If you’re into using Skype or any other VoIP/video call packages, the TouchSmart has you well covered. As well as having an integrated webcam, HP has also equipped the unit with array microphones, so you shouldn’t even need to use a headset.
Of course you can’t do everything via the touch screen, which is why the TouchSmart ships with a wireless keyboard and mouse too – the keyboard slides into a recess at the base of the unit so it’s completely hidden when not in use. The TouchSmart also has a slot loading DVD burner with LightScribe, an integrated memory card reader and an optional slot-in 2.5in hard disk.
Internally the TouchSmart sports an AMD Turion 64 X2 – this is actually a notebook chip, so it should mean that the TouchSmart will run very cool and quiet, just like an iMac. Unlike an iMac, HP has been very generous with the memory and hard disk complement, specifying an impressive 2GB of RAM and a 320GB hard disk. There’s even a space at the rear of the machine where you can fit an HP photo printer, with the prints spitting out the front just under the screen.
The TouchSmart also has a built-in TV tuner, and with Vista and Media Center on hand, it would save me having to have a separate TV in my kitchen like I do now. And just to make things even easier, HP supplies its own Media Center remote with the package too.
The TouchSmart should be hitting UK shores very soon with an estimated retail price of £1,200. HP has promised me one of the first review samples to come off the production line, so check back soon for the full review.