Thursday, July 31, 2008
HP TouchSmart IQ506 - on my Wish List now!
First and foremost in the innovative feature set (and the thing that attracts me most to this machine) is the awesome 22" 1650x1050 resolution widescreen MULTI-POINT TOUCH SCREEN interface. If you are familiar with HP's first incarnation of the TouchSmart (the IQ770), you'll quickly notice a difference in both the screen size (the old one was 19") and the fact that the interface is now *multi* point touch-aware (sorta like the Apple iPhone). Multi-point touch allows for easier (or more intuitive) ways to execute tasks like a "zoom" on a map or such.
The HP TouchSmart PC is currently available in two models: the IQ504 and IQ506, which start at $1,299 and $1,499 respectively (the latter having more features, like dedicated NVidia 9300M-GS graphics built in, a TV-Tuner, and a bigger hard drive - 500GB vs. 320GB on smaller version). Both include Intel Core 2 Duo processors - T5850 (2.16 GHz), 4GB of RAM, slot-load DVD burners, wireless, Gigabit LAN, and Bluetooth. But, just like its predecessor, the one thing that I find a bit annoying is the lack of any way to connect an external monitor (being a "media PC" or sorts, I find this oddly lacking, since I would really like to output the signal to an HDTV perhaps).
The system is using Microsoft Windows Vista 64-bit edition (Media Center) from what I can tell. But, HP has also extended upon Vista's own media abilities through it's custom TouchSmart software that makes really nice use of the touch-interactive abilities of the display / input.
I'll be watching for a good sale price on one of the IQ506's (or it's successor, which from what I found in HP's online manuals that hint at a version with an NVidia 9600M-GS graphics card, is due in the fall of 2008). Currently, the best price I have seen for the IQ506 was at OfficeMax online, with a sale price of $1349 USD. CostCo carries the thing too, and includes shipping in the price (though, currently they seem to be selling at the normal list price of $1499). I expect some promotional sales to be appearing as the holiday season nears for 2008. This may be my Black Friday 2008 Christmas Sale purchase if I get lucky and find a bargain then! :)