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

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell
Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score

8/10

Review Price free/subscription

Elsewhere there's a moderate assortment of applications, some useful, some less so. We liked the RSS Feed reader and weather applications, while the ability to play chess and solitaire using the touchscreen was nice, though hardly revolutionary. Unfortunately, things like the notes application were less useful. It might look nice but its assortment of sticky notes doesn't cry out as a killer application, whether it's simply for writing or recording messages.

We were also a little disappointed by the browser because, though it does the basics pretty well, it lacks a little refinement. To scroll pages you can't just drag the page around, you have to use the scroll bars either side of the page. You must also rely on Windows' own and rather basic on-screen keyboard for inputting text, where we'd sooner see something bespoke that's more attractive and easier to use.

Indeed, if there were one criticism of the TouchSmart interface it would be that it doesn't quite go far enough. What has been done is excellent; everything works very nicely and is more or less instantly intuitive. Yet, once you've played around with it a bit, you can't help but wish for a little bit more. It would be nice, for instance, to have a custom email client and some kind of basic word processing tool, so that the number of tasks that require the normal OS are greatly reduced. If and when HP achieves this, the TouchSmart will truly be a device that changes the way people use PCs.

Still, just to re-iterate, what is there works very well and though the price is comparatively high, the potential uses are numerous. As a TV come PC for communal areas of the home, particularly a kitchen or play room, the IQ500 has great potential and even if you don't use the touchscreen functionality regularly, this is still a very capable All-In-One PC, a fact helped greatly by the use of wireless accessories. Inevitably this is a machine that will split opinions, one you'll either "get" or not, but if the idea appeals then it's definitely worth investigating further and hopefully HP will continue to refine the interface over the coming years.

Verdict

An accomplished All-In-One PC with a twist, the HP TouchSmart IQ500 is an innovative piece of kit that delivers a genuinely unique approach to integrated computing. It does have its issues, a modest spec and high price being among them, but if you have the money and fancy something a little bit different then the IQ500 will fit the bill perfectly.

Scores In Detail

Performance
6/10
Value
7/10
Features
9/10
Design
9/10

Our Score

8/10
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Video Review

Wackywavinginflateablearmflail

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!

Wackywavinginflateablearmflail

September 19, 2008, 7:00 am

Whoops...

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.


http://www.frst.govt.nz/news/N...

ilovethemonkeyhead

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.



HSC

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.

Epic

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. :)

twisted2

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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