The HP TouchSmart PC is back, and this time it's bigger than ever. We know this, because we nearly sprained our backs getting the damn thing out of the box.
The IQ810, as it is known, packs a huge 25.5-inch display, which dwarfs the 19-inch IQ770 and the 22-inch we reviewed back when the credit was a little less crunchy. As before, any part of the screen can be prodded and poked -- kind of like a giant iPhone running Windows Vista -- to launch and control applications.
Bigger isn't always better, though -- the 1,920x1,200-pixel panel is so reflective (even under office lighting) that you end up seeing too much of your own face. Also, the panel doesn't quite fill the chassis, so the IQ810 has annoying black bars running down either side of the screen. It's almost as if HP intended to fit a much larger panel then changed its mind at the last minute.
While we're complaining, we should probably point out that Vista is nigh-on impossible to control with finger inputs. HP has tried to make things easier by supplying its proprietary TouchSmart software, which has fat icons and a funky gesture-input system, but having used it for a while, we reckon it's pretty gimmicky. It's clunky and the functionality is so limited you invariably end up switching back to the standard Vista user interface, and a mouse and keyboard.
It's not all bad news. The IQ810 has a 2.1GHz T8100 Core 2 Duo CPU, 4GB of RAM a 640GB hard drive, a mid-range Nvidia GeForce 9600M GS graphics card you'd normally find in a laptop, and a digital TV tuner card. Sadly, all this costs a whopping £1,470.
If you've got the readies, head over to Currys and tell 'em Crave sent you.