What happens when you cross a desktop PC with a tablet?
Every time we think we’ve seen every last variation of touchscreen desktop PC, another new innovation pops up.
The HP TouchSmart 610 brings a new trick to the table, with a stand that lets the entire PC tilt 60 degrees from vertical through to almost horizontal. This might seem strange, but it actually makes the touchscreen much easier to use in certain situations. While we couldn’t think of a reason to tilt it flat on your own desk, the 610 is perfect for using when standing up at a bench. Of course this means the HP is aimed at more commercial markets as there are fewer consumer uses for such a setup.
Aside from the funky stand, the TouchSmart has a full complement of high-end hardware. An Intel Core i5-660 CPU running at 3.33GHz is more than a match for any of your programs, while 6GB of 1,333MHz DDR3 keeps it all lag-free even with many applications running at once. A Radeon 5570 provides graphics grunt and is suitable for a little casual gaming. The 1.5TB HDD is nothing special in terms of speed but has plenty of space for all your files.
When tested with PCMark Vantage, the 610 scored a solid 4,211, putting it on par with most other AIO desktops. A 23in screen with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 provides strong colours and deep blacks in part thanks to the glossy coating. When it was tilted all the way back we did find we tended to get reflections from ceiling lights but it wasn’t unmanageable.
The HP uses an optical multi-touch system that provides accurate tracking with fingers, a stylus or whatever else you happen to be holding. For normal use, the touchscreen is a fun gimmick but in the right setup it can make access very easy. You also get a Blu-ray drive, Wi-Fi, TV Tuner, webcam, remote control and 8 USB ports. The included speakers are surprisingly good and could easily be used for a range of multimedia playback.
As usual, you can find the HP online for a few hundred dollars less than its $1,999 RRP. Available from Hewlett Packard, retailing for $1,999.APC rating: 6/10