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Touch Points: Creation Station

Photo Express


In our third and final segment on the HP TouchSmart, we decided to see how the innovative desktop handled a usual day at the home office editing photos and scouring the web. How much of a difference did ditching the keyboard and mouse make? Hit the jump to read about our experience going, quite literally, hands-on.

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If doctors figure out how to graft a DSLR onto the human wrist, we’ll be the first on the list for experimental testing — we’re rarely anywhere without a camera in tow anyway. Until then, managing and editing hundreds of new photos each week will remain a major time suck in our day to day ops.

The process of transferring images to the TouchSmart was thankfully pretty simple right out of the box, thanks to an integrated 6-in-1 digital media card slot. Even better, the HP Link app made the process of grabbing photos off our cell phones and laptops into an automatic process thanks to built-in Bluetooth. Using the app’s scheduling features, we soon had each of our devices transferring a day’s snapshots to the TouchSmart’s home library easy and quickly, without ever having to think about it again.

Flicking through photo galleries in the “fan view” of the HP Photo app on the TouchSmart’s 23-inch screen also made quick work out of sorting the keepers from the junk. If we knew the name of the image we wanted, simply writing out the file name on the screen with one finger automatically triggered a search. Very cool. The ability to add an entire gallery or just keeping individual shots with notes jotted onto a sticky note was a small, but thoughtful feature.

It’s pretty common knowledge that using a touchscreen for casual browsing is a great experience, but when it’s on vertically oriented screen, things can quickly get fatiguing. The TouchSmart’s wide angle of tilt made typing out on the on-screen keyboard much easier. In reality though, we found it faster to just use the physical keyboard and mouse to create bookmarks first, which were then readily accessible at any time with just a few quick taps.

After three full weeks of testing, we’ve walked away intrigued by how much touch screen desktops like the TouchSmart 520t can alter the way households interact with computers. While there’s admittedly a learning curve to mastering HP’s deeply integrated software, dedicated users have plenty to gain by rethinking their work flow and making some room for a hands on approach.

Buy Now: Base Model $699 | Review Model $1,100

Photos by Gear Patrol







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