• News
  • Columns
  • Interviews
  • BW Communities
  • Events
  • BW TV
  • Subscribe to Print
  • Editorial Calendar 19-20
BW Businessworld

Uncertain Dimension

Photo Credit :

They're calling it the post-PC era, almost likening tablets and smartphones to be the asteroids that took out the archaic prehistoric personal computer segment. Where then does a pricey all-in-one PC fit into the grand scheme of things, even one with the 3D buzzword tacked on for good measure? With the HP TouchSmart 620 3D Edition PC, I intend to answer just that.

To be fair, the TouchSmarts are, in my opinion, one of the few models that have got the all-in-one-form factor down pat. The 620 uses the same conservative chassis design as the previously launched TouchSmarts – I use the word conservative in a good sense, with the 620 able to blend into most homes. With its ability to tilt back and forth through a variety of angles, the 620 is stable and usable at all angles, which is handy for a touchscreen PC which is more than likely to get poked at. The large 23-inch 1,920x1,080 pixel (1080p Full-HD) resolution screen is great for playing back high definition movies and the integrated stereo speakers coupled with Beats Audio work just great for a study or living room setting. Everyday performance is ensured with the Core i5-2400 processor and 1 GB of ultra-fast GDDR5 graphics memory, though at this price, I'd probably have expected a top of the line i7 processor to be thrown in.

But it's that 3D tag that we should really be discussing, right? It takes some time to dig past the Windows menus to enable 3D settings for your applications and games, but a 3D switch a la smartphones would have been much better. HP's bundled in twin cameras to allow you to record in 3D as well, but points are lost for using active 3D glasses that need non-rechargeable watch battery for power. These glasses auto detect when the screen displays a 3D image and turn on themselves, though. While the quality of the 3D playback is above par from a depth perspective, the overall 3D experience on the 620 just underscores the fact that PC 3D content has a long way to go. The 3D just hasn't impressed me enough to recommend this over its predecessor (the 610), and you really have to be a 3D devotee to want to splurge on this.

Rating: 7/10
Price: Rs 92,999

Pocket Size Powehouse
Are we being overrun with Android tablets in all shapes and sizes or what? Take Samsung, for example. From just this one company you get the 750, the 730, the 680 and now the 620, all within the space of 6 months tops. The 7-inch slimmed-down form factor the 620 packs in does have some easy-to-carry-everywhere allure, but does it deliver the goods?
Design wise, the 620 borrows heavily from its 10-incher sibling, which results in a sturdy yet slim design. This being an Android Honeycomb tablet, there are no physical buttons on the device but the Honeycomb interface really suits this 7-incher's smaller screen better. I'm not the biggest fan of Samsung's TouchWiz UI, but it doesn't seem to get in the way much. With hardware borrowed from the Galaxy S2 under the hood, the media playback capability is stellar and batter life manages to creep well over the 9 hour mark, though I have to say, the screen does lack a tad in brightness.
With Samsung packing in a SIM card slot, you can use the 620 to make calls as well, though I highly recommend using the bundled headset if you want to avoid becoming a social outcast! At the price, would I recommend it? Only if you know what you want to do with it – with the iPad 2 dropping prices internationally, Android tablets are just going to have to up their game on the apps front if they want to earn solid ‘buy' recommendations.
Rating: 8/10
Price: Rs 27,613

technocool at kanwar dot net
[email protected]