When HP released its TouchSmart series, we were taken away by excellent multi-touch features and HP's custom UI that turned Windows Vista into a very capable multimedia machine. HP positioned these machines into the upper-end scale, with 22" and 25.5" screens.
Now, Dell is taking over the entry-level segment with a PC that takes all of the discussions about Mac vs. PC out the Window. You can get a touch-screen all-in-one desktop with a quad-core processor, 4GB of memory and nVidia's GeForce 9400 chipset for less than a grand. Studio One 19 Desktop is full name of the machine, and under a tagline "Begs to Be Touched", this 18.5" screen is priced anywhere between $699 and $994. Out of four launched models, three carry Multi-Touch features [$799, $899 and $994 models]. Processing power varies from a dual-core Pentium to a quad-core Core 2 Quad, 2-4GB DDR2-800 memory, 320-500GB hard drive and so on. For $150, you can get a slot-loading Blu-ray drive, but somehow we don't see the purpose of Blu-ray drive on a non-FullHD screen.
As you can see for yourself, the machine is very elegant, yet affordable... is it any good? We'll leave that when we receive the system for a review...
The key of this machine is a solid 18.5" LCD screen with 1366x768 [16:9 aspect] with an [alleged, Co-Ed.] scratch-resistant multi-touch surface combined with Dell's Touch Zone UI and a special driver that brings Multi-touch to your standard desktop screen such as internet browsers, office applications and many more.
Personally, I had the opportunity to work on the HP TouchSmart for couple of days and the system intrigued me - if you install Windows 7 on this machine you can literally get a "computer for 2010" and "2010 desktop" today, no strings attached. We won't touch the subject of a weak graphics card here, since all-in-one machines are not for gaming. If you're into gaming, we would advise HP's machine with GeForce 9800GTX upgrade option. HP's multi-touch machine starts at $1150, but comes with 3.5" larger screen.
Dell wins our brownie points for bringing a multi-touch desktop computer in the price range of an iPhone 3G 16GB without contract.
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