Tag Archives | HP TouchSmart

HP 3D: Passive vs. Active

HP announced a 3D PC display and a 3D PC today. To me, at least, the most interesting thing about them is that the company chose a different flavor of 3D for each device.

First the display. Its official moniker is the HP 2311gt 3D monitor, and it’s a 23″ LED-backlit display. Like most 3D movies you see in theaters, the 3D is passive, which means that its uses polarized glasses that don’t have any embedded electronics and don’t cost a lot of money. In fact, the display and two set of glasses go for $299.99, or about what you might pay for two pair of active-shutter glasses alone.

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HPs New Slant on Touch-Screen Computing

Everyone talks about touch-screen PCs–if only to knock them–but HP, with its TouchSmarts, is one of the few companies to have devoted much thought to making touch work. Its latest TouchSmarts, announced this week, feature a small change which could have a big impact on usability: Their stands can now fold backwards, letting you use the display in traditional upright orientation or push it down to a sixty-degree angle for easier pointing that doesn’t make you stretch your arm as much. (As Cult of Mac’s John Brownlee notes, the design looks a lot like one shown in an Apple patent.) The machine is shown here with the keyboard, but I think that nudging the display down will make most sense for uses that let you move the keyboard out of the way and interact with the PC purely through touch–to browse photos, for instance, or to listen to music.

The TouchSmarts continue to run an ambitious new version of HP’s software that was introduced last fall: With an interface customized for fingers, a desktop, and a bunch of apps, it’s the touch-centric take on Windows 7 which Microsoft probably should have built itself but never has.

The TouchSmart 610 has a 23-inch display, sports Intel Core 5 and 7 processors, and starts at $899.99; HP says it’ll be available on Wednesday. A version aimed at businesses, the TouchSmart 9300 Business PC, will pack second-generation Core processors and will have an SSD option; it’ll be available in May at a price to be announced.

Am I tempted by the TouchSmarts? Nope. For one thing, I don’t think I’ll ever buy a desktop again, even an unconventional one. For another, I’m perfectly happy with a keyboard and touchpad. Still, I’m glad to see HP put effort into the idea rather than simply slapping a touchscreen on an otherwise garden-variety computer running unmodified Windows.

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HP: Touch, Touch, and More Touch

HP LogoA month ago, HP unveiled a bunch of new Windows 7 PCs, but ones with touchscreens were conspicuous by their absence–and given that HP has been selling TouchSmart models for close to three years now, it would have been startling if it didn’t continue to do so once the touch-enabled Windows 7 debuted.

Tonight, the company announced a second round of Windows 7 machines, including multiple multi-touch TouchSmarts. The new all-in-one touch PCs include the 20″ TouchSmart 300, starting at $899, and the 23″ TouchSmart 600, starting at $1049; the company is also introducing a refreshed version of the TouchSmart tx2, a $799 laptop with a flip-around 12.1″ screen. Those systems are all aimed at consumers, but HP is also going after businesses with the TouchSmart 9100, an all-in-one that starts at $1299 and is meant for applications such as kiosks in public places. It’s even launching the HP LD4200tm, a $2799 touch-screen LCD TV meant for use as digital signage.

TouchSmart PC

I reviewed a nicely loaded $1600 configuration of the TouchSmart 600 for PC World— it runs Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit and has a Core 2 Duo CPU, Blu-Ray, a TV tuner with remote control, a 750GB hard drive, and a lot of other features–basically, it would be a very nice all-in-one PC whether or not it had a touch interface.

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