Naturally, touch isn’t the only way to interact with HP’s
TouchSmart 610, and there’s an extensive selection of peripherals included. The
isolation/chiclet keyboard almost equals Apple’s slim model for sheer style and
slimness, though it includes a full number pad and dedicated volume controls,
and uses AAA batteries. Its matte surface is almost soft to the touch and the
well-spaced keys offer excellent feedback. Quite frankly, it’s a king among
Unfortunately, the ambidextrous optical mouse does little to
maintain this impression. It’s as basic as it gets with a rubberized two-way
scroll-wheel and two buttons, and its glossy surface shows off smudges worse
than the PC’s glossy screen.
The included glossy Windows Media remote is simply huge,
which makes it comfortable to hold and gives the shapely rubber keys plenty of
room for an excellent layout. It’s not particularly stylish and will require
you to move your hand to reach all its buttons, but otherwise does a good job.
When it comes to value the TouchSmart 610 is available for a
reasonable £1,099. While this might seem expensive compared to PC rivals, don’t
forget you’re getting a superior IPS screen, better connectivity, more
adjustability and a more comfortable touch experience, not to mention extras
like the TV tuner and media remote, all in a well-built and quiet machine.
Apple’s new 21.5in iMacs are probably the TouchSmart’s biggest rivals, also offering IPS
displays. Build and design are on a whole other level, not to mention
Thunderbolt connectivity, Sandy
Bridge internals, better
graphics and HD webcams, all for £100 less.
However, do keep in mind that you’re left with a slightly smaller screen (the HP offers 23 inches), a third of the storage, no touch, no height
adjustment, no wall mounting capabilities, no TV functionality, less connection
flexibility, no HDMI video outputs, less memory and – crucially for HD
movie-lovers – no Blu-ray player. In the end, which one you go for will depend
on personal preference.
HP also offers the option of an £899 TouchSmart 610-1000uk,
rather than our 1030uk review model. This gives you the same screen, chassis, flexibility
and connectivity, put drops the processor down from a Core i5 to a Core i3, the
graphics down to a Radeon HD 4270, the hard drive from 1.5TB to 750GB, memory
from 6GB to 4GB and downgrades the Blu-ray drive to a DVD-rewriter. Frankly,
for the £200 extra it demands, the TouchSmart 610-1030uk is by far the better
Thanks to its ability to fold down to 30 degrees, here we
finally have an all-in-one PC on which touch makes sense, and thanks to its
gorgeous 23in IPS display it’s a true pleasure to use from any angle. HP also
throws in a whole raft of connectivity on top of powerful specifications, not
to mention great extras like the digital TV tuner and Blu-ray drive, making for
one of the most well-rounded models available. If you can afford it, it’s well
worth the outlay.
Score in detail