Friday, May 18, 2012

Best Touchscreen - HP TouchSmart 520-1070f 23-inch

Most all-in-one systems now feature multitouch enabled screens. While they may come with the hardware, most lack good software to fully use that interface. HP is a standout among the companies with their TouchSmart series including the 520-1070f. Its large 23-inch display provides a nice responsive touch experience to go with the software. A new feature is the ability to lay the monitor in a more reclined or flat position for easier time using the touch interface. Media features such as a Blu-ray compatible drive and HDTV tuner make it an excellent high definition media center as well. There are still a few weak points with the system including weaker dedicated graphics for its price and a somewhat lackluster design. Priced between $1200 and $1500. An alternative touchscreen option is the Samsung Series 7 that offers a good touchscreen experience even if the hardware is a bit less for features.

Best Multimedia - Lenovo IdeaCentre B520 23-inch

Anyone looking to use their all-in-one system for tasks such as high definition video, multimedia or even PC gaming would definitely want to check out the Lenovo IdeaCentre B520. Media features include a Blu-ray drive, HDTV tuner, HDMI inputs and outputs, 23-inch 1080p compatible display and some of the best audio to be found in an all-in-one. The NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M graphics processor also helps it push 3D graphics for those that want to game. It also comes with a very fast Core i7-2600 quad core processor with 8GB of memory for those times when you might need to edit together your own video. The system does have a few annoyances such as gimmicky multitouch software and motion sensitive mouse. Pricing is also a bit high ranging from $1600 to $2000. If gaming isn't as important, than the HP TouchSmart 520 is an alternative that costs about hundreds less and has nearly the same level of features but much better multitouch software.

Best All-In-One PCs

Apple's iMac product has been the dominant player in the all-in-one market and it is no surprise that they continue that trend by updating their product. The latest 21.5-inch iMac design gets a major boost in performance thanks to the new Intel Core i5-2400S quad core processor. The graphics system has also been updated to use the AMD Radeon HD 6750 with 512MB memory which stands out against most that use the integrated graphics. It is a bit disappointing that Apple didn't upgrade the hard drive beyond the 500GB but at least the new Thunderbolt port allows for some high speed external storage solutions in addition to adding a second monitor. With a $1099 price tag, it may be on the higher price side but it certainly holds its own against similarly priced Windows based all-in-ones. If media features and a touchscreen are a must, then a good alternative is the HP TouchSmart 520 for a slightly higher price.