HP TouchSmart PC IQ545A
The HP TouchSmart PC IQ545A is a desktop PC with a 22in LCD touch screen
- Lovely design, touch screen, the TouchSmart interface is a lot of fun, quiet, excellent display
- Low storage capacity, hasn't evolved much from previous models
We like the HP TouchSmart PC IQ545A. We just wish that HP had put more effort into the latest version of its touch-screen PC.
Price$ 2,299.00 (AUD)
It's designed to be an entertainment hub, with the HP TouchSmart interface offering easy access to music, videos and photos (as well as a range of other functions, such as customisable application launchers, a sticky-note-style memo function and a calendar). The TouchSmart interface runs atop of Windows Vista Premium (64-bit), and is a lot of fun to use; for example, the music interface lets you drag and drop album covers to create a playlist.
Outside of this interface, the touch screen is of dubious usefulness; using Windows Explorer with a touch screen is a painful experience, for example, and more often than not you'll end up reaching for the bundled Bluetooth mouse (a wireless keyboard is also included). On a purely visual level the 1680x1050 screen is exceptional, however. It's glossy, so reflections can be annoying at times, but colours are extremely vibrant and the viewing angles are great. We didn't notice any choppiness during video playback.
The all-in-one case of the HP TouchSmart PC IQ545A is the same as other PCs in the series: it's a picture-frame style design, with the TouchSmart leaning back at a slight angle.
In fact, apart from some minor design tweaks, the only thing that really separates this PC from the other TouchSmarts are the (mildly) upgraded specs. It has a Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile T6500 CPU (which runs at 2.1GHz), 4GB of DDR2 RAM (all of which is accessible thanks to the 64-bit version of Vista), a 320GB hard drive that spins at 7200RPM and a DVD burner. It also has an integrated Intel 4500MHD graphics card with 128MB of memory. In our iTunes MP3 encoding test the HP TouchSmart scored a time of 1min 29sec, which is what we expected from the CPU.
The HP TouchSmart PC IQ545A only scored 71 in our WorldBench 6 test suite, which is nothing to get excited about. Even the ASUS U80V notebook we tested recently was able to beat it by 20 points. It also has a smaller hard drive than the HP TouchSmart IQ518, which is disappointing given the focus of this PC on multimedia playback.
Even more disappointing is the absence of a TV tuner; we really think this is a shameful omission on an entertainment PC like this one.
You do get modern networking options (Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11n Wi-Fi), as well as a range of other ports and slots: an SD card reader, line-in, headphone jack, SPDIF, FireWire, and five USB 2.0 ports (three of which are placed beneath a removable cover on the back). There is also an integrated webcam, and on the side of the PC there are physical volume controls.
Overall we were disappointed with the HP TouchSmart PC IQ545A. It's not that it's not a great PC; it's just that it's a missed opportunity. Integrated Blu-ray playback, a TV tuner and a larger hard drive would make this PC so much better. While the touch screen is certainly a lot of fun, it's not really that useful outside of the TouchSmart interface. However, once Windows 7 is released you're likely to get a lot more mileage out of the touch screen (a free upgrade is included).
Having said that, we have to admit: we really do still love it. We love the design, we love the touch screen and we'd love to have a TouchSmart in our living room. Hopefully when the next generation TouchSmart PC is released by HP, it will have undergone a real evolution.
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Join the PC World newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® Portable SSD
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Google Daydream VR headset
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Acer Swift 7
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Huawei Mate 9
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Surface Pro 4
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Venom Blackbook Zero 14 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- Intel ships latest Itanium chip called Kittson, but grim future looms
- Samsung Galaxy S7 hardware will come to the DragonBoard 820c computer
- Now you can try Microsoft's supersized Surface Hub before buying
- Samsung scraps a Raspberry Pi 3 competitor, shrinks Artik line
- Google wants to add AI to gadgets made using Raspberry Pi
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- Behind the scenes with Team Walkinshaw at V8 Supercars Melbourne 2017
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTDatabase Modelling SpecialistACT
- FTProgram Learning Capability Manager, Financial ServicesNSW
- FTAutomation Test AnalystSA
- FTInfrastructure Analyst - Storage & Backup SystemsNSW
- CCMEAN Stack Developer - Contract - SydneyNSW
- FTArchitect (Technical)NSW
- FTData ArchitectNSW
- TPSalesforce Functional AnalystNSW
- FTDevops EngineerVIC
- FTSolution ArchitectNSW
- CCTSM SpecialistNSW
- TPSolution Architect - IntegrationQLD
- TPSenior/Lead AEM DeveloperQLD
- CCPerformance AnalystQLD
- FTSeeking all Java Developers!NSW
- TPSenior Performance TesterQLD
- CCApplication Support Specialist- Bathurst or Port MacquarieNSW
- FTICT Business Development Manager - Technical Products/SolutionsQLD
- FTSAP Data Migration LeadNSW
- FTTechnical Data Business AnalystNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- CCAutomation Developer - LinuxNSW
- CCWeb Devops EngineerNSW
- FTLead Network Project ManagerNSW