Touchscreens are well and truly part of our daily lives, from ticket machines to smart phones, but they've yet to find a place in our homes. The HP TouchSmart 300-1115 and 600-1040 are part of the latest generation of touchscreen all-in-one PCs shown to us by PC World at a recent showcase event. We like the idea of swooshing, swiping and poking our computers, so we gave them a go and tried to think how we'd use them in everyday life.
We kick off with the HP TouchSmart 300-1115uk, which has a 20-inch touchscreen. It packs an AMD Athlon II X2 chip, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. The TouchSmart PCs come with Windows 7, which supports multi-touch, and have HP's own touch-sensitive interface on top. This gives easy access to media such as photographs and music. Photos give instant gratification on a touchscreen, and two-handed resizing, rotating and zooming is a blast.
Further up the range is the 23-inch HP Touchsmart 600-1040uk all-in-one PC. It includes a DVD rewriter and packs a 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T6400 processor with 4GB DDR3 memory. A whopping 1TB hard drive holds your stuff, and the looks are handled by a 256MB Nvidia GeForce G200 graphics chip.
Both models offer 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The 600-1040 also includes a digital TV tuner. The idea of all-in-ones is that they're freed from the desktop and the restraint of separate towers, and a TV tuner could place it at the heart of the living room. The touchscreen means a keyboard isn't necessary, so the all-in-one could sit on a shelf or a kitchen counter. We like the idea of wandering into our kitchen of a morning, grease-dripping bacon sarnie in one hand, idly scrolling email or news feeds with the other. We wouldn't pay a grand for it though.
Click through our gallery for more of the TouchSmarts in action, and let us know your thoughts on touchscreen PCs in the comments.
This is us choosing music on HP's touchscreen music interface. The deck o' cards-style cover flow looks pretty neat, but tended to get rather confused with our hamfisted proddings. Cool as it looks, the technology may not be there yet.