Advertisement
Advertisement

HP TouchSmart 600-1050UK review

David Ludlow
25 Mar 2010
HP TouchSmart 600
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,260
inc VAT

The screen's fantastic and it's a decent all round PC, but you can buy similarly-specified all-in-one computers with slightly smaller screens for a lot less.

Advertisement

Specifications

2.13GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P7450, 4.000000 RAM, 23in 1,920x1,080 display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

With its TouchSmart A600, HP has created what it hopes is the ultimate entertainment all-in-one PC. Things get off to a very good start and the A600 looks fantastic thanks to its neat design and glossy black plastic.

Then there’s the huge 23in multi-touch screen with a full HD (1,920x1,080) resolution. This gives you plenty of desktop space for working on multiple documents and is ideal for watching movies using the provided slot-loading Blu-ray drive. HP bundles its own movie playback software, which can handle DVDs and Blu-rays. It’s a shame that it doesn’t have a Media Center plug-in, particularly as a Media Center remote is included in the box.

It seems even more bizarre when you take into account that a TV tuner is installed, so you’ll want to use Media Center for recording and viewing live TV. The bundled tuner is a hybrid model with analogue and digital receivers. Given that analogue TV is now being phased out, we’d have preferred a dual digital tuner instead. Thanks to the 1TB hard disk, there’s plenty of storage space for recorded shows and a huge media library.

Films on the 23in monitor look fantastic. The glossy screen coating helps boost contrast. We used our Casino Royale Blu-ray for testing and colours looked bright and vibrant. Excellent viewing angles mean that you can watch films easily with a few friends. We found that the built-in stereo speakers were loud enough for watching TV and movies, although they’re quite tinny and lack bass. We recommend using an external set of speakers using the coaxial S/PDIF or stereo analogue outputs.

A screen like this isn’t just for movies, and it’s likely that you’ll want to use the A600 for games, too. The GeForce GT230 isn’t a bad graphics chip. It managed to run through our Call of Duty 4 test at 17.2fps; dropping the resolution and detail settings will definitely get you playable frame rates. It’s a similar story with our Crysis test, which managed 12.8fps at high quality settings.

To make the most of the touchscreen, HP has bundled its own touch interface software. It makes the PC easy to use with simple gestures and there are some clever applications for performing jobs, such as organising photos. This is a good way for kids to interact with the computer, but it’s often easier and more convenient to use the bundled slim-line wireless keyboard and mouse, or the bundled remote control.

HDMI and composite AV inputs on the side of the A600 mean that you can simply connect other devices, such as games consoles or Blu-ray players directly to the A600 and use its screen as a regular monitor. A dedicated AV button lets you cycle through the inputs quickly.

HP has fitted the PC with a 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo P7450 processor and 4GB of RAM. The overall score of 70 is a little disappointing for such an expensive computer and means that this PC has similar performance to a laptop with a Core i3 chip. You’ll be able to perform most jobs on this PC, but we would have liked a slightly faster processor.

The large, excellent screen and Blu-ray drive make this a desirable computer, but we wish that the movie playback software was integrated into Media Center and that the TV tuner had dual digital receivers. As it stands, you can get the 21.1in Asus Eee Top ET2203T-B0347for just £789. It has similar performance and a Blu-ray drive, and is a slightly better choice if you want an all-in-one.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo P7450
Processor external bus266MHz (1,066MHz quad-pumped FSB)
Processor multiplierx8
Processor clock speed2.13GHz
Processor socketSocket P
Level 1 cache2x 128KB
Level 2 cache3,072KB
Memory4.000000
Memory typeDDR2
Maximum memory4GB

Ports

USB2 ports (front/rear)2/3
Firewire ports (front/rear)0/0
eSATA ports (front/rear)0/0
Wired network ports1x 10/100/1000
Wireless networking support802.11n
Other portsHDMI input, composite and stereo phono inputs

Internal Expansion

Caseall-in-one
PCI-E x1 slots (free)0 (0)
PCI-E x16 slots (free)0 (0)

Hard Disk

Hard disk model(s)Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB
InterfaceSATA 150
Total storage capacity1,000GB

Graphics

Graphics card(s)Nvidia GeForce GT 230
Graphics/video portsnone

Sound

SoundRealtec High Definition Audio
Sound outputsstereo phono, S/PDif
Speakersintegrated

Removable Drives

3.5in floppy driveno
Supported memory cardsSDHC, MMC, Memory Stick Pro
Optical drive modelOptiarc BD DRV BC-5600S
Optical drive type(s)BD-ROM + DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Display

Viewable size23 in
Native resolution1,920x1,080
Screen inputsHDMI, composite

Other Hardware

ModemNo
KeyboardHP RK713A
MouseHP RM809A

Software

Software includedCyberLink DVD Suite Deluxe, HP MediaSmart DVD
Operating systemWindows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
Operating system restore optionrestore partition

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB
Price£1,260
Supplierhttp://www.dixons.co.uk
Detailswww.hp.co.uk

Read more

Reviews