You are here

Touchy Feely

Touchy Feel
by Gary Woods

There are 2 major movements that have been occurring in the computer world. First, there is the move to put the guts of the computer inside the monitor eliminating the tower. I first saw this with Apple's iMac on which I am writing this article, but Sony Computers have a similar product along with Dell and HP. The second trend is that of doing away with the mouse and using your fingers like the iPad, Motorola Xoom and all the rest of the burgeoning tablet marketplace.

With all of that going on it was only a matter of time before some manufacturer(s) blended the two technologies and came up with an all in one computer that you could manipulate with your fingers.

The computer that melds these two technologies and caught my attention is the HP TouchSmart 610. Costing anywhere between $900 and $1,200 depending on where you shop this box has a full 1080p 16:9 23" screen which can be adjusted anywhere from 90 degrees straight up to almost lying flat on the desk.

It features something called optical touchscreen technology which conveniently allows you to use the screen with your fingers even if wearing gloves and allows the use of other objects like a stylus as well.

Other features include a slot-loading DVD drive, a Blu-ray player and 6-in-1 digital media card reader plus integrated premium speakers. It also has a wireless keyboard and mouse, internal antennas for 802.11 Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and TV tuner, plus a built-in adjustable-tilt webcam and microphone.

Other manufacturers like Sony have similar products and I'm reasonably sure the new iteration of Mac OS called Lion coming out this summer will have comparable features. But the interesting part of all this to me is that HP first brought this technology out about 10 years ago and we all went, "touch my computer, no way" and it quietly went dormant. But now, we can't wait to get our grubby little paws all over that shiny box on the desk.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc