HP TouchSmart 600 Review - Part II
In case you missed it, Check out Part I of the HP TouchSmart 600 Review
Using the HP TouchSmart 600 as a CD/Digital Music Player/Stereo
It’s not just about TV and movie multimedia when it comes to the the TouchSmart’s entertainment features. The system also works as a great jukebox. You can of course play CDs, and it will also play your music files from your media library. Similarly to the Netflix app which lets you flick through DVDs, you can flick through albums with their cover art on the screen. Making playlists is as easy as dragging and dropping them into the playlist window on the right side of the app’s window. While you’re using other apps, a set of music player controls remain floating in the top right of the screen so that you can skip through tracks, pause music, and change the volume without having to return back to the music player.
The audio quality of the system is excellent, especially considering that the speakers are built in. The speakers inside the TouchSmart 600 are also the best we’ve heard in an all-in-one computer to date. As a matter of fact, they’re so good that you really don’t need to buy an external set. Bass was strong and audio came out crisp and clear with warm tones, even when the TouchSmart played on its loudest volumes and the system is powerful enough to fill up my bedroom easily.
Personally, I’m a big Pandora fan, and fortunately there is also a Pandora app built-into the system. The TouchSmart software also gives you access to the HP Music Store by Rhapsody. It had been quite a while since I last used Rhapsody and I was pleasantly surprised with how strong their library of artists is. The Rhapsody library is very rich and I was able to find most of my favorite artists there, including, of course Lady Gaga. Music quality is excellent and tracks streamed in almost instantly, and they sounded great. I really enjoyed the HP Music Store by Rhapsody experience, especially since it offers you the ability to listen to different album tracks on the spot. You can also create playlists from the Rhapsody library. I wish iTunes offered a similar all you can eat model to this one! In any case, between Rhapsody, Pandora, and your own digital music library, the TouchSmart ends up being a killer “jukebox” and its built in speakers compliment its music prowess to a T.
In a nutshell, the TouchSmart manages to cover all of your multimedia and entertainment needs with aplomb: It offers easy access to Hulu, Netflix, live TV, it works as a DVR, DVD and Blu-Ray Player, as a display for your game console, and it works as a jukebox with access to Rhapsody music, Pandora, and your music files. Keeping it all together is the intuitive and beautiful TouchSmart 3.0 software that makes it fun to navigate through all these entertainment options. It’s not everyday that a PC can really replace your entire home entertainment system and do it so well. By combining all your entertainment and computing needs into one, the TouchSmart is the ultimate PC for someone living in a studio apartment, a college student living in a dorm, or anyone who is tight for space. As long as a 23″ display is big enough for you, there is no place multimedia-wise where the TouchSmart 600 doesn’t shine. The system configuration for the TouchSmart 600 in particular that we tested costs $1510.99. We’ll be giving this system away very soon, so keep an eye out for the full details on how to enter to win one of yourself.
Beautiful and intuitive touch based software suite, display is bright and colorful, powerful speaker system, manages to cover all of your entertainment needs in one package
The display is a fingerprint magnet, unfortunately not every cable customer will be able to take advantage of the DVR functions