HP TouchSmart 610 review

Stylish touchscreen all-in-one desktop PC with 30-degree tilt option
Photo of HP TouchSmart 610
£1100

All-in-one desktop PCs used to be relatively rare, but with touchscreen tablets flooding the market, PC makers obviously feel their big brothers should get the same treatment. We recently reviewed the Acer Veriton Z411G and HP’s TouchSmart 300-1230. Now HP has brought out the slightly larger TouchSmart 610.

The TouchSmart 610 comes in stylish black and features a 23in Full HD (1920×1080 resolution) widescreen BrightView IPS monitor. It weighs a chunky 12.1kg and measures a solid 585x103x451mm. What immediately makes it stand out from the competition, however, is its ability to slide down from a vertical position to around 30 degrees, making it immensely comfortable to use as a sort of super-tablet.

Space-saving peripherals
For safety’s sake, the sliding mechanism requires considerable two-handed pressure to manoeuvre down to its lowest position. Once in place it takes up considerable space on your worktop. Perhaps it’s just as well, then, that HP bundles a slimline wireless keyboard (which is extremely responsive to operate) and a small, very basic, wireless mouse.

As this PC is intended to be a major entertainment centre, there’s no shortage of options to help you pass the time. On the right-hand side you’ll find a slot-load Blu-ray player and two HDMI inputs, while on the opposite edge there’s a large volume control, a couple of USB 2.0 ports, a 6-in-1 memory card reader plus audio in and out. Round the back is a very neat panel behind which are crammed two more USB 2.0 ports plus two USB 3.0s, TV coaxial, Ethernet (Wi-Fi is also standard) and audio jacks for the integrated Beats sound system, which provides a welcome blast of bass and volume for movies and gaming.

Superb touchscreen
Powering the machine is an Intel Core i5-650 clocked at 3.2GHz (a Core i7 version is also available), with 6GB DDR3 RAM and a whopping 1.5 TB storage. While this CPU provides more than sufficient oomph to run multiple tasks without breaking a sweat, we hope it won’t be long before an upgraded Sandy Bridge version hits the shelves. Similarly, the 1GB ATI Radeon HD 5570 graphics card handles relatively undemanding shooters like Tomb Raider Underworld easily enough, but the memory-hungry Call of Duty and Crysis will require considerably lower settings to avoid embarrassment.

Where the TouchSmart 610 clearly shines, though, is in the native HP touchscreen technology. Not only do you have the usual (and very smooth) scrolling and carousel menus, but you can attach ‘magnets’ of photos, music, videos and apps (HP now has a new AppCenter) to the desktop, which you can later interact with. A full version of Ubisoft’s RTS game R.U.S.E. is included, and an extremely handsome remote control is included for operating Windows Media Center. No question – HP leads the field with its TouchSmart 4.0 software suite.

Company: HP

Website: http://www.hp.com/

Contact: HP on 0845 270 4142

Positives
  • Excellent touch screen software; 30 degree tilting.
Negative
  • We'd have liked an upgrade to a Sandy Bridge CPU.

Verdict

HP's latest in the TouchSmart series is undoubtedly its finest, with a collapsible 'flat' screen, top-notch touchscreen technology and a host of entertainment peripherals adding to a Full HD display - power and graphics could do with a boost, though.