HP revamps TouchSmart PCs with Windows 7; starts $899; will you ditch your desktop PC, HDTV?

HP's new Windows 7-powered Touchsmart all-in-one PCs may make you rethink your desktop PC and your living room HDTV.

HP made a big splash with its TouchSmart all-in-one PCs three years ago, and now that Microsoft has finally caught up in the multitouch arena with Windows 7, the company is revamping the systems.

The HP TouchSmart 300 and 600 are 20- and 23-inch 16:9 systems, respectively, and have been optimized for HD support with new application partners, including Hulu, Netflix, Twitter, Rhapsody and Pandora.

In addition to those, HP is offering its own apps for recipes (cook with voice commands; e.g. "scroll"), live TV, "Canvas" (photo collages) and Link, which transfers files between the computer and your mobile device via Bluetooth.

The TouchSmart PCs can be wall mounted and sport a new swivel stand and tilt webcam. Some configurations of the 600 model can also connect to XBox, PlayStation and Wii via HDMI and composite video ports.

Inside, you'll find the following:

TouchSmart 300

  • AMD Athlon II 235e dual core CPU (2.70GHz or 2.80GHz)
  • 4GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • 500GB or 640GB 7,200 RPM HDD
  • slot-loading SuperMulti DVD burner
  • ATi Radeon HD 3200 graphics
  • 802.11 b/g/n wireless
  • 6-in-1 memory card reader
  • Ports: headphone, line in, six USB 2.0, line out, digital audio out, RJ45
  • Wireless keyboard, mouse
  • Optional HD TV tuner
  • Optional remote control
  • 24.5 lbs.
  • Note: "Optional" denotes a second configuration, designated 1025. The base model is designated 1020.

TouchSmart 600

Same as above, except:

  • 23-inch full HD 1080p LCD display
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T6500 processor (2.10GHz) or P7450 (2.13GHz)
  • 750GB 7,200 RPM HDD
  • Nvidia GeForce G200 graphics
  • Built-in HDTV tuner
  • Optional Blu-ray player
  • Optional game input
  • "Ambient light" (see image at right)
  • 33 lbs.
  • Note: "Optional" denotes a second configuration, designated 1055. The base model is designated 1050.

The TouchSmart 300 starts at $899 and will be available Nov. 1. The TouchSmart 600 starts at $1,049 and is available Oct. 22.

HP also introduced the TouchSmart 9100, a 23-inch model intended for business use and offering videoconferencing capabilities. It's best suited for hospitality, retail and other service industries in which customer interaction is important, and offers DVI output, 8GB RAM, U.S. TAA compliance and strong security measures to prevent tampering. It will be available in December and start at $1,299.

Which begs the question: with touch capabilities and full computing power -- as well as enough multimedia horsepower to replace most of your home theater system -- would you ditch your desktop PC and living room HDTV and just get a big-screen touch computer?