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Smooth to the Touch

The HP dx9000 touch-screen PC provides spiffed-up interactive experience.

These days, it’s not uncommon to interact with a touch-screen-enabled device on a daily basis, be it an ATM, a smartphone or even a kiosk at a local grocery store. But in office settings, the touch-screen desktop has found little acceptance.

Enter the Hewlett-Packard dx9000 TouchSmart, a next-generation touch-screen designed for the desk-bound user.

Advantages

Straight from the box, the TouchSmart distinguishes itself from even the boldest of desktop computers. It doesn’t exude the flamboyance of an Alienware machine, nor is it a Macintosh clone. But if appearance is important to you, you’ll appreciate the dx9000’s sophisticated, fashion-forward style.

The 22-inch touch-screen LCD display integrates stereo speakers, a DVD-RW drive, a five-in-one card reader, a web camera, network adapters (both Ethernet and wireless), headphone output, audio in/out, a FireWire port and five high-speed USB ports into a single 24-pound package requiring a single power cord to bring it all to life.

An infrared remote also is included, and both keyboard and mouse use Bluetooth technology to eliminate wires and free up USBs for essential peripherals (and rescue your desk from the usual PC clutter). Bridging the gap between form and function, ambient lighting illuminates the workspace directly below and in front of the screen, making it easy to read documents in low-light environments.

The new HP touch interface raises the threshold of functionality. It is simple and intuitive for dragging objects onscreen, yet it is also intelligent enough to know when you’re clicking on an application or link. The glossy screen hides fingerprints well, but eventually, as with any touch-based interface, the surface will become smudgy and need cleaning.

Why It Works for IT

The TouchSmart has a Core 2 Duo P8400/2.16-gigahertz processor, 4 gigabytes of RAM, a 320GB hard drive, GMA X4500HD Dynamic Video Memory Technology, Gigabit Ethernet and 64-bit Windows Vista Business operating system. The built-in webcam, high-definition display and acoustics make video conferencing effortless and reduce the need for additional video-conferencing devices.

For those concerned with reducing their carbon footprint, the TouchSmart is Energy Star–certified and achieves EPEAT Silver compliance. (EPEAT evaluates electronic products in relation to 51 environmental criteria and rates them bronze, silver or gold.)

Disadvantages

Because the dx9000 runs 64-bit Vista, it might be incompatible with your existing hardware and software. This is primarily a result of the slow migration to 64-bit environments, but it is a notable caveat.

Bootup is a little protracted, there is no Blu-ray, and the Bluetooth keyboard and mouse are inconvenient at times when the connection is lost.

But overall, the HP dx9000 TouchSmart is a top performer in a sleek package, with an even sleeker interface, making a day at the office more enjoyable and productive.

 

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Aug 25 2009

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