HP TouchSmart 300-1120 review: HP TouchSmart 300-1120

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CNET Editors' Rating

2.5 stars OK
  • Overall: 5.6
  • Design: 8.0
  • Features: 4.0
  • Performance: 5.0
  • Service and support: 7.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Best-in-class touch software.

The Bad Small screen and underwhelming PC components for the price; slow performance

The Bottom Line On first inspection the HP TouchSmart 300-1120 seems like a capable enough all-in-one, but it loses a lot of appeal once you compare it with others on the market. If you want an all-in-one PC for the kitchen counter, this system may work for you. For general computing or home entertainment needs, you can find several other all-in-ones with better features for the price.

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Editors' note: This review is part of our 2010 Retail Laptop and Desktop Back-to-School roundup, covering specific fixed configurations of popular systems that can be found in retail stores.

HP's TouchSmart 300-1120 presents a difficult value challenge. We admit that we're fans of HP's touch software, but we're not convinced that's enough to justify this $899 PC's small screen and underwhelming components. If you're passionate about the idea of having a touch PC somewhere like the kitchen, this system is your best bet from a technical standpoint. In terms of value, you can get a much more capable all-in-one system for a few more dollars. You can also spend less money for a similar experience from a laptop, an iPad, or some other Web-connected device.

HP's TouchSmart 300-1120 is essentially an update to the company's 300-1020 model we saw in January. Its hardware inside and out is nearly identical, with only a larger hard drive to distinguish the new model from the old. We like the looks of the TouchSmart well enough, its rounded, black-and-gray chassis looks a bit more polished than other Windows all-in-ones do. It's not as pretty as an iMac, but it's also not an eyesore.

This system's biggest strength by far is its touch software. HP has invested more thought--and presumably more money--than any other PC vendor has in its touch software, which results with a sleek, easy-to-use suite of touch-friendly apps. Of the variety of touch programs, our favorite is the Recipe Box, a cooking app that can scrape recipes from various foodie Web sites into a handy, indexed format that boasts not only touch support, but also voice control.

HP TouchSmart 300-1120 Gateway One ZX6900-01e
$899 $999
20-inches, 1,600x900 23-inch, 1,920x1,080
2.7GHz AMD Athlon X2 235e 2.93GHz Intel Core i3 530
4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM 4GB 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM
256MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3200 64MB (shared) Intel GMA 4500 integrated graphics chip
750GB, 7,200rpm 640GB, 7,200rpm
dual-layer DVD burner Blu-ray/DVD-burner combo
Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wireless Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wireless
Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)

Even if we like HP's touch software, it's not enough to make up for the TouchSmart 300-1120's deficient hardware. Consider the $899, 20-inch HP in contrast with the $999 23-inch Gateway One ZX6900-01e. The Gateway system not only features touch input, but it also has a larger screen with a higher resolution, a faster processor, and a Blu-ray drive. The HP's hard drive capacity is a bit larger, and both its touch input and touch software are superior, but given its general hardware shortcomings, the TouchSmart 300-1120 is overpriced.

Adobe Photoshop CS3 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
HP TouchSmart 300-1120
140 

Apple iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
HP TouchSmart 300-1120
181 

Multimedia multitasking tests (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
HP TouchSmart 300-1120
489 

Cinebench tests
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Rendering multiple CPUs  
Rendering single CPU  
Gateway One ZX6900-01e
9,307 
3,934 
HP All-in-One 200-5020
6,101 
3,203 
HP TouchSmart 300-1120
5,747 
2,986 
Acer Aspire Z5610
5,446 
2,976 

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Where to Buy

HP TouchSmart 300-1120

Part Number: AY581AA#ABA

MSRP: $899.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Graphics Processor ATI Radeon HD 3200
  • OS Provided Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition
  • Monitor Type LCD