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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

February 7, 2011 at 10:15 AM

HP unveils reclining touch PC

If you’re in the market for an all-in-one Windows PC, there’s a new option from Hewlett-Packard coming out this week.

The company today announced the TouchSmart 610, a $900 consumer model going on sale Wednesday, and the 9300 business version, which goes on sale in May.

touchsmart2.jpg

Both have 23-inch diagonal touchscreens, slot-load disc players and a sleeker design than the slablike TouchSmarts that first debuted with Windows Vista. They’re still not as gorgeous as an iMac, but they’re getting closer and have more hardware bang for the buck.

Their money feature is a tilting stand that reclines the display nearly horizontal into a position that’s easier for prolonged touch activity and more natural for doodling, arranging photos, playing games. When reclined, the touchscreen is in a position more akin to using an iPad or other tablet computer while seated.

hptouchsmart3.jpg

HP also added a new laptop link application that lets users access and control the desktop of their laptop from the TouchSmart. The laptop’s desktop appears as a window on the TouchSmart, and gestures and taps on the screen are converted to mouse clicks to remotely control the laptop.

The TouchSmart 9300 is going to be based on Intel’s “Sandy Bridge” hardware platform, which was recalled with a glitch. The press release mentions the “second generation Intel Core processors.” Pricing hasn’t been announced.

The consumer 610 model is shipping with the first-generation Core i5 650 processor, at least to start.

It would have been nicer if the base 610 came with the quad-core i5, but the specs nevertheless aren’t too shabby. The base model comes with 6 gigabytes of DDR3 RAM, a 1 terabyte hard-drive, a built-in TV tuner, HP’s upgraded “Beats” audio system and a Bluetooth/80211.n radio.

UPDATE: The initial price and specs provided by HP were a little misleading. The base, $900 model has much lower specs. It doesn’t have any flavor of Core i5 processor – it has an AMD Athlon X4 with 4 gigs of RAM and a 750 gig hard drive.

There’s a higher-end model that starts at $1,149 that has the i5 650, 6 gigabytes of RAM and a terabyte drive. That changes the value equation.

HPtouchsmart1.jpg

Comments | Topics: HP, Microsoft, pc

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