't expect that barrier will hold for too much longer.
This is not to say the TouchSmart 300 has no home entertainment-friendly nods. It retains the TouchSmart 600's wall-mounting capability via a separate adapter and bracket. You also get hard volume and mute buttons on the side of the system. We'd like to see HP add a dedicated screen power button, though. And while we lament the loss of the HDMI input, the digital and analog audio outs on the back, along with the collection of back and side-mounted USB 2.0 ports should cover your more traditional connectivity needs.
|HP TouchSmart 300-1020||Average watts per hour|
|Raw (annual kWh)||183.85488|
|Energy Star compliant||Yes|
|Annual power consumption cost||$20.87|
The TouchSmart 300's power consumption comes in right where we expect it to considering its performance. It has no settings or usage states where it uses an inordinate amount of power, and its overall annual cost won't add an overly burdensome amount to your power bill.
Finally, HP's service and support policies are on par with those of its mainstream competition. You get one year of parts and labor coverage, as well as 24-7 toll-free phone support. The system itself and HP's Web site both feature a variety of support tools that you can use to diagnose and deal either with problems, yourself or with the help of one of HP's online support representatives.
Find out more about how we test desktop systems.
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.6GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core E5300; 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570; 320GB 5,400rpm Seagate hard drive
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit; 2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300; 8GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 32MB Intel GMA X4500 integrated graphics chip; 1TB, 7,200rpm hard drive
Apple OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.1; 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E7600; 4GB 1,066MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 9400 integrated graphics chip; 500GB 7,200rpm Seagate Digital hard drive
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.1GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core T4300; 4GB 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 32MB (shared) Intel GMA 450M integrated graphics chip; 750GB 5,400rpm Seagate hard drive
HP TouchSmart 300-1020
Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit); 2.7GHz AMD Athlon II X2 235e; 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 256MB (shared) AMD Radeon HD 3200 integrated graphics chip; 500GB 5,400rpm Seagate hard drive