HP Touchsmart 520 All-in-One PC Review

Introduction & Specifications

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. Oh, and there's a TV tuner shoved inside too, for good measure.

These are low-power, desktop-class components crammed into an AIO form factor as part of a redesigned TouchSmart series meant to be "light, thin, and altogether stylish." Other than the part about this being a lightweight PC (the folks at HP must work out), HP delivers on its promises, and quite frankly exceeds our expectations at nearly every turn. Before we proceed with our full-on groping, let's take a look at the TouchSmart 520's specifications.

Hewlett-Packard TouchSmart 520-1070 23" All-In-One Desktop
Specifications and Features (as tested)
  • Intel Core i7 2600S (2.80GHz) quad-core CPU
  • 8GB of 1333MHz DDR3 RAM
  • 23" LCD (1920x1080); LED backlight; Multi-touch
  • AMD Radeon HD 6450A graphics
  • 2TB 5400RPM hard drive
  • 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth
  • Slot-load SuperMulti Blu-ray burner
  • HD webcam
  • HDMI input
  • USB 2.0 x 4; USB 3.0 x 2
  • RJ-45 (Ethernet 10/100/1000)
  • Headphone / Mic input jacks
  • 6-in-1 Multimedia Card Reader
  • Subwoofer output; Line-out
  • RF input; IR blaster jack
  • Wireless keyboard / mouse combo
  • Integrated speakers w/ Beats Audio
  • Built-in TV tuner w/ TouchSmart remote
  • 25.77 Pounds
  • 22.85" (L/D) x 8.54" (W) x 18.01" (H)- (Dimensions)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
  • Price (as tested): $1,399.99
  • 1-year warranty

It's been a couple of months since we last reviewed an all-in-one system, and we've never spent significant hands-on time with one this powerful or flexible before. Whereas the ET2410 by Asus reviewed in November 2011 screamed "average PC" at first glance, the HP TouchSmart 520-1070 appears to have a bit of a chip on its shoulder and is out to prove that the "all-in-one" moniker doesn't have to only refer to the physical form factor, but also a PC's ability to perform all types of tasks, whether it's burning Blu-ray backups, flipping through TV channels, or even *gulp* a bit of gaming.

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