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HP TouchSmart 610 – Speakers, Screen and Touch

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers



Our Score:


Part of its premium product branding, the TouchSmart 610 utilises Beats audio for its speakers. After our experience with the HP Envy 14 Beats Edition, we were ready for disappointment, but thankfully, that wasn't the case here. The large speakers here produce a room-filling volume with only the slightest hint of distortion at maximum. Otherwise there's plenty of clarity, depth and punch. Though they do suffer from the bass bias that's synonymous with the Beats name, this is actually an advantage for movies and games – and you'll want to do plenty of both considering the 610's rather lovely screen.

We're seeing a real trend towards high-quality displays recently, with standout examples such as the Samsung Series 9, Apple iPhone 4 and Eee Pad Transformer. With iMacs now also utilizing IPS displays (the panel type used in professional-grade monitors such as the Dell UltraSharp U2410), it's only logical that HP follows its example, and the TouchSmart 610 sports a 23in, Full HD (1,980 x 1,020) IPS display.

As expected from IPS, viewing angles are simply superb – though there was a hint of colour shift, something we would sooner associate with PVA. Colours were generally accurate and saturated, helped by the screen's glossy finish, with deep blacks and good greyscale differentiation rounding off a strong performance. Overall, the 610 is a joy for entertainment, photography work, or even design and art – the high-quality panel makes it all possible.

Touch on the TouchSmart, meanwhile, is about what you would expect from the optical touch system. It accepts input from your fingers or any other object, and will recognise up to two simultaneous fingers – enough for the most common gesture controls. It's reasonably accurate and very responsive, though it doesn't match the experience of a capacitive display.

HP has now had several generations to perfect its TouchSmart software interface and it shows, as it's one of the slicker solutions we've seen on a Windows platform. You can arrange icons to your heart's content against dynamic backgrounds that move with your gestures. You can pin photos and shortcuts to this background much like a notice board, and it's all very slick and (potentially) visually attractive.

HP TouchSmart interface

A number of touch-based games and applications are included, but the stand-out here really is the aforementioned Ubisoft R.U.S.E. for Touch. R.U.S.E. is a real-time strategy game (RTS) which has also been optimised for the PlayStation Move and works nearly as well with the touch screen. We're not sure we wouldn't prefer playing with the mouse and keyboard in the long-term, but there's no denying the novelty and sheer intuitive joy of playing with nothing but your fingers, and the screen's sloped angle makes it quite comfortable to use for extended periods.

Speaking of fingers, the biggest down-side of all this touch goodness is the amount of finger-prints easily visible on the 610's glossy screen, so you'll be putting the included cleaning cloth to good use.

Ala Miah

May 18, 2011, 10:15 pm

On key features you say HDMI-out, under Cons you say no HDMI-out, which one is it?


May 19, 2011, 3:27 pm

Thanks for pointing that out, its now fixed. As it says in the review, the 610 has twin HDMI inputs but doesn't have HDMI-out.


May 21, 2011, 11:00 pm

The fan is too loud. I like to use my computer in peace and quiet, but the computer makes too much noise. I am going to return it to Costco this weekend. I need a computer to be whisper quiet, like my old HP Omni 100.


July 19, 2011, 1:13 am

Come on guys, you have been given the £1200 1030 model by HP but are video reviewing it as if it is the £900 1000 model - big difference in processor and graphics speed .... might have made you a bit less keen if you had realised that !

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