So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
HP TouchSmart IQ518
HP's TouchSmart IQ518 is an all-in-one PC with a 22in touch screen.
- Touch screen, space-saving design, integrated hybrid TV tuner
- No expansion slot, no DVI or HDMI port
The TouchSmart is one of the first PCs on the market to employ the benefits of touch-screen technology, and it does a good job of it. This unit can be used as a typical PC or as a media centre/music kiosk in your home.
Price$ 2,499.00 (AUD)
With its 22in touch screen, HP's TouchSmart IQ518 is one of the most interesting PCs on the market. It offers a new way to interact with a PC, giving it more of a kiosk feel right in your own home.
The touch screen works most effectively when used in conjunction with the TouchSmart's media interface, which lets browse albums by cover, similar to the way you would on an iPod Touch. You can also drag-and-drop songs to playlists, and pretty much undertake any function just by touching the screen. The touch screen really is a fun way to navigate around your media files and the Vista operating system in general.
The TouchSmart is thin (approximately 7cm at its thickest point) and rests on a desk like a photo frame, taking up approximately 22cm from the front to the rear of the stand. As such, it won't take up much more space than a regular 22in LCD monitor, as the guts of the PC are located behind the 22in screen itself. However, this means that the screen needs great viewing angles if it is to be usable from various sitting positions — and it does. It can be viewed comfortably from the sides, and also when you're standing or sitting (if you view from too high up the picture does become slightly harder to see).
The screen is vibrant, contains plenty of contrast and is suitable for watching movies. However, it has a glossy coating that will get on your nerves as it is susceptible to reflections from room lights and windows. You can't just change the angle of the screen by tilting and rotating it to overcome these reflections, so the only option is to switch off the lights.
An Intel Core 2 Duo T7250 CPU (2GHz) runs the TouchSmart's 64-bit Windows Vista operating system, and it also comes with 4GB of RAM, NVIDIA 9300M GS graphics, and a 7200rpm, 500GB hard drive. These specifications are slightly better than the HP Touchsmart PC IQ500, which we reviewed in June 2008. It will run most office applications that you throw at it, and it will also do a relatively swift job of encoding videos and music. Indeed, it's a jack-of-all-trades type of PC that's just as capable of being a regular PC as it is a media centre. But you can't use it for much gaming.
There is a slot-loading DVD burner on the right-hand side of the TouchSmart; it's a little stiff and discs sometimes require more than a little nudge to go in. This side of the unit also has an SD memory card reader and a mini-FireWire port, as well as physical volume controls. A cluster of ports on the left-hand side of the unit includes three USB 2.0 ports, a TV aerial port (it has a digital tuner), S-Video out, as well as analog and S/PDIF audio output. It lacks an expansion slot of any kind, but that's not a major flaw considering it has almost everything you need built in — including 802.11n wireless networking, Bluetooth and Gigabit Ethernet.
A bigger omission is a monitor output port. The TouchSmart lacks a DVI port and HDMI, so the only video output option is S-Video. While the touch screen is the main drawcard of this unit, it would still be nice to see a high-definition output port should you ever want to plug it in to your big-screen TV or run a second monitor.
The TouchSmart has built-in speakers and a keyboard light, and it comes with a wireless keyboard and mouse. Overall, it's a well-built unit with a sensible and mostly functional design. We would have liked the port cluster to be a little easier to get to — as it stands, you have to turn the TouchSmart sideways to plug anything into it.
The TouchSmart isn't your everyday type of PC, but it was loved by everyone in our office who used it. It's a convenient PC for use in the lounge room or in any room where space is at a premium. Check it out if you want something that's a little different from the norm.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- 2 Samsung Q9F Series QLED: Peak performance from a home entertainment heavyweight
- 3 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- Lenovo updates ThinkStation family of workstations
- Fujitsu Launches a New Enterprise Thin Client Model
- WWDC 2018: Apple Introduces macOS Mojave
- Windows 10 update (and retirement) calendar: Mark these dates
- CES 2018: Everything Announced By ASUS
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Huawei Nova 3e: P20 in a pinch
- Sonos Beam review: A more-affordable, smarter soundbar option
- Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- 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