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HP TouchSmart 310

  • Category: Desktop Computers
Last Updated
November 22, 2010

Editor's Rating
3.5 Out of 5

Pros
  • Sleek design
  • Multitouch display
  • Integrated HD TV tuner
  • TouchSmart software is a plus

Cons
  • Display isn't full 1080p HD
  • No HDMI out
  • Lots of bloatware

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Review

The multitouch TouchSmart 310 from HP has a lot to be happy about, including a 20-inch widescreen display, a 2.5GHz AMD Athlon X4 CPU and 6GB of RAM. It also has a sleek design that looks great in a kitchen or family room. The multimedia features that HP includes are also well-worth the price, which is also quite reasonable.

In total, the HP TouchSmart 310 measures 4.5 x 20.5 x 16.2-inches (wdh) and has a sleek, piano-black chassis that is ascetically pleasing to almost any home decor. The display is multitouch enabled and measures 20" inches (widescreen) with a 16:9 aspect ratio. It has a maximum resolution of 1600 x 900-pixels, which is just shy of full HD 1080p resolution. Despite this shortfall, the screen looks very good and images looked crisp and well-represented. The touchscreen aspect of the display also worked quite well, with only average amounts of pressure needed to use. It seemed quite responsive and quick enough to keep up with fast "touching". HP also includes a standard, non-wireless keyboard and mouse to accompany the TouchSmart 310, which is sort of mind-boggling as to why they aren't wireless.

The specifications of the HP TouchSmart 310 include a 2.5GHz AMD Athlon X4 615e quad-core processor (upgradable through HP customization to 3.0GHz), 6GB of RAM (up to 8GB supported) and a 1TB 7200RPM SATA hard drive. We liked the customization options that HP offers, especially the added hard drive space coupled with the faster 7200RPM speeds. HP also includes an integrated graphics processor on all models - the ATI Radeon HD 4270. This graphics card is great for basic computing tasks and media viewing, but for 3D games, don't expect much in terms of playability even at the game's lowest graphics quality setting. There's also built-in 802.11b/g/n wireless connectivity (with a Bluetooth option as well).

HP pre-installs Microsoft Windows Home Premium (64-bit) and their own HP TouchSmart software, which is integrated into the operating system quite nicely. With this software, you get one-touch access to online services like Flickr, Netflix Instant Streaming and several social media networks. You can also use the TouchSmart software to browse photos and videos on the computer using only your fingers and mutlitouch gestures for a futuristic experience.

In terms of ports, HP definitely went for the multimedia options. On the right-side of the unit, you'll find a slot-loading DVD+/-RW drive with LightScribe, a 6-in-1 media card reader, line-in/headphone audio jacks and also two USB 2.0 ports on the left side. The backside has four more USB 2.0 ports, a built-in TV tuner, and a gigabit Ethernet port. Noticeably missing is an HDMI out port for exporting content to an HDTV should you want to connect it to your TV. Above the screen on the front is a small microphone and Webcam combo for video chatting. The integrated TV tuner is compatible with ATSC/NTSC broadcasts and comes with a remote control, which requires you to plug it an additional IR dongle into a USB port when it could've been integrated into the front bezel.

HP, as they typically do with all their computers, installs quite a bit of bloatware and trialware onto this computer. You'll get things like a 60-day trial for Microsoft Office 2010 Home and Student, 60-day trial for Norton Internet Security 2011, Cyberlink DVD, and much more. There's also tons of advertisements and links on the desktop to online services and other software programs.

Performance with the HP TouchSmart 310 is quite good, especially for watching TV, recording TV using the built-in DVR functionality, and doing typical computing tasks. As we stated early, because of the integrated video card, you'll want to stay away from playing 3D video games on this computer as it simply won't handle it. Other than that, the TouchSmart 310 is a very nice all-in-one PC that functions very well as a multimedia PC, albeit a few shortcomings.


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