Excerpt: All-in-one desktops occupy a very unique niche. In the simplest sense, they are a compact desktop computer, with all the individual peripherals integrated to create a single unifying design. There are advantages to this quality alone. The AIO's smaller footprint gives you more freedom to clutter your desk with other odds and ends. Having the guts of the computer contained within the same chassis as the monitor also minimizes cable clutter.
Summary: If the window you need is not currently displayed on the screen, a click on its taskbar icon will instantly bring it front and center no matter where it is on the Magic Canvas. HP was offering a $300 instant rebate on this machine at press time, taking its online price down to just $1,200. That’s an exceptional price for a computer this powerful.
Pros: Magic Canvas UI; fast CPU (for an all-in-one); discrete GPU; lots of memory.
Cons: Poorly placed display input switch; 5,400rpm hard drive.
Conclusion: I measured the power draw of the TouchSmart 520 using a Kill A Watt power consumption meter. At Idle, the system fluctuated between 60-65 watts. I used a combination of Prime 95 and OCCT’s PSU stress tool to generate a full load on the system of 132 watts. The system remained virtually silent throughout stress testing. I had high hopes for the Beats Audio on this system given the ample space for sizable speakers and HP didn’t disappoint.
Summary: If you’re looking for a PC fit for work and the family, the HP Touchsmart 520-1130ea is ideal, but fans of high-end gaming, and processor intensive tasks should opt for something a little more powerful.
Conclusion: Unless you plan on doing a lot of processor-stressing heavy lifting, such as HD video editing, one of these more modest configurations could be a better fit. Pair that under-$1,000 price with the TouchSmart's big, crisp touch screen and improved design, and we're willing to bet it will lure away more than a few potential iMac buyers.
Pros: Design is both good-looking and highly functional, Substantive touch software, Excellent application performance, Impressive audio and video output
Cons: Radeon graphics in test model didn’t add much gaming muscle, Windows 8 would make this machine more appealing, but won't be available for months
Excerpt: Considering how close HP came to selling off or severing its world leading PC division, it's products like the new TouchSmart 520-1070 all-in-one (AIO) that make us glad somebody switched out the company's water supply. Actually, it's HP's old CEO, Leo Apotheker, who was responsible for the OEM's temporary insanity, and not some tainted H2O, but that's a rant for another time and another place.
Pros: High-end hardware not typically found in most all-in-one systems, Discrete graphics opens the door to game play, Lots of storage space, Wireless mouse and keyboard, HP's Magic Canvas software works extremely well with the touchscreen, Beats Audio works wonders with the integrated speakers
Cons: You won't be playing overly demanding DX11 titles on this, Slow spinning hard drive