HP Debuts Omni 100 And TouchSmart 310 AIO PCs Along With New tm2 Notebook

Can you tell that companies are ramping up for the holidays yet? The flood of new machines has definitely begun, with Asus holding a mega media event last week, ViewSonic introducing the G Tablet and Samsung bringing the Galaxy Tab to all four major U.S. carriers. But today, Hewlett-Packard is stealing the show with a new array of machines that all look to take advantage of Windows 7 and touch.

Let's get started with the big fella: the all new TouchSmart 310 all-in-one PC. This is HP's all-out assault on Apple's iMac, and the new 310 is looking sharper than ever. This one is a 20" machine, aimed at smaller bedrooms, college dorms, etc. It has a 1600x900 touch panel, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit and a 2.8GHz processor. But it's not an Intel chip; there's an AMD Athlon II 240e dual-core CPU in here. It also ships with 4GB of DDR3 SDRAM, 1TB of hard drive space, a slim-tray DVD SuperMulti drive, ATI Radeon HD 4270 integrated graphics, Gigabit Ethernet, integrated Bluetooth, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and a built-in HDTV tuner (a nice touch!). The machine also includes a wireless keyboard and optical mouse, with a starting price of $699.99 and a ship date of late September.

Next, there's the HP Omni 100, a new kind of all-in-one PC that tries to put simple, first. This model also shares the 20" footprint with a 1600x900 touch panel, along with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, a 1.8GHz Athlon II 260u dual-core processor, 3GB of DDR3 memory, a 500GB 7200RPM drive, DVD burner, ATI Radeon 4270 integrated graphics, Wi-Fi, inbuilt speakers, and a bundled keyboard/mouse. The price here starts at $499.99 with planned availability later this month.

Finally, the TouchSmart tm2, which is one HP's most famous notebooks of late, has been revised. It's a 12.1" multi-touch machine, but it's now available with Core i3 and Core i5 CPU choices along with AMD Mobility Radeon HD 5450 switchable graphics. The LCD swivels to convert it into a tablet PC, while Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit is the OS of choice. It also ships with a 500GB hard drive, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, 5-in-1 card reader, three USB 2.0 ports and a full-size keyboard. The tm2 will sell for $829.99 and up, with the new models shipping in late October.

In software news, HP is also launching their TouchSmart Apps Center, which will be available soon via an icon on the TouchSmart Carousel. It provides one-click (we mean, one-touch) access to free and subscription-based apps from companies who are creating touch-friendly programs. We can't overstate how badly this has been needed. Each time we review a touch panel AIO PC, we always struggle to find enough software that's touch-friendly. In the end, we never use the touch screen enough. But a touch-based app store could certainly change that, and we hope it does.