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HP TouchSmart: Touch-sensitive kitchen computer

Forget magnets and bits of paper attached to a fridge -- get your reminders the futuristic way: with an HP TouchSmart PC

HP has just announced a line of computers designed for the kitchen -- no, don't adjust your Internet-enabled toaster, we did say 'kitchen'. The TouchSmart is an all-in-one computer centred around a 19-inch touch-sensitive screen and it's destined to replace the fridge as the family's bulletin board.

The PC, which uses Windows Vista, runs special software known as TouchCenter, which gives quick fingertip access to notes, calendars and photos. Notes are entered using a stylus and resemble traditional sticky Post-it sheets with your own handwriting. These notes can then be dragged on to calendar entries and a voice reminder added.

The TouchSmart is otherwise an ordinary computer, but its 19-inch display has a special protective glass coating that can be cleaned with ordinary glass cleaner. There's no word about whether it's able to resist the almost inevitable steam and smoke assault the average kitchen will throw at it, but HP has cleverly integrated a dock at the rear for installing a tiny photo printer -- really a very nice touch.

The machine comes with an AMD dual-core processor, an Nvidia graphics card, WiFi and a TV tuner, so you can watch episodes of Delia Smith while you cook. It's scheduled to hit stores on 30 January and will cost between $1,799 and $1,899 (£920-£970) in the US. -RR

Update: a full review of the HP TouchSmart IQ770 is now live.