updated 12:00 am EDT, Tue October 13, 2009
HP launches TouchSmart 300 and 600
HP early today is making an aggressive push into touchscreen PCs with two key updates to its TouchSmart home all-in-ones. The TouchSmart 300 and 600 add true multi-touch input and have significantly expanded use for the technology: they can not only use pinch-to-zoom, flicks and other gestures in the general operating system thanks to Windows 7 but in several new touch apps for the systems' custom front end. They can now navigate Hulu or Netflix streaming video, stream Pandora or Rhapsody music, or update and follow Twitter feeds all primarily using touch.
Both models are significantly smaller than before with 16:9 ratio displays at 20 inches (for the TouchSmart 300) and 23 inches (for the 600); HP tells Electronista that the 22- and 25.5-inch outgoing models were too big to be kitchen PCs or otherwise fit in tight spaces. The computer builder has gone so far as to bundle a special RecipeBox app that aggregates recipes from online websites and can take voice commands from a Bluetooth headset, such as asking for instructions.
The TouchSmart 300 starts off from $899 and is the AMD-based entry in the set with a 2.7GHz Athlon II dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive and Radeon HD 3200 integrated video; a slightly uprated version brings a 2.8GHz chip and a 640GB drive. Picking the $1,049 TouchSmart 600 switches to Intel hardware and brings a 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo, a 750GB hard drive, TV tuning and a previously unseen GeForce G200 integrated video chipset. A second version upgrades to a newer-generation 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo as well as dedicated GeForce GT 230M graphics and a Blu-ray combo drive.
The TouchSmart 600 is a Windows 7 launch system and will be available with the October 22nd OS launch, while the TouchSmart 300 will arrive slightly later, on November 1st.