Specs can sometimes speak for themselves, and any computer would be lucky to have all of this stuff under the hood: a 2.93-GHz Core i7 CPU, 8 GB of RAM, a terabyte hard drive, a Radeon 5570 graphics card, a TV tuner, a slot-loading Blu-ray player and DVD burner (with LightScribe), and both 802.11n and Bluetooth built-in.
But the computer in question is not a high-test gaming machine, it’s a touchscreen all-in-one desktop, the latest in HP’s TouchSmart line.
The TouchSmart 610 represents perhaps the top of the line of all-in-ones on the market today. Its feature list is untouchable and its benchmark scores run rings around everything else in the category, but that’s just the beginning.
The 23-inch display (1920 x 1080 pixels) is unbelievably spacious, and it features a first-of-its-kind swiveling system that lets it recline from dead-upright to a 60 degree angle. Why would you want your monitor screen to point nearly at the ceiling? Why, so you can use it standing up. This clever design feature makes the machine much better for use while standing than other machines, as the usual hunch-and-squint required to read them is avoided. I’d suggest the 610 is perfect for displaying recipes in the kitchen, but I don’t know what kitchen would be big enough for it.
My only real complaint from a hardware standpoint is that the swivel hinge is surprisingly difficult to manipulate. The sheer size and weight of the machine really makes it a three-handed job, and I expect users of less physical stature won’t be comfortable making regular changes to its positioning. Even I was worried about knocking the whole thing over when trying to simply kick the viewing angle back a bit.
My only other complaint about the 610 is aimed at its price tag. While $899 gets you in the door, you’ll have to shell out almost twice that for the full effect, and that’s a tough sell in a world where most vendors are putting out solid all-in-ones for around $1,000. Demerits given for greed.
WIRED Amazing performance for an all-in-one. Beautiful design and gorgeous, responsive screen. Thumping audio courtesy of Beats by Dre.
TIRED Simply too expensive. Access to rear USB ports is tricky. Swivel mechanism needs a little spit and polish. Included keyboard is too thin; keys have minimal travel.
Photo by Jon Snyder/Wired