Hewlett-Packard Australia TouchSmart IQ770 Desktop PC
- Touch-screen, Connectivity options, SmartCentre software, Innovative design.
- No simple do-it-yourself upgrade options
The HP TouchSmart IQ770 PC has an innovative design and intuitive functionality making it a pleasure to use. It could just as easily sit in the lounge room or the study and act as an entertainment centre, family organiser or home office machine. The touch screen interface works well and, more often than not, was the preferred method of navigation during our testing.
Price$ 3,699.00 (AUD)
In an Australian first, we take a look at the HP TouchSmart IQ770 PC, an innovative concept designed to turn computing into a hands-on experience. It has plenty of power for the home user and with a widescreen 19in touch-screen monitor, it can also function as a user-friendly organiser, photo kiosk and multimedia entertainment centre.
Despite the supplied wireless keyboard, mouse and stylus, you can't help using your fingers to swiftly navigate through Windows Vista and the supplied HP SmartCentre software. The screen is neither heat nor pressure sensitive, but rather uses two cameras to determine where your pointer is placed, regardless of whether you use your finger, the stylus, a pen or anything else you can think of. Overall it was accurate and responsive with only very minor accuracy problems towards the very corners of the screen and far more enjoyable than using the mouse most of the time.
We looked at a UK version of the TouchSmart PC, as no Australian specifications have yet been decided by HP. With an AMD Turion 64 X2 (1.6GHz) Dual-Core CPU and 2GB (2x1024MB) of DDR2 533MHz RAM, it handled multi-tasking in Windows Vista Home Premium without any noticeable performance problems. The built-in array of microphones (two microphones working in conjunction for higher quality sound) pick up voice clearly from a comfortable sitting distance and there's also a 1.3 megapixel camera which will be ideal for so live Internet video chat.
The HP TouchSmart IQ770 PC has a DVD-R/RW drive, DVB-T digital TV tuner, integrated speakers, 8-in1 media card reader (Compact Flash types I/II, MicroDrive, Memory Stick and Memory Stick Pro, SecureDigital, MultiMediaCard, as well as xD Picture cards) and an abundance of connectivity options. Combined with the large widescreen monitor and the 320GB hard drive (plenty of storage for your media) this makes for a good media centre experience.
Many of the connectivity ports such as the USB 2.0 port, S-Video, FireWire and RCA audio ports can be accessed from the front of the unit, immediately below the screen. More connectivity, such as a coaxial digital audio port and a 10/100/1000 LAN port can be found at the back with further USB 2.0 ports and another FireWire connection..
The HP SmartCentre software (Integrated within Windows Media Centre), gives you access to a few key Windows features, like Windows games and Windows Media Centre but can be customised to meet your needs. SmartCentre has been intuitively designed for the touch-screen functionality and includes an easy-to-use photo library and calendar/organiser that will suit the family home nicely. Within the organiser you can hand write notes, leave audio messages and set reminders for other users of the computer. With one touch, you can scroll through Windows Media Centre to watch a movie, record TV or listen to music.
By changing between touch-optimised and mouse-optimised settings within the SmartCentre software you can adjust the interface to suite your needs. The key differences between the two settings is the size of on-screen items like scroll bars and icons. Navigating by touch is fun, but if you're a veteran mouse and keyboard user you can always switch back to the standard mouse-optimised style (you may also wish to give the screen a wipe to clean off grubby fingerprints).
Regardless of the touch-based interaction, the kiosk-style form factor adds a whole new feel that's significantly different to the standard desktop. The monitor is mounted on top of the PC, which acts as a base (and counter-weight) for the whole chassis. The screen is height adjustable and can tilt on a hinge, allowing it to be placed in different modes. Lifting the monitor to its maximum height, like you might with any other standard desktop screen, puts it at a comfortable position to use like a desktop computer. Lowering the TouchSmart PC's monitor to its lowest point positions it more like a TV and it can be used as such.
The HP TouchSmart PC has also been optimised for an HP Photosmart A716, with a docking space behind the screen with specific ports and cables included in the package. This being said, the system can also be used with any other printer, just as you would with a standard desktop PC. HP have also added support for their external hard drive which houses a 2.5in notebook drive in capacities of 80GB or 120GB and slots into a special dock on the side of this machine. It uses a USB 2.0 interface, so you can always connect it via a USB cable to any other machine (with software).
The wireless keyboard has its own hide-away dock under the computer and you also get an HP Media Centre remote control in the package, which we found simple to use as a navigation tool within Windows Media Centre and SmartCentre.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 HP Victus 16 review: This 16-inch gaming laptop delivers solid value
- 2 Motorola Edge 20 Fusion review: A mid-range smartphone with all-rounder performance
- 3 Beats Fit Pro review: Better than AirPods Pro
- 4 Acer Nitro 5 review: A big-screen RTX 3080 laptop with screaming value
- 5 iPhone 13 mini review: About as good as small phones get
Latest News Articles
- Intel’s Alder Lake chip actually is faster than the M1 Max*
- The M1 Max iMac Pro could be even faster than the MacBook Pro
- Apple is preparing ‘a feast of new products’ this year
- You can run macOS on the latest Intel Alder Lake chips if you dare
- The man responsible for the Apple silicon transition now works for Intel
PCW Evaluation Team
Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.
This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.
It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
- Square Enix launches Oceania Data Center for Final Fantasy 14 Online
- Best Unlimited Internet Deals in 2022
- Best webcams: Logitech vs Microsoft vs Dell vs Poly
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?