HP turned the Touchsmart line on its head and designed an entire new touch interface for its IQ506 PC. The touch UI focuses around "lifestyle apps" such as calendars, weather, news and multimedia, and is supposed to offer a more intuitive experience. It also has 22-inch screen (up from 19-inches), 500 GB HDD and a 2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor (previously 1.9 GHz AMD x64). And despite not being multi-touch, the gestures and animations of the UI are quite similar.
The insides of the TouchSmart also include 4 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 9300 M GS HD graphics card, ATSC Tuner, Webcam, Bluetooth 2.0, Firewire and an 8x DVD burner. It also comes packaged with a wireless keyboard and mouse, as well as a VIsta Media Centre remote. There's also an ambient light at the bottom of the computer which glows so you can see your keyboard in the dark.
The screen of the Touchsmart isn't touch sensitive; it's actually a beam of light in front of the screen that recognises where your finger is when you break the plane of the light beam. The interface, which is all developed within Vista, can be customised in many ways, allowing you to pick from a variety of content to be displayed on the home screen. There's also a finger painting app, photo browsing and editing app, music player, movie player, RSS aggregator and calendar.
The design of the computer is another noticeable upgrade, which takes the Touchsmart from utilitarian device to something you actually want in the house. The folded design is supposed to resemble a messenger bag, and it doesn't look half bad. The HP Touchsmart IQ506 is expected to hit stores July 13 for US$1500. A TV Tuner-less IQ504 will also be available for US$1300
HP Redefines Home Computing, Putting the Digital Lifestyle at People's Fingertips with New TouchSmart PCs
BERLIN, June 10, 2008 - HP today unveiled a new generation of all-in-one PCs that change the way people interact with their computers by making digital entertainment a truly compelling, hands-on experience.
The new HP TouchSmart family of PCs features HP software designed specifically for touch. A finger tapped or swept across the high-resolution screen delivers quick access to information, entertainment and social networks. Without using a keyboard or mouse, consumers can play music and create playlists, zoom in or out of photos, and quickly check the weather or watch TV.
HP TouchSmart PCs are designed to resemble the lines of a messenger bag and to fit wherever life happens, whether in the living room to entertain friends, in the den as a social hub, or in the home office. The simple yet sleek design and natural user interface adds style and elegance anywhere it is placed.
"Our engineers have created a fun, engaging and simple touch experience for the home that nobody else offers today," said John Cook, vice president of marketing, Worldwide Consumer PC Business, HP. "We're changing personal computing from just feeds and speeds to an experience influenced by consumer trends and design that anticipates customer's needs. The HP TouchSmart PC is all about reinventing the personal computer experience."
Digital entertainment at the touch of a finger
HP TouchSmart IQ500 series PC software brings a new level of enjoyment to photos, videos and music by making it easier for people to access and interact with their media. For example, consumers can browse a music collection by album art in a tiled fashion or fan view. People can crop, edit and share photos as well as upload them directly to HYPERLINK "http://www.snapfish.com" Snapfish from HP without the need to use a keyboard or mouse.
Consumers also can watch and record their favourite TV shows,(1) burn personal videos with the built-in DVD burner,(2) upload videos they create directly to YouTube,(3) and enjoy high-quality sound with the integrated premium stereo speakers. The built-in webcam and microphone help users keep in touch with friends and family anywhere they have Internet access through video chat and conference.(3)
"The introduction of a touch computer with such a strong focus on digital entertainment opens the door to an entirely new way for consumers to engage with their content," said Stephen Baker, vice president, industry analysis, The NPD Group. "HP TouchSmart PCs will allow people to interact with their photos, videos, music and games in unique ways, plus they do everything that you'd expect from a traditional PC."
The stylish next-generation PC
Requiring only one cord to set up and power the system, HP TouchSmart PCs combine a 22-inch diagonal, high-definition,(4) widescreen display with a powerful, energy-efficient Intel Core 2 Duo processor(5) in a single, integrated design. The sleek, piano-black finish with elegant espresso side-panel highlights makes a TouchSmart PC an attractive addition to any room in the home.
The low-profile wireless keyboard and integrated WLAN(6) offer a truly wireless experience, and the adjustable screen tilts up and down for maximum viewing comfort. The HP Ambient Light lets consumers set a mood and see the keyboard in the dark.
In addition, the HP TouchSmart PCs are ENERGY STAR qualified and come in new packaging that greatly reduces plastic foam cushioning materials. Other features include 4 gigabytes of memory,(7) a media card reader and a large-capacity, high-speed hard drive.
HP's touch heritage
The HP TouchSmart PC is a culmination of 25 years of HP touch technology design and development, which was first brought to market in 1983 with the introduction of the HYPERLINK "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-THdG5gVTw" HP 150 PC, a HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HP_150" touchscreen computer that was well ahead of its time.
Today, HP uses touch technology in a variety of products, including the HYPERLINK "http://www.hp.com/go/ipaq"HP iPAQ rx5900 Travel Companion, HYPERLINK "http://laptop.hp.com/" HP Pavilion tx2500 Tablet Notebook PC, select HYPERLINK "http://www.shopping.hp.com/product/printer/everyday/1/storefronts/CC975A%2523B1H" HP Photosmart printers and HYPERLINK "http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF05a/382087-382087-64283-3181050-3181048-3182543.html" HP business monitors.
The first-generation HP TouchSmart PC was delivered more than 17 months ago as the industry's first touch-based, all-in-one consumer PC. Today's announcement of the HP TouchSmart IQ504 and IQ506 PCs delivers fun and exciting ways for consumers to use touch as never before seen in an all-in-one consumer PC.
Pricing and availability
Prices for the base model HP TouchSmart IQ504 PC and the TV-tuner equipped IQ506 PC are expected to start at $1,299 and $1499, respectively.(8) Customers can shop for the new TouchSmart PCs by calling +1 800 230 5752, via chat, online or at retail outlets nationwide. Models are expected to be available in retail outlets on July 13. More information is available at HYPERLINK "http://www.hp.com/touchsmart" www.hp.com/touchsmart.
The HP TouchSmart PCs were introduced today at the HP HYPERLINK "http://www.hp.com/personal" Connecting Your World event in Berlin. More information about the products announced at the event is available in an online press kit at HYPERLINK "http://www.hp.com/go/connectingyourworld2008" www.hp.com/go/connectingyourworld2008.