HP’s Eight New All-in-Ones & Pulse Speakers: We Go Hands-on

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Rallying behind the desktop computer in what HP is calling the “largest all-in-one portfolio in its history”, the company is taking the wraps off of a whopping eight new all-in-one desktops. Consumers and businesses are covered in the new line-up; we recently took a hands-on peek.

HP Omni 120
HP actually rolled five new families, each with a completely redesigned chassis. On the more affordable end of the spectrum lies the HP Omni 120, a consumer-oriented, AMD- and Intel-powered desktop. This machine has a 20-inch “HD” display as well as 750GB of hard drive space. It employs HP’s older, wedge-shaped design and like the Omni 220, comes with HP LinkUp technology – the software grants users the ability to see and modify files on a notebook PC over a wireless network while sitting at the Omni.

HP Omni 120 HP Omni 120

HP Omni 220
Despite having similar names, the Omni 120 and Omni 220 have little else in common. The Omni 220 is a much more robust desktop, using a cantilever design similar to HP’s original Omnis as well as the Apple iMac. This Omni actually packs quad-core Intel Core processors and takes advantage of the chipmaker’s much-improved integrated graphics capability to render images. Users looking for a little extra boost can opt for a model with upgraded Beats Audio.

HP Omni 220 HP Omni 220

The Omni 120 willl be available on September 21st here in the US; the Omni 220 will actually be available a bit earlier on September 11th. Prices start at just $399 and $799, respectively.

HP TouchSmart Gallery ImagesHP TouchSmart 320, HP TouchSmart 420, HP TouchSmart 520
There are three new entrants into the mainstream touch lineup of HP’s product portfolio; these take the place of the HP TouchSmart 310 that we saw earlier this year. The new TouchSmarts feature an aggressive new design that folds the display back and forth over an elegantly weighty slab of metal. HP’s strong industrial design skills really shine on these guys – the silvery metal strip, for example, is part of the actual frame of the computer. As a result, the new TouchSmarts feel as hardy as they are gorgeous…

…and between you and me, the new 320, 420 and 520 are the best looking TouchSmarts yet.

HP TouchSmart 320 420 520

The TouchSmart 320, 420 and 520 are 20 inches, 21.5 inches and 23 inches, in that order. Like the innovative TouchSmart 610, each of these guys pack in a solid set of speakers and employ Beats Audio software to make your music and games shine. While the TS 610 allows the desktop to recline almost entirely horizontally, HP couldn’t quite bring the cost down to put that stand in these models. The new stand still allows the desktop to recline up to thirty degrees, which goes a long way to relieve the stress that upright touchscreen usage can pass onto your hands.

HP TouchSmart 520 HP TouchSmart 520

Each of the TouchSmart desktops bring two-finger multitouch to the game along with the next revision of HP’s TouchSmart software suite.  TouchSmart 4.0, the software that shipped on desktops such as the 310 and 610, was, simply put, not very good.  The interface lagged and didn’t mesh with the traditional Windows interface at all. 

TouchSmart 320 420 520 TouchSmart 320 420 520

The new version has been substantially reworked to mitigate some of those issues – the background scrolling sits on your actual Windows desktop, with both the carousel and the Start menu available at the same time. While this does make it easier to use, the end result feels a bit cramped, or cluttered. 

 Despite some of the high-end features, the new TouchSmart PCs are actually quite affordable: the TouchSmart 320 has an MSRP of $599; the TouchSmart 420 clocks in at $699, and the the TouchSmart 520 rounds out the pack at $799. All will be available within the next month – the 320 starts shipping on October 2nd, while the 420 and 520 will both be available starting on September 11th.

HP Pulse SubwooferHP Pulse Subwoofer
In addition to the innovative new TouchSmart desktops, HP also put their Beats Audio partnership to good use and crafted the HP Pulse Subwoofer.  The Pulse is an attractive, gleaming black cube that can be connected to any computer that has a dedicated subwoofer port. In terms of the company’s all-in-ones, that means that you can pair the HP Pulse with either the TouchSmart 520 or the TouchSmart 610.  The Pulse has a bright LED light that can thankfully be disabled in dark rooms, with a range spanning 40 to 180Hz and delivering a peak 60W output. It will start shipping on September 21st here in the US, for the tidy sum of $149.

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