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HP Touchsmart 600-1220uk review

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HP Touchsmart 600-1220uk
  • HP Touchsmart 600-1220uk
  • HP Touchsmart 600-1220uk
  • HP Touchsmart 600-1220uk
  • HP Touchsmart 600-1220uk
  • HP Touchsmart 600-1220uk
  • HP Touchsmart 600-1220uk
  • HP Touchsmart 600-1220uk
  • HP Touchsmart 600-1220uk
  • HP Touchsmart 600-1220uk
  • TouchSmart 600-1220uk WX109EA Desktop Computer - Intel Core i5 i5-430M Dual-core 2.26 GHz - All-in-One (4 GB DDR3 SDRAM - 1.50 TB HDD - BD-Reader/DVD-Writer BD-ROM/DVD-RAM/?R/?RW - Gigabit Ethernet - Wi-Fi: Yes - IEEE 802.11n - Bluetooth: Yes - 58.4 cm)

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

Over the years we’ve reviewed several iterations of HP’s Touchsmart line (most recently last year's IQ810) and have watched with interest as it evolved over time. Each iteration has improved on the last and gradually dealt with niggling issues such as an underpowered specification or a lack of inputs - so with the latest update to the TouchSmart 600, we are hopeful that HP might have finally dotted the ‘i’s and crossed the ‘t’s to produce a flawless offering.

The HP Touchsmart 600-1220uk is the top-of-the-range model and costs £1,399 direct from HP. For that you get a 23in display with a Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 resolution screen, a Core i5 M430 running at 2.27GHz with 4GB of RAM, all of which is powering Windows Home Premium 64-bit. In this regard it’s no lightweight, though the Nvidia GeForce GT 230 graphics are a tad anaemic compared to what you’ll get in an iMac, with a Radeon HD 4670 Apple’s base line choice. Storage is provided by a 1.5TB hard disk.

As ever, the TouchSmart features the same simple but effective design. All the main components are located behind the display and it has just has one cable to hook it up – the power cable. It all rests on two feet under the display, with a stand behind it that enables it to be angled between 5 and 40 degrees.

The display is surrounding by a thick bezel made of heavy set plastic, which is smart but not chic in the way a Sony Vaio All-in-one or an iMac is. Top centre of the bezel is a web cam, while below it there’s a speaker strip. At the bottom right of the display there’s a button that directly launches the TouchSmart interface, which is really the main raison d’etre of the TouchSmart PC.

Down the left side you’ll find two USB 2.0 ports, a headphone socket and a 3.5mm audio input. Above this you’ll find a button that turns on a light with various levels depending on how often you press it, which is useful to see the keyboard in the dark and provide some ambiance while watching late at night with the lights off. It’s not exactly Philips’ Ambilight, however.

On the right hand side you’ll find the power button at the top right, while in the middle there’s a power light that indicates disk access. Beneath this is a button that gives access to the brightness and contrast controls, while underneath this is large volume up and down buttons, and a mute switch. At the bottom is multi-format card reader.

Remove a panel at the rear and you’ll find three more USB inputs and a Gigabit LAN connection. You’ll also find a DVB-T tuner for terrestrial but we could find no mention of support for Freeview HD, which is a shame – something for the next version. You get both a 3.5mm line-out and a coaxial SPDIF output for digital audio and an IR extender connector.

GoldenGuy

November 18, 2010, 5:11 pm

You gotta admit though, Apple is taking the mick by touting their iMac as the ultimate media centre when they still refuse to put a simple Blu-Ray drive in. I'd say that makes the choice a lot more difficult than the mere £50 gap you suggest. (Course you could always add one on under Windows with Boot Camp but the point stands.)

TechVegan

November 18, 2010, 8:42 pm

@GoldenGuy:


That's why we didn't say the iMac was superior altogether but rather an 'interesting alternative'. And as you mention, at least it's possible to add blu-ray to the iMac, while you can't upgrade the TouchSmart's average screen to an IPS panel as used in Apple's machine. But I do agree, it is 'taking the mic'.

jingyeow

November 18, 2010, 10:22 pm

Well the future is downloads and streaming. Apple can see this, and isn't even bothering with the disc route I guess. I myself do not purchase ANY games outside of Steam anymore. I don't want the clutter of discs or the time wasted installing games in that fashion.





The only time I ever use the DVD drive in my pc, is to watch the odd box-set like Futurama, and even then I'd prefer to rip them to the pc, so I never have to use discs again.

Jayboy

November 18, 2010, 11:46 pm

Downloads and streaming are the future. But until i get more than 50GBs a month download cap then i will stick to buying Blu-Ray discs and watch them on my tv rather than computer. I agree about Steam though. Since its come out for mac i can see finally how great it is. Being able to redownload titles with no charge is great too

TechVegan

November 19, 2010, 2:58 pm

@darkspark88:


It might be the future but it's far from a reality for many, and I agree with Jayboy.


About the games, surely it takes longer to download and install than to just install from disc? It's the same amount of data, after all...


And physical media still offer many advantages: you can't sell on digital downloads, or lend them to friends; they use up your bandwidth and data allowance; and you have to print quick-cards, manuals and maps yourself if you want to view them while gaming.

Dork

August 28, 2011, 9:01 pm

Bought this recently for £800. Great Price. Absolutely delighted. Its an amazing machine and the touchscreen works brilliantly. Pity about all the finger smudges. Yeah the silly kids games can be removed and you have to download alot of windows updates; but thats no big deal. The review did not mention that you have to use a usb dongle to get the wireless mouse\keyboard to work (all supplied); so that unnecessarily uses up usb port. Alot of computer with alot of features for the money.

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