The AIO comes shipped with HP’s fourth generation of TouchSmart software. It features a ton of ‘apps’, including that of Facebook and Twitter, and other bare essentials such as a browser, calendar, recipe manager, notes, weather, and separate view managers for photos, music and videos. There is also an Apps Center, which by all means is pretty average, and is largely littered with kiddy games and other junk.
Like other TouchSmart Suites, one has to open it like any other software from Windows. It runs on full screen from there on, and allows to alt-tab out of it when pleased. The software, for what is largely an oversized smartphone UI, is quite smartly laid out. There is a snappy carousel at the bottom to host all the apps, with other tid-bits pushed towards the sides to give the current running app ample of space.
The apps are somewhat useful, to be honest, but nothing that I couldn’t live without or find a better and more convenient alternative on Windows. The browser, which will arguably be the most used app, leaves a lot to be desired. It’s optimized for touch, yes, but it’s rather slow and clunky for my everyday needs. And baring the Twitter application, which was actually quite usable, everything else is of the same average quality, as well.
But how is the touch of the TouchSmart, you ask? Surprisingly responsive. It reacted to every of our touch, tap and zap (or gesture, but the other was rhyming) with enough speed to never be an annoyance. Even on normal Windows, the touchscreen showed the same responsiveness and tact, and in fact is so good, it actually can be used almost exclusively (barring the necessary need of a keyboard). Of course, positioning it correctly is of utmost importance, or else it will inflict bodily harm.
Now performance wise we weren’t expecting much from the TouchSmart given it’s humble specifications. Still, for the price, we wanted to compare it to HP’s recent entertainment laptop, the DV6. Specs wise the new DV6 is much higher than the TouchSmart, especially given that it’s using the latest Sandy Bridge processor and AMD graphics card.
No surprises there, as the overall results in Passmark prove that the DV6 outperforms the TouchSmart by a huge margin. And just to show how powerful the new CPU and GPU in the DV6 are, the 3DMark 06 and compression benchmarks show nearly double the performance increase.
It’s true that the TouchSmart 610 is no performance monster, but then again it wasn’t aiming to be one either.
At AED 5999, the TouchSmart 610 certainly touches the high-end seam of things. It’s not a great gaming system, but that was sort of expected. While it’s slightly above average system performance may suffice for regular users, it’s power packed multimedia features should more than compensate for that. That, and coupled with a superb touchscreen and a decent software suite, and a unique design, the TouchSmart 610 more than packs an edge over others.