All-in-one PCs (AIO) has a very niche market, especially in this part of the world. While boasting impressive technology and decent specs, its high price range and limited expandability works as a discouraging factor for those who are looking to pick up a pre-built PC for regular home/office use. This hasn’t stopped manufacturers from shipping their latest products, however, with each installment getting ‘bigger and better’ than the rest of its brethren.
HP is one such company. Despite a seemingly low demand, the company has shown resilient commitment to the multi-touch cause, and has been out and about in the market with its TouchSmart range of PCs for quite some time. Their latest addition, the TouchSmart 610, not only offers refined software interactivity, but also adds superior multimedia capability and design enchantments that makes it even more convenient to use.
Display & Hardware
The TouchSmart 610 is not the most handsomest of the displays you will see, neither is it fit enough to claim such a thing. But it’s overall sturdiness, and it’s clever use of shine and gloss gives it a very…executive-ish look, if I may say. It looks efficient, is efficient, and is up for a multitude of tasks wherever and however you use it. Plus its non-to-drastic appearance helps it blend well into a modern living room, and not stand out like a attention grabber that these things can get.
It’s a 23-inch 1080p display, and thankfully, uses an IPS panel to power the visual goodness. Off the bat, color accuracy, brightness and contrast were pretty much spot on, and I never felt the need to task myself to calibrate it (which you should anyway, if you have the means). The only bit of problem with the display is that it’s a tad bit glossy. As much as I enjoy looking at my handsome set of features (I am lying), I do not enjoy it when it’s overlapping a dark scene in a movie or a video game. Lights and other bright sources bounces off as well, so one has to make sure it’s strategically placed to avoid annoyances.
Coming to the internal side of things, the display is covered with all sorts of utilities you can think of. A little flap behind it’s back holds most of the portals…or ports, if you do not choose to be so fantastical about it (bore!). Aside from the necessary power jack, you will find various USB outlets (including v3 variety), PCIe slots, MiniCard sockets, HDMI jack, and a Ethernet jack. The unit comes with its own TV tuner, so there is a jack for that as well. Additionally, you will find two USB ports, volume rockers, headphone and mic jacks, and a memory card reader on the side of the display as well, including a DVD-ROM to boot (Blu-ray is optional). The TouchSmart also comes equipped with a webcam that can be shifted up or down with a conveniently placed slider.
What sets the design apart from the rest, however, is its stand. On the usual, it holds the display at 90 degrees, but push it firmly from the top and the stand slides the display to a 60 degree angle. It’s a lot more convenient to write or draw in this position, or while working standing up.
Another thing that gives the TouchSmart 610 an edge over others is its superb audio system. It’s powered by Beats, much thanks to HP and Dr. Dre6′s growing friendship which has seen the audio integration throughout the company’s various lineups like laptops, netbooks, etc.
As you would expect, the Beats perform remarkably well and are seriously loud. In our numerous days of HD trailer spotting, the sound was rich, with good bass and overall fullness. We played a few tracks on it as well, ranging from Bollywood latkas and jhatkas, to some video game OSTs. Suffice to say, they sounded fantastic.