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Every now and again, reviewing a new PC can be a pleasure rather than a chore. The feeling is not the result of blistering performance or a full set of ticks next to a spec list, but the natural response to using high-quality kit that works exactly as you want it to. HP’s TouchSmart 600 looks beautiful and reveals an approach to …

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Graphics chipset

It wasn't in the article but from the HP website, the integrated graphics in this thing are:

NVIDIA® GeForce™ GT 230M with PureVideo® HD technology

1024 MB dedicated memory up to 2815 MB total available graphics memory as allocated by Windows 7

So not too bad for casual gaming, then.

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sorry.

That nVidia chipset is about 20% slower than the Radeon 4670 in the iMacs. (or the 4850 they can be easily upgraded to for $180, or the 4870 in the 27" monster, all of which are cheaper than this 23" HP...

The 4670 is not much more than half the speed of my 8800GT, which is a dated card I find struggles with most modern games in good resolutions (native res on the HP). It's barely faster than the 9600MGT in the Macbooks... Granted, the 9600MGT is a good enough GPU to play DDO in low resolutions inside a windows 7 virtual machine on a Macbook (how my wife currently plays), but it;s FAR from a "playable" GPU for modern games, and will likely struggle playing Starcraft II or Diablo III when they come out, let alone being capable of playing any games coming our 3 years from now.

If you want a machine for games, pretty much AT ALL, you should not be buying one that can't play lat years games in max res comfortably. This one can't play games from 3 years ago in those resolutions...

Casual gaming like Facebook games? yea. but netbook scan do that too, those don't count.

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Dead Vulture

Ok, sell me on this...

So, here we have a 1500 quid machine, which has the guts of a 500 quid machine. And what exactly is it that makes up this price difference? The "luxurious plastic"? Or that wonderful touchscreen?

Tell me again why I'd want a touchscreen on a 23" monitor? Just for rotating a picture WITH TWO HANDS? Wow, that must be some freaking advantage if I've just paid a thousand for it. And yet, it still gets a 90% raating, which tom e suggests that El Reg recommend I buy this piece of (sh/k)it.

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Anonymous Coward

Bling

Cos there's one born every minute - you can get a standalone multi-touch screen from HP and Dell already - end of 2010 the price point is supposedly gonna be $299 and a default offering with 7 PCs. There are boat loads in production and they are cheap to build - so you can't really blame the TS for the ridiculous price.

Been playing with the smaller Dell MT this week, lovely new optical tech forget about capacitive/acoustic TS - but ultimately though its great for the kids, you're back on the mouse and keyboard pretty quick - its totally counter-ergonmic for grown ups.

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@Buck Futter

Just because a machine is not aimed at big kids like yourself does not mean it sucks. It would look good in my front room. It wasn't really designed for you to play games on in your bedroom in your mums house.

Its well made and stylish and performs the function it was DESIGNED for. Now stop moaning or your mum wont let u go out tonight.

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Anonymous Coward

And there we have it

You're right - it's designed for halfwits who'd rather have the latest cool gadget because it's expensive and has the word 'designer' attached to it because it's just 'to die for!'

I bet you're one of the sheeple that subscribed to 'stylebible.com'

Nothing from HP is well-made and their "intelligent" software stack is hopeless. They're built from the components of the lowest bidder.

The internals are lack-lustre and certainly not worth the 300% markup (good estimate Buck - even with HPs ridiculous pricing)

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compared

HP comperably equpped (no tv tuner, 2.8GHz, 8GB 1TB, but lacking wireless keyboard, webcam, and microhpone Mac has) came in over $2100.

27" iMac 3.06 Core 2 Duo with same is about $1800. and has a slightly faster Radeo 4670 GPU as well, not to mention a much better IPS display panel with 4 more inches and nearly double the resolution.

21.5" imac is a bit smaller, but still higher resolution (even given the 1" smaller screen), still has a 3GHz cpu (and could be 3.33 for another $180), still has the better GPU, and is closer to $1600.

You can add a TV tuner to a Mac cheper than what HP charges for one, and a copy of parallels can be had free from many vendors and a copy of Win 7 is $49 as well, so for several hundred less, simply saccrifice the touch screen and you do in fact get a MUCH more powerful machine that runs Windows AND OS X. (or, and the iMacs can be upgraded to 32GB of RAM (16GB factory direct across 4 DDR3 slots). The HP maxes out at 8GB using slower RAM. Essentially, this is a $600 premium, saccrifice of webcam options, lack of OS compatability, and a slower machine for a touch interface.

...or, as rumor speculates, for $700-800 you'll be able to get an iPad in a couple of months with NFC, and put it in front of that iMac and use it as a touch interface for it... I'd much rather have a more powerful Mac with more and better options AND an iPad for a $100 premium than have this HP. They priced this out of reality.

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FAIL

32GB iMac?

iLOL'ed IRL.

Seriously, don't buy crap like that. Think again before you upgrade any of those POS expensive iTard devices.

iMacs are neither desktop nor laptop and come with NONE of the advantages of either and ALL of the disadvantages of both.

Can't you guys see that? Stuff like this is pure crap for the serious user. And who reads the El Reg but serious users?

Boxes > iMacs (and the like).

Ok. Don't agree with me, go buy your iMac, upgrade it etc... When it fails, don't come crying.

When my box fails, I fix it myself. What I can't fix, I replace and then send the broke part in, if applicable. I don't have to send my entire machine in to some lame outfit and wait for it. I can change my display whenever I like, relegating the old one to another box somewhere else.. I can.. I can go on forever..

But no.. that won't be enough.. iTards will still buy iMacs, and iJobs will iHave the iLOLs all the iWay to the iBank...

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Happy

In HP's defence....

It is a tad over priced, but as with the iMac, you pay for glitz wherever you go. I should also point out, I like Apple kit (I own an iPhone, and am very happy with it).

However, playing devils advocate, I should point out that this will do Blu-Ray, something the Mac will not (sad that there isn't even an option), and the only reason PC's don't run OSX is essentially down to Apple's dodgy restrictive practises. Looking at the UK website, the HP does have a webcam (admittedly, a poor one), and a PCI express x16 slot, which offers some novel possibilities. They also throw in the remote, something Apple do not. If you spec up the 21.5" Mac (base model, with iWorks and remote control), it comes in £400 cheaper - It depends how much you value the extra screen size, the touch functionality, Blu-ray and not having to be tarred as an Apple fanboy (I get that for only having a phone for crying out loud!)

Also, you can shop around for HP kit more widely, so prices will vary more widely than Apple. I'd also quite happily compare HP to Apple build quality (especially given the poor form of more recent iMacs).

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Troll

So you fix your own box always?

Remind me never to accept a ride in your car, if you apply this logic consistently. I'm sure you maintain and compile your own software stack and your DIY phone will be a joy to use.

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Paris Hilton

Santa brought me the IQ822

And I'm deleriously happy !

It's a 25.5 inch with the same processor and graphics.

The blue-ray movie experience has to be seen to be believed.

Available as HP Renew for £700 plus vat if you know where to look.

Oh and Paris because I bet she has a smart touch !

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Coffee/keyboard

Well, whaddya know?

Tablet PC onna stick!

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Nice keyboard though

I wonder if you can get it separately. Wouldn't mind one for my new machine if not too pricey.

Machine looked like an OK sort of thing for the missus once the price drops - but it's far too much for what it is at the moment.

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Fingerprints per-lease

It's hard enough to stop folk pointing to something on the screen without getting their sticky fingers all over it at the best of times. This just invites it.

Screens = for looking at.

Mice/controller - for manipulating stuff on the screen.

Or should I slide my finger across the screen to get my mouse to scuttle across the desk?

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DT

elfinsafty

The ergonomics of the screen on the desk idea (and its mac equivalent) are rubbish. It's the classic problem faced by laptop users, either face neck/back hunch or sit the thing higher, which resolves that issue, but puts wrists/hands in a bad position.

that alone makes it unsuitable as a serious productivity tool, as a leisure tool, it doesn't cut it either, out the box obsolete gaming capability, and a bluray of limited use without a larger screen

I can't think of many scenarios where either an upgradable concealed desktop, or a laptop and an extra monitor wouldn't do a better job.

Style/substance != 90%

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I'm confused

Can anyone explain to me what niche this is supposed to fill?

I see touhscreens as an improvement on small devices such as phones and possibly laptops because they negate the need for bulky keyboards and thus save a lot of space. I could also see the use of a good quality touchscreen on a laptop for writing directly onto.

Why on Earth would someone want a touchscreen ona desktop PC that doubles as a TV? What functionality des a touchscreen offer to a desktop PC (ie one that is designed for a desktop, and therefore to use a keyboartd/mouse) or a TV (which I never want to be anywhere within 10 feet to operate)?

This seems like an absurd premium to pay for the ability to rotate photos with my fingers as well as a mouse.

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Bronze badge

Bigger

would be better. I would think that a quad-core version with more RAM would not be a lot more expensive, and, as noted, it has a decent graphics chipset.

While this specific system is expensive for its CPU power, presumably the touchscreen hardware does cost money - so the premium for it would be easier to accept on a more upscale system.

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Dead Vulture

silly

it seems i'm not the only one who think that this product is useless. after watching the commercial which is quite irritating, i realized that the pc industry is in crisis. a deep one which involves creativity.

unless you run a business and need a cashier to enter the transaction for that's bought or refunded; this hardware is joke.

the rating from ElReg confirms it.

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Jobs Horns

Let's be practical...

...and call it what it is: an iMac with a non-yellowing screen. Selling point?

Sing along now...

"Whaaaat a friend we have in Steve Jobs..."

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Go

I'm looking for something like this - though this is too pricey

I'm thinking to get an all-in-one touch screen computer for my future small office room at home. I plan to use it as a business computer and a controller for playing the music in the house (occasional playing would be goo). I would though prefer to use it hanged on the wall; this could also be something good for the kitchen (on the fridge, like LG once did), browse the recepies and cook in the same room - though it's not ruggedised.

So far the price is too high, but the Acer Touchscreen all-in-one seems to be better value for the money and more appropiate for gaming (1000Euro).

An important criterion is connectivity (to a console, other computer) in my evaluation, and if in the kitchen how well it holds against in-air fat.

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Anonymous Coward

Two words...

...Gorilla arm.

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Great range of machines

You can pick up the same machine give or take a few specs and with Vista on it for £600 with the Touchsmart IQ500....which at that price, its not exactly a costly upgrade to drop in a 7 upgrade and your sorted for half the price and the same level of glitz.

I use one of them as a presentation machine, great fun to play with, and the screen is beautiful

Imac or Touchsmart? no contest really. With some good shopping the entire line of Touchsmarts have always been kickass and utterly smoke the leg waxers with the yellow screens :P

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