Hewlett-Packard Australia TouchSmart IQ770 Desktop PC
- Touch-screen, Connectivity options, SmartCentre software, Innovative design.
- No simple do-it-yourself upgrade options
The HP TouchSmart IQ770 PC has an innovative design and intuitive functionality making it a pleasure to use. It could just as easily sit in the lounge room or the study and act as an entertainment centre, family organiser or home office machine. The touch screen interface works well and, more often than not, was the preferred method of navigation during our testing.
Price$ 3,699.00 (AUD)
In an Australian first, we take a look at the HP TouchSmart IQ770 PC, an innovative concept designed to turn computing into a hands-on experience. It has plenty of power for the home user and with a widescreen 19in touch-screen monitor, it can also function as a user-friendly organiser, photo kiosk and multimedia entertainment centre.
Despite the supplied wireless keyboard, mouse and stylus, you can't help using your fingers to swiftly navigate through Windows Vista and the supplied HP SmartCentre software. The screen is neither heat nor pressure sensitive, but rather uses two cameras to determine where your pointer is placed, regardless of whether you use your finger, the stylus, a pen or anything else you can think of. Overall it was accurate and responsive with only very minor accuracy problems towards the very corners of the screen and far more enjoyable than using the mouse most of the time.
We looked at a UK version of the TouchSmart PC, as no Australian specifications have yet been decided by HP. With an AMD Turion 64 X2 (1.6GHz) Dual-Core CPU and 2GB (2x1024MB) of DDR2 533MHz RAM, it handled multi-tasking in Windows Vista Home Premium without any noticeable performance problems. The built-in array of microphones (two microphones working in conjunction for higher quality sound) pick up voice clearly from a comfortable sitting distance and there's also a 1.3 megapixel camera which will be ideal for so live Internet video chat.
The HP TouchSmart IQ770 PC has a DVD-R/RW drive, DVB-T digital TV tuner, integrated speakers, 8-in1 media card reader (Compact Flash types I/II, MicroDrive, Memory Stick and Memory Stick Pro, SecureDigital, MultiMediaCard, as well as xD Picture cards) and an abundance of connectivity options. Combined with the large widescreen monitor and the 320GB hard drive (plenty of storage for your media) this makes for a good media centre experience.
Many of the connectivity ports such as the USB 2.0 port, S-Video, FireWire and RCA audio ports can be accessed from the front of the unit, immediately below the screen. More connectivity, such as a coaxial digital audio port and a 10/100/1000 LAN port can be found at the back with further USB 2.0 ports and another FireWire connection..
The HP SmartCentre software (Integrated within Windows Media Centre), gives you access to a few key Windows features, like Windows games and Windows Media Centre but can be customised to meet your needs. SmartCentre has been intuitively designed for the touch-screen functionality and includes an easy-to-use photo library and calendar/organiser that will suit the family home nicely. Within the organiser you can hand write notes, leave audio messages and set reminders for other users of the computer. With one touch, you can scroll through Windows Media Centre to watch a movie, record TV or listen to music.
By changing between touch-optimised and mouse-optimised settings within the SmartCentre software you can adjust the interface to suite your needs. The key differences between the two settings is the size of on-screen items like scroll bars and icons. Navigating by touch is fun, but if you're a veteran mouse and keyboard user you can always switch back to the standard mouse-optimised style (you may also wish to give the screen a wipe to clean off grubby fingerprints).
Regardless of the touch-based interaction, the kiosk-style form factor adds a whole new feel that's significantly different to the standard desktop. The monitor is mounted on top of the PC, which acts as a base (and counter-weight) for the whole chassis. The screen is height adjustable and can tilt on a hinge, allowing it to be placed in different modes. Lifting the monitor to its maximum height, like you might with any other standard desktop screen, puts it at a comfortable position to use like a desktop computer. Lowering the TouchSmart PC's monitor to its lowest point positions it more like a TV and it can be used as such.
The HP TouchSmart PC has also been optimised for an HP Photosmart A716, with a docking space behind the screen with specific ports and cables included in the package. This being said, the system can also be used with any other printer, just as you would with a standard desktop PC. HP have also added support for their external hard drive which houses a 2.5in notebook drive in capacities of 80GB or 120GB and slots into a special dock on the side of this machine. It uses a USB 2.0 interface, so you can always connect it via a USB cable to any other machine (with software).
The wireless keyboard has its own hide-away dock under the computer and you also get an HP Media Centre remote control in the package, which we found simple to use as a navigation tool within Windows Media Centre and SmartCentre.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- How to fix a limited connectivity problem on a Windows 7 PC
- Intel's silence on Optane SSDs raises questions about launch and focus
- Microsoft Surface Studio teardown reveals Intel and ARM chips inside
- You wear Zotac's new gaming PC on your back
- This may be the most expensive 'free' computer you've ever seen
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTBrand Marketing Manager - Premium Entertainment BrandNSW
- FTSAP BW ConsultantACT
- FTEnterprise Sales ManagerVIC
- FTTechnical Content CoordinatorVIC
- CCBiztalk DeveloperACT
- CCICT Contracts ManagerSA
- CCWebMethod DeveloperSA
- CCMultiple Infrastructure ArchitectsWA
- CCNetwork Architect / Lead Network EngineerACT
- FTSenior .Net DeveloperVIC
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTJunior-Mid Level Implementation CoordinatorQLD
- TPIT Procurement OfficerQLD
- TPProject CoordintorVIC
- FTTechnical Consultant MS Dynamics AXNSW
- FTIdentity Access + Security ConsultantSA
- CCBiztalk DeveloperVIC
- TPProgram ManagerNSW
- FTLife/400 Developers / Programmers - Permanent - North Ryde areaNSW
- TPDrupal Developer - Immediate startQLD
- CCAutomation TesterNSW
- TPBusiness Analyst - DataQLD
- TPDigital Business AnalystNSW
- TPBI Report Developer - SSRS SSIS SSASNSW