HP TouchSmart IQ500 PC launches

HP is claiming to have taken PC technology to the next level with the TouchSmart PC - a machine firmly aimed at the net generation or those who not only use technology but find it essential in their lives.

The TouchSmart IQ500 was unveiled to much fanfare at the company's annual conference - this year held in Berlin.

The emphasis - as you may have deemed from its name - is touch with specially designed software that recognises the movements of fingers across the screen.

"Without a keyboard or mouse, consumers can play their favourite music, easily move songs around to create new playlists, drag corners of a photo to zoom in, and quickly check the weather or watch TV."

In fact - claimed Satjiv Chahil, senior vice president of global marketing, this machine will revolutionise not only personal computing but TV watching. Bold claims indeed.

The new IQ500 series expands from the earlier 19-inch screen to a 22-inch model. The innovation is the fact that the entire computer is stored behind the main display and this, coupled with the slot-load optical drive and side-mounted ports, means that this machine is thin and portable.

John Cook, divisional marketing exec, for HP, said: "This design is closer to B&O than HP".

The touchscreen interface includes a new fan-like layout, so you can see, for example, all of the album covers of music you are browsing as you would a deck of cards fanned out in your hand.

Referring to the fan view, Cook explains: "The natural touch interface uses metaphors for real world concepts", and revealed that: "We think this interface offers a better iTunes experience than exists today."

For ease of access to your applications, there is an application tray. Also worth a mention are the webcam and 802.11n Wi-Fi, ambiant light for working in the dark, HP in-house photo editing tools and a stationary tool for finger-written notes.

And reflecting the audience that this machine is hoped to appeal to, this outward design is also sleek with a two-tone black and mahogany colour scheme, wireless mouse and keyboard pairing, and an ambient light sensor to adjust the display's brightness.

The IQ500 PC is expected to cost 1399 euros and will arrive in Europe starting in August whilst those lucky souls stateside will get the new line-up on 13 July for $1299, or $1499 for higher spec model with larger drive and TV tuner.


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