HP revamps TouchSmart PCs: Here comes the desktop, tablet merger

HP revamps TouchSmart PCs: Here comes the desktop, tablet merger

Summary: HP rolled out an overhaul of its TouchSmart PC line and effectively hints at what's to come in the industry as tablets and mobile devices become the dominant design metaphor.

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Hewlett-Packard on Monday rolled out an overhaul of its TouchSmart PC line and effectively hints at what's to come in the industry as tablets and mobile devices become the dominant design metaphor.

First, the basics. HP's new TouchSmart consumer and business PCs come with a 60-degree reclining display. These touchscreen desktop PCs have screens that recline to almost flat. The idea is that a flat surface---much like a tablet---will make collaboration easier and make the PC more comfortable.

HP is also touting "natural front-desk interaction where eye contact is important" and an "intuitive touch experience." In other words, HP's latest PCs will work well for the retail, hospitality and healthcare industries. The TouchSmart Consumer PC and TouchSmart 9300 Elite Business PC feature 23-inch screens. The PCs will come with HP's TouchSmart software and "touch-optimized" applications.

The larger question goes beyond these PCs that start at $899.99. Are we seeing a shift in the desktop continuum? A few thoughts:

  • Touchscreen and natural user interfaces are going to become hybrids with the mouse and keyboard in short term. Long term, there could be some interface replacing going on.
  • It's unclear how the mainstream consumer will adopt these technologies. Will folks want touchscreen desktops or just buy laptops and tablets?
  • Is there an opening for Microsoft's Surface PC as these desktop designs are tweaked? I'd argue that Surface PC prices are going to fall to the point where they can be suitable desktops/coffee tables.

Overall, HP's TouchSmart PCs are probably just the beginning move in an evolution to hybrid tablets/PCs.

Topics: Hardware, Hewlett-Packard, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

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15 comments
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  • RE: HP revamps TouchSmart PCs: Here comes the desktop, tablet merger

    I have an HP TouchSmart laptop, and will be buying another one soon - I love it. However, I've not had any interest in the desktop version - the supplied 23" inch monitors are just a bit too small for my needs.
    roteague
  • TRUTH

    Does this really exist?


    http://fakesteveballmer.blogspot.com
    BallmerFanBoy
  • Here comes the desktop, tablet...

    ...FAIL! Prepare to waste time and money.
    james347
    • RE: HP revamps TouchSmart PCs: Here comes the desktop, tablet merger

      @james347 Actually TouchSmarts are quite affordable when you take into the account their specs.
      statuskwo5
  • RE: HP revamps TouchSmart PCs: Here comes the desktop, tablet merger

    Surface PC is long, long overdue a consumer version. It's such a wasted opportunity at present. The trouble with these Touch PCs is Windows 7 is pretty ropey when it comes to touchscreen support, hopefully Windows 8 will fix it.

    iPhone and Android do it so much better.
    bradavon
  • Here comes the iPad Killer!!!!!

    If you drop it on one.
    Ron Burgundy
    • RE: HP revamps TouchSmart PCs: Here comes the desktop, tablet merger

      @Ron Burgundy I believe TouchSmarts compete with iMacs, not iPads per se.
      statuskwo5
      • RE: HP revamps TouchSmart PCs: Here comes the desktop, tablet merger

        @statuskwo5 Actually even though you're technically correct it appears Apple is preparing to push the iMac into a similar configuration blending iOS with OSX and the long overdue form factor upgrade on the iMac may very well look something like HP is attempting. The difference will be that Apple will succeed at it because they control both the hardware and the software.
        dheady@...
  • RE: HP revamps TouchSmart PCs: Here comes the desktop, tablet merger

    My company got us TouchSmart 600s. Boy, they're pathetic. Seriously underpowered, loaded with crapware and HP utilities, speakers are abysmal, audio output likewise - and it's supposed to be a media centre, there's no video out and the touchscreen is useless unless you have a slave to support your arms. Which I don't.<br><br>Built quality is joke, the thing squeaks and cracks upon every touch, it's totally unadjustable to most people's needs... and it cost more than a way more powerfull iMac.<br><br>So here we go, a typical HP crap. If this new generation wants to be more than a joke, it needs to get its act together by a quantum leap.
    kitko
    • RE: HP revamps TouchSmart PCs: Here comes the desktop, tablet merger

      @kitko Yes, HP does load lots of crap, but when you look at the specs they are not underpowered.
      statuskwo5
  • Was waiting for this

    Funny. I was just in a store the other day looking at the current model. I've been thinking of getting an HP TouchSmart All-in-One but figured I'd wait for the processor upgrade to become available. I mentioned to the sales person that I wished they'd make it so the screen would slide down just like this. (I'd seen a different brand/model that did that.) Am I psychic or what?!?
    gerry.lukos@...
    • RE: HP revamps TouchSmart PCs: Here comes the desktop, tablet merger

      @gerry.lukos@... My wife has been speculating about bringing the iOS to the iMac for some time now. I suspect it won't be as simple as that but rather a transformation of OS X into some hybrid (ok, I know that iOS is already a hybrid of OS X but that's more geek than UI). She was spot on with the iPad's configuration.
      dheady@...
  • RE: HP revamps TouchSmart PCs: Here comes the desktop, tablet merger

    In the late 80's I was a Mac only consultant and designed my own desk wherein my 13" monitor was housed in my physical desktop at just about the angle shown in that photo. I could adjust it to about three different positions and it was quite an ergonomic way to work. I ended up building or installing quite a few for clients. Ultimately the size of the monitors grew too large to be effective'
    dheady@...
  • RE: HP revamps TouchSmart PCs: Here comes the desktop, tablet merger

    Steve Jobs had it right. Touch does not work for vertical screens. I have been using the Apple Magic Trackpad with my Mac Pro and find it a very comfortable solution. As with the trackpads on the Mac Pro's you can use nearly all the same movements as on an iPad as well as many others using various finger combinations. All this on a horizontal surface without having to lift your hand. I am suprised that the idea has not been copied by Logitech for Windows and Linux computers.
    jorjitop
  • good idea about android

    A good post. Thanks for sharing.
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