5 expert reviews - 0 user reviews
We have collected 5 reviews of the HP TouchSmart 520. Experts rate HP TouchSmart 520 6.7/10. Reviewsor.com helps you find reviews, best prices, user reviews of the HP TouchSmart 520 and HP Desktop computers.
"What's the first thing you noticed when unboxing the system?" asked an HP representative during a briefing call regarding the TouchSmart 520 all-in-one PC I'd received for evaluation a week or so earlier. I told the rep that the system was extremely heavy which prompted a discussion regarding the weighted aluminum base, freestanding configuration and more. Bill Gates unveiled the first HP TouchSmart at CES in 2007 and we've seen a number of updates throughout the years since. The latest rendition sports some serious hardware and a slightly revised design but had it not been for some corporate restructuring at HP, the unit likely would never have seen the light of day; but I digress. HP supplied us with their TouchSmart model 520-1070 which they described as the star of their current all-in-one lineup that features a lighter, thinner design and an upgraded version of HP's Magic Canvas software. The 23-inch multi-touch AIO is powered by a 2nd generation Intel Core i7-2600S processor clocked at 2.8GHz, 8GB of DDR3 system memory, a 2TB Western Digital Caviar Green hard drive, Radeon HD 6450A graphics and Beats Audio. Additional perks include a built-in TV tuner and HDMI-in, essentially transforming the 520 into a venerable entertainment / gaming station.
Considering how close HP came to selling off or severing its world leading PC division, it's products like the new TouchSmart 520-1070 all-in-one (AIO) that make us glad somebody switched out the company's water supply. Actually, it's HP's old CEO, Leo Apotheker, who was responsible for the OEM's temporary insanity, and not some tainted H2O, but that's a rant for another time and another place. What we're focusing on here is an AIO system that comes well spec'd and offers a surprising amount of performance in a form factor typically more focused on aesthetics and convenience than raw computing power. The TouchSmart 520-1070 is a fairly remarkable AIO equipped with high-end hardware and a robust selection of software, all of which comes wrapped in a 23-inch touchscreen display with a speaker bar blasting out Beats Audio. Any fears that HP's preoccupation with righting its ship would result in a degraded product line go right out the window when you run your finger down the 520's spec sheet, which includes an Intel Core i7 2600S processor clocked at 2.8GHz, 8GB of DDR3 system memory, a capacious 2TB hard drive, discrete graphics powered by AMD's Radeon HD 6450A GPU, and even a Blu-ray burner.
Families spend more and more time in front of computer screens these days, so having an all-in-one PC in the living room is a great way for everyone to enjoy their computer time together.The 23-inch full HD screen of the HP TouchSmart 520 is ideal for showing movies and TV shows. There's also enough grunt under the hood for the parents to get on with their work when the kids have gone to bed. The 1080uk version we reviewed came packing an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM and a generous 1.5TB hard drive. It is available now for £849 from the HP Store. Rather than being comprised of a separate tower and monitor, all-in-one PCs are simply one main unit, with a keyboard and mouse hanging around if you need them. This means that your computer takes up less space in your room and could be mistaken for just a humble TV. That makes them a great choice for a living room. Although it saves space by not having a separate tower, the TouchSmart 520 certainly doesn't qualify as small. It has a width of 580mm and a height of 457mm so you're still going to have to be careful where you put this thing. At a hefty 11.7kg, you can hang it from your flimsy plasterboard wall but you'll soon be picking silicon out of the carpet.
The HP TouchSmart 520-1030 ($899.99 list at Best Buy) is a midrange touch all-in-one desktop with a large 23-inch screen and a decent sub-$900 price tag. Sounds like the recipe for an excellent PC, but it's missing several key features present on most other similarly priced systems, taking points off of the TouchSmart 520-1030's scorecard. The 520-1030 looks just like the other desktop in the TouchSmart 520 family, which is a 23-inch widescreen mounted on a permanent base with a single hinge built in for the tilt mechanism. The wide hinge housed in a wide base makes the 520-1030 incredibly stable - a good trait for a touch screen system, and a trait that was missing from the Samsung Series 7 (DP700A38-01) ($999.99 at Best Buy, 4 stars), which wobbled after each tap. All of the 520-1030's components are built into the screen, including the Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of memory, 1TB hard drive, Wi-Fi adapter, and DVD burner. The sides and back of the system are where you'll find the six accessible USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet, power adapter jack, audio jacks and a media card reader (SD/MMC/MS/MSPro).
If you're in the market for an all-purpose all-in-one PC, look no further. HP has done a fantastic job on its TouchSmart 520--it's got most everything you need, including a Blu-ray burner and USB 3.0, and it's one of the best performers we've seen in the category. Our review model, priced at $1400, features a Core i7-2600S processor, 8GB of RAM, an AMD Radeon HD 6450A graphics card, and a roomy 1.5TB hard drive. Besides the Blu-ray burner, it has built-in Bluetooth and a built-in webcam and microphone, and it runs a 64-bit version of Windows 7 Home Premium. It sports a glossy 23-inch touchscreen. The TouchSmart 520 performs very well for the AIO category. In PCWorld's WorldBench 6 test suite, the TouchSmart 520 scored an impressive 142. However, our current top-ranked model among big-screen all-in-ones, the Lenovo IdeaCentre B520, scored somewhat higher, at 156, which is a record for the category. (Note: If you're on a tight budget, see our chart of smaller AIOs.) Graphics performance is acceptable, but much less impressive than the TouchSmart 520's general performance.