Summary: If HP's TouchSmart 600 won't at least get you thinking about the idea of bringing a PC into your kitchen, the concept truly has no hope. With well-thought-out touch apps, a wide, easy-to-use array of digital media features, and an attractive, flexible design, HP's new all-in-one is not the fastest new all-in-one, but it has the most comprehensive and compelling set of features of any all-in-one launching alongside Windows 7.
Pros: Matches Sony in capability to connect and switch between external video sources easily; Recipe Box touch program best kitchen app we've seen; smart touch app partnerships with Hulu, Twitter, and Netflix; loud enough to fill a room.
Cons: Slow performance; touch input suffers from occasional unresponsiveness.
Excerpt: When we heard HP was building its latest TouchSmart with Intel’s Core i7 processor, we figured it was game-over for the competition: Lenovo and Sony use quad-cores, too, but they both tapped Intel’s Core 2 Quad. MSI picked an even less capable Core 2 Duo (and priced its machine accordingly). But when the benchmarking dust had cleared, HP sat in third place across the board. What happened?
Pros: Best-in-breed touch-screen; excellent webcam; IR emitter; 6GB DDR3.
Cons: Relatively slow CPU; relies on external power brick.
Excerpt: Evaluating successive generations of HP’s TouchSmart series reminds us of shopping for a new car. If you fall in love and buy this year’s model, you must never, ever visit the showroom to look at next year’s model or you’ll be hit with a bout of buyer’s remorse faster than you can say “planned obsolescence.
Excerpt: HP’s top-of-the-line third-generation TouchSmart touchscreen PC should keep the line front and center for consumers looking for an all-in-one running a Microsoft operating system. Its sharp design, surprising utility, and inspired suite of touchscreen applications makes it an ideal choice for any family looking to place a stylish computer in a common area.
Pros: Huge, gorgeous, 16:9 1080p screen., TouchSmart suite delivers some excellent programs., Svelte and attractive design., Doubles nicely as a PVR/TV, complete with HDMI input for game consoles.
Cons: Touchscreen is still just a smidge finicky., Middling processor and graphics card could do with an upgrade., It’s still a bit costly.
Conclusion: There is one last performance metric to mention, and it is one that more and more people are becoming concerned with: power consumption. We can’t tell you how owning a TouchSmart 600 is going to impact your carbon footprint, but we can tell you how much power it consumes and how much it is going to add to your electric bill.