Graphics, Hardware

Is HP shooting themselves in the foot with the latest multi-touch PC?


Ever since they appeared, HP TouchSmart line of all-in-one PCs stood out in the PC market. Unfortunately, due to botched business decisions we never saw a hard marketing push from HP, which could endanger Apple’s dominance on TV commercials here in the US.

After spending some time redesigning the parts, HP is now taking the Apple route and just introduced the HP TouchSmart 600 using notebook components. After spending two years running desktop processors and graphics cards, HP rethought the line-up and came up with new take on the subject.

Result of their development is similar to Apple’s approach to iMacs before Apple decided to dump that approach and use desktop components again. Quite similar to chasing each others’ tails, actually.

TouchSmart PC of today comes with Core i7 720QM and 820QM processors, with the only major difference being that 820QM supports HyperThreading, while 720QM does not, just like in the desktop world. Both models are based of Lynnfield generation of 45nm processors from Intel.

Unfortunately, graphics part is woefully underpowered. In the first generation of TouchSmart PC’s, HP was offering GeForce 9800GT with 128 cores. With the second generation, HP abandoned the high power approach and went for OEM darling, GeForce GT230M. This card packs in twice as less shaders as the 9800GT – with the difference that 9800GT was G80 generation of architecture, while the GT230M is based upon third generation of GT200 architecture [65nm GT200, 55nm GT200b, 40nm GT200c/GT214] supports DirectX 10.1 API. If you don’t like Intel-based system, you can also go for TouchSmart 300, dual/triple/quad-core AMD Athlon II-based all-in-one.
TouchSmart PCs are actually excellent PCs, but we’re not so sure about this generation. The systems simply need more GPU juice to be able to drive 1080p content without lagging noticeable in their latest generation of touch-screen notebooks.

Then again, if you want to go green – TouchSmart 600 can consume up to 150W, which is nothing compared to a more powerful desktop PC.