These days, nearly everyone interacts with a touch-screen-enabled device on a daily basis, be it an ATM, a smartphone or even a kiosk in a local grocery store. But in the corporate world, the touch-screen desktop has found little acceptance.
Enter the Hewlett-Packard DX9000  TouchSmart Business PC, a next-generation desktop that is redefining the touch-based, all-in-one market.
Straight from the box, the TouchSmart distinguishes itself from even the boldest of desktop computers. The TouchSmart doesn’t exude the flamboyance of an Alienware machine, nor is it a Mac clone. But if appearance is important to you, you’ll appreciate the TouchSmart’s sophisticated, fashion-forward style.
The 22-inch touch-screen LCD display neatly integrates stereo speakers, a DVD-RW drive, a five-in-one card reader, a web camera, network adapters (both Ethernet and wireless), headphone output, audio in/out, a FireWire port and five high-speed USB ports into a single 24-pound package requiring a single power cord to bring it all to life.
An infrared remote also is included, and both keyboard and mouse utilize Bluetooth technology to eliminate wires and free up USBs for essential peripherals (and rescue your desk from the usual PC clutter). Bridging the gap between form and function, ambient lighting illuminates the workspace directly below and in front of the screen, making it much easier to read documents in low-light office environments.
HP’s new touch interface raises the threshold of functionality: It is simple and intuitive for dragging objects onscreen, yet intelligent enough to know when you’re clicking on an application or link, to which it reacts accordingly. The glossy screen does a slick job of hiding fingerprints, but eventually, as with any touch-based interface, the surface will become dirtied by use.
The TouchSmart is a top performer right out of the box, with a Core 2 Duo P8400/2.16-gigahertz processor, 4 gigabytes of RAM, a 320GB hard drive, GMA X4500HD Dynamic Video Memory Technology, Gigabit Ethernet and 64-bit Windows Vista Business operating system. The built-in webcam, high-definition display and excellent acoustics make video conferencing effortless and reduce the need for additional video-conferencing devices.
For those who are concerned with reducing their carbon footprint, the TouchSmart is Energy Star–certified and achieves EPEAT Silver compliance. (EPEAT evaluates electronic products in relation to 51 total environmental criteria and rates them bronze, silver or gold.)
Because the TouchSmart runs on 64-bit Vista, it might be incompatible with your existing hardware and software. This is primarily a result of the industry’s slow migration to a 64-bit environment, but it is a notable caveat.
Bootup is a little protracted, there is no Blu-ray, and the Bluetooth keyboard and mouse are inconvenient at times when the connection is lost.
But overall, the HP TouchSmart DX9000 is a top performer encased in a sleek design, with an even sleeker interface, making a day at the office a lot more enjoyable and much more productive.