HP TouchSmart IQ500 All-In-One PC - HP TouchSmart IQ500

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell



Our Score:


Things only improve with the provided peripherals. Both the keyboard and mouse are wireless, something the iMac doesn't offer, and are excellent. Indeed, the keyboard in particular stands out. It's very slim, slotting nicely underneath the machine when not in use, has strong, responsive keys and a faultless layout. Likewise, the provided remote is large, easy to handle and feels every bit as well put together as the rest of the TouchSmart PC.

Predictably enough there are more connections on the back, hidden discreetly behind a removable panel. These include three more USB ports, an Ethernet port, an S/PDIF digital audio out, a regular 3.5mm audio output, a TV Aerial input, S-Video out, an audio Line-in and infrared receiver for the remote. All of which is pretty sufficient for a machine of this type, though if one were being picky a couple of video inputs (i.e. HMDI or Component) might extend the machine's uses somewhat.

Of course, despite the TV Tuner and multimedia leanings the IQ500 is still a PC, but, it must be said, not an especially powerful one. Presumably to help maintain a relatively quiet and cool machine HP has utilised mobile components rather than desktop ones and though there's nothing essentially wrong with this, those on offer here are somewhat threadbare. Its 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5850, for instance, means in raw terms the IQ500 isn't much faster than, say, the Samsung R510 - a relatively modest entry level laptop.

This, for the most part, isn't a problem while navigating the sumptuous touch sensitive interface (more on which in a moment), but even with 4GB of RAM and 64-bit Windows Vista Home Premium this shouldn't be misconstrued as a genuine desktop replacement - it simply doesn't have the grunt for such a role. A relatively measly nVidia 9300M GS with 256MB dedicated memory only reinforces this point.

Still, if the IQ500 is no powerhouse it's largely because it's not meant to be - its duties are likely to be web surfing, video and TV viewing and the occasional bit of photo editing. For these tasks it's perfectly capable, while the inclusion of Draft-N wireless and Gigabit Ethernet means you should have no problems streaming content to or from the IQ500. Moreover, the inclusion of integrated Wi-Fi and wireless peripherals meant that, provided you connect nothing else, the IQ500 is essentially a one cable device - that one cable coming from the relatively large AC adapter. This means the IQ500 should generate an absolute minimum of clutter, something all All-In-One PCs should aspire to.

Some praise must also be reserved for the integrated speakers. There's no "5.1 surround sound" trickery going on here, just two discrete full-range drivers, but they're very good ones, capable of pumping music out with impressive clarity and dealing with TV audio capably, too.


September 19, 2008, 6:58 am

"a 22in, 1,680 x 1,050 LCD display that, like the iPhone"

That's one hell of an iphone. Details Andy!


September 19, 2008, 7:00 am


stuart 2

September 19, 2008, 7:02 am

I think the TouchSmart use Optical Touchscreen technology from NextWindow (http://www.nextwindow.com/) which is achieved with cameras rather than a screen overlay which is how they manage to keep screen brightness up.



September 19, 2008, 1:35 pm

i think infra-red - like the original one if you look closely at the screen it's a little bit sunken in, the very edges of the screen, where the bezel starts have a small red coloured boarder: that must be an infra-red sensor.

it allows you to be able to use a stylus or anything else as a pointing device - something captive touch can't do. in some cases you can actually move the mouse cursor or make selections without touching the screen, by hovering anything really close to the screen.


September 19, 2008, 2:39 pm

if HP wants this and the IQ800 to occupy 'living spaces' then they must include a digital video output so that consumers can output to big screens when needed.

For what is essentially a laptop there is no excuse. The motherboard has two digital and one vga output - so they are only scrimping on providing a port.

are you listening HP..? Even an iMac has one...

Of course I expect the problem to be resolved eventually. Living room pc's are getting more available and more powerful. Once monitor manufacturers start building touchscreens ready for Windows7 the competition will increase.


September 19, 2008, 3:19 pm

Given that the user interface is one of the unique aspects of this machine a few screenshots wouldn't go amiss or even a video review

Andy Vandervell

September 19, 2008, 4:55 pm

Video review is coming, just waiting for it to be edited together. :)


February 15, 2009, 10:54 pm

I must mention a seemingly minor point with this type of design. Namely the slot loading drive for discs. With so many companys using the tiny ones how do you get them in? If its like my imac then you won`t be able to. Could well be a major setback for those who rely on pc`s for mobile phones, card readers and such as all I have seen of that ilk use small discs. Or am I being senile in my old age and missed something?

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