So we all know by now that the future, while being populated by obedient robotic dogs and edible plates, will undoubtedly be defined by touchscreens. Apple figured this out quite early on and has made it somewhat of a phenomenon. And then there’s this HP Touchsmart line of PC’s designed around touch-tracking technology which re-imagines the navigation of a home computer. The latest rendition in the line is the IQ506, which ups the ante considerably over previous installations and makes a strong argument for welcoming this ‘touching’ device into your home.
The Touchsmart persists in the realm of all-in-one PCs as it strives to offer not only computing needs but music, video, photos, and television services as well. The IQ506 is a 22” screen intended for common rooms (ie a place where you might entertain the family or company) mainly because its inviting touch interface as well as plethora of features makes a strong bid for a home entertainment hub. With a 500GB HDD and 2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, and 4 GB of RAM the IQ506 is certainly capable of handling all of your media needs. However, horsepower aside, the selling point of the entire line, and indeed the deciding factor for any would-be buyer is the touch screen interface and whether you can picture yourself as ‘hip’ enough to embrace it. (Interestingly, the screen itself is not touch-sensitive, but rather a plane of light in front of the screen tracks when something interacts with it, ie breaks through it).
HP truly wants you to consider the notion of a PC-level of functionality without the keyboard and mouse. Music, video, weather, news; these are things readily at your fingertips with the Touchsmart IQ506 interface. And while the product does ship with a wireless keyboard and mouse, if you’re not buying into the interface, then look elsewhere. And this is truly a notion worth considering; are people ready to turn their Personal Computers into Public ones, because that’s essentially the transition: a PC in the most public room of your house for all your family and guests to interact with. A single station for an entire hub of information, consolidated, if you will, into a single package for all to see and touch.