HP has more experience with touchscreen all-in-ones than anyone else, and it shows. Its latest Touchsmart is a tidy package with an innovative hinged design that’s stable and easy to adjust, and the responsive screen picks up gestures quickly and smoothly.
HP Touchsmart 520-1080 – a true gamer?
For general desktop work, the dual-core processor and AMD graphics have all the power you’ll ever need. But despite its discrete graphics card, the Touchsmart isn’t much of a gamer – the Radeon silicon struggles with Skyrim even on lower settings.
While the HP’s screen is well-designed for touch, it doesn’t look as good as some of its rivals. Black levels aren’t terrible, but they’re noticeably weaker than others.
Review continues after the break...
HP Touchsmart 520-1080 – entertainment centre
Where the Touchsmart 520 does score points, though, is as an all-round entertainment machine. There’s a TV tuner, a media centre remote and a Blu-ray drive all included. An external power brick means that it’s thankfully bereft of fan noise, with a barely audible whisper coming from the coolers.
If you see yourself as a regular touchscreen user, then the HP is definitely worth considering. But if touch control is only an occasional luxury, then look elsewhere. Bashing away at arm’s length on an on-screen keyboard won’t be fun for long, but HP’s bundled wireless kit isn’t much better – and you’ll need a USB dongle to connect it.
HP Touchsmart 520-1080 – Beats Audio
The Beats Audio-branded speakers live up to their promise. They’re loud, rich and do justice to music and movies alike. For a family-friendly PC, it’s odd there are no extra HDMI inputs for hooking up a console or sound system – that could be frustrating if you want to use it as more than a PC.
HP’s Magic Canvas overlay is one of the best customised Windows 7 skins. It feels – as it should – more like using a phone or tablet than a PC, with large icons, swipeable desktops and a mix of apps and launchers on the home screen so you can integrate widgets with your program icons.
- Graphics card
- adeon HD 6450A
- Hard drive storage
- Memory card slots
- Number of digital TV tuners
- Operating system
- Windows 7
- Dual-core Intel Core i5 2390T @ 2.7GHz
- Screen resolution
- Screen size
- 2 x USB 3.0
- USB 2.0
- 4 x USB 2.0
- Wireless N