HP TouchSmart IQ810 Review - HP TouchSmart IQ810 Review


Aside from a few stickers, the front of the IQ810 looks stunning. The casing around the screen is glossy black plastic, of the finger-print and dust-loving kind, but at least there’s only one button set into it. Otherwise the only thing that breaks its clean lines is the subtly integrated webcam. Inside bezel surrounding the screen looks like it’s simply a black part of the display thanks to a smooth glass sheet that covers both it and the screen. This is a trick HP also employs to great success on its Pavilion notebooks. The glossy casing is offset from the matte black speaker-bar beneath it by silver trim that runs around all the IQ810’s edges.

Even the all-in-one PC’s sides and back aren’t unattractive. This is, of course, where you’ll find the bays and connectivity, but they’re all either well-hidden or nicely integrated. On the right side is the LED backlit power button near the top, while near the bottom are an optical drive indicator, volume controls, a card reader and four-pin FireWire port. The volume controls are very large and easy to use without having to look around the side. The memory card reader will accept SD/SDHC, MMC, MS/Pro and xD. Behind this section is the slot-loading Blu-ray drive.

At the top are ventilation slots and an HP Pocket Media Drive bay, which takes proprietary HP drives through USB. On the left, meanwhile, is a large button which switches on blue LED lighting along the unit’s underside, illuminating your keyboard. You can set it to various strengths by repeatedly pressing the button. Below this are two USB ports located very close together, and 3.5mm headphone plus line-in jacks.

Behind this is a removable cover, under which there’s a plethora of other connections. Three further USB ports are followed by a Gigabit Ethernet jack, digital and analogue audio outputs and an S-Video input. There’s also another line-in, and an IR-out port for the supplied IR extender cable. By now you might have noticed what’s missing here: any form of digital or even high-definition video input. This is a real shame, and goes against the everything-for-everyone ethos the IQ810 seems to otherwise embody.

I mean come on HP, you give us a gorgeous 25.5in screen theoretically able to show content from any capable console in glorious high definition, but no way to plug these consoles in unless you’re willing to hook your PS3/Xbox360/Wii in through S-Video – in which case you should be committed. If HP sold televisions I might at least see a reason, but as it is the company has seriously narrowed the appeal of this machine. The only excuse is that this is a failing with many all-in-one machines, including the Apple iMac.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.