Hewlett-Packard has taken the wraps off a new line of touchscreen desktop PCs with enhanced ergonomics. Featuring sleek designs, the new PCs unveiled Monday will recline from upright to almost flat, which means increased comfort for users engaged in long computing activities, the company said.
Although HP's TouchSmart PC line has been around for a while, the new products are designed to further increase the range of motion, superior viewing, and intuitive touch experience for users.
"HP has made each iteration of the TouchSmart PC more intuitive, resourceful and fun for users," said HP Senior Vice President James Mouton. "The latest generation is no exception with a new design that makes it easier and more comfortable to use, and it allows businesses to integrate the TouchSmart where convenience, space constraints, and appearance matter."
Maximum User Comfort
HP's new TouchSmart 610 machine for consumers shipping this week at a retail price of $899.99 -- as well as the TouchSmart 9300 machine for business professionals slated to hit the market in May -- features a 23-inch diagonal high-definition display that reclines up to 60 degrees and tilts forward up to five degrees. What's more, the display's wide-angle, LED back-lit screen is capable of delivering optimal viewing angles -- even when reclined.
The latest version of HP's TouchSmart software improves upon the machines' advanced multi-touch technology to enable the delivery of responses to gestures that are more accurate. The new machines also come equipped with touch-optimized applications from Hulu, Netflix, Rhapsody and Twitter.
One new app shipping with the TouchSmart 610 enables users to wirelessly access and view apps, files and content that reside on a notebook on the TouchSmart's large HD screen. A home's wireless network will relay any changes the user makes to these remote files and content and save them directly to the notebook.
On the business front, the HP TouchSmart 9300 -- which can accommodate up to 16 gigabytes of memory and an optional 160GB solid-state drive -- can be configured in a variety of ways to accommodate a range of workplace preferences, including desk or counter positioning, wall mount, or kiosk placement. The new machine also sports a high-resolution webcam featuring facial-recognition software for workplace security.
Revitalizing Desktop PC Interest
According to Gartner, HP held on to the top spot among global PC vendors in the fourth quarter with an 18.8 percent market share, but the company's shipments were down slightly from a year earlier. Furthermore, the PC market leader's shipment growth was below the worldwide average, the firm's analysts said.
During the fourth quarter, HP's professional business continued to enjoy solid growth, noted Mika Kitagawa, a principal analyst at Gartner. However, these gains were offset by a weak demand for the vendor's consumer PC offerings in the United States, where Apple and Toshiba were the only top vendors to enjoy shipment growth in the fourth quarter. Still, HP continued to lead the U.S. PC market at the end of last year with a robust 29.3 percent share.
With the launch of the TouchSmart 610, HP's strategy is to revitalize consumer interest in the venerable desktop PC through innovation and surmount the more intensified competition for consumer spending that IDC analysts expect this year. "This situation is likely to persist in 2011, if not worsen, as a wave of media tablets could put a dent in the traditional PC market," said IDC Research Director David Daoud.