Apple iMac (27-inch) vs. HP Touch Smart IQ816 Desktop PC (25.5-inch)
The Apple iMac (27-inch) is the apple many people would become sinners for. It is the all-in-one desktop that brought about a revolution among computers, and no matter how many similar computers were released before, iMac is the only one that has been able to match style and performance, and incorporate both into one body.
On the other hand the HP Touch Smart looks good at first glance, but can we really compare it to the iMac? Let us start with its touch screen, which is probably the best on the market. But is it everything to have a touch screen? We do admit that it is interesting playing with it, but let us go a bit further. The HP Touch Smart really does look like a capable enough, all-in-one; however, in comparison with similar computers on the market, it loses its credibility. For general entertainment we recommend the iMac. Keep reading to learn what we discovered when exploring these two computers a bit more.
The iMac features definitely worth mentioning are the new multi-touch wireless mouse and a slim, wireless keyboard. However, the third, and the most important part of this Apple trilogy is the LED-backlit screen with 2.560x1.440 pixel native resolution, which gives you the feeling of actually being on the movie set while it was being made! Any desktop computer display in comparison with the iMac's is in our book, in one word - incomparable! You would need to have at least a 30-inch monitor in order to enjoy watching movies as close as you could do it with the iMac, which leads us to the additional $1,000 or more you will pay. One more fact, concerning the screen, which might catch your attention, is Apple's claim that the iMac's LCD has a 178-degree viewing angle. In layman's terms, well sort of, the iMac's resolution is 2.560 X 1.440, whereas the HP Touch Screen's is "only" 1.920 X 1.200.
Compared to the iMac's 178-degree viewing, another weakness we found in the HP design is that the hi-def screen looks promising, however, be sure of the viewing angle because you might see strange images and dark spots in places you should not. Another minus, especially for movie lovers, is that you cannot use the touch screen to select the Blu-ray features of the movie you are currently watching. So, what do you have to do? Well, you have to tap a virtualized remote to move between selections. And all high tech junkies know, no matter how cool it is at first, every toy gets boring after a while.
As for built-in devices you can find a camera, antenna, stereo speakers, and infrared receiver, however, we will say this even before a question mark pops up above your head: there is no Blu-ray. With Blu-ray being so hot right now, we were surprised they did not actually give us that ultimate and complete pleasure when we are watching movies on the computer. The iMac also does not have a TV tuner, but who cares, with all the other features this Apple has, we assure you that the only worm it could have is because some evil minds on the Internet send you virus or get your credit card number.
There was actually one more thing that we saw as not so practical - the camera. Since it is built-in, you can say bye-bye to showing off your new apartment to your cousin far-far-away. It does not mean that you cannot do it, we are just saying - go for an easier option and film it with your own camera. The HP Touch Screen on the other hand, besides the basic built-ins, has Blu-Ray, S-video output, and a standard cable coaxial input for the included TV tuner. So, after pressing only a few buttons, IQ816 transforms into an HD-ready television. The keyboard, though it is slim and sleek, offer no additional functions, except for the volume-control buttons which allow you the mute and sleep options. It looks like they thought of everything, because we know for a fact that many people have the tendency of falling asleep in front of their computers, while watching movies at home, of course.
Concerning processors, the iMac comes with 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, and the HP TouchScreen with 2.100GHz Core 2 Duo T8100. The memory does not differ much as they both come with 4GB installed memory that can be upgraded. When it comes to graphics, the iMac has ATI Radeon HD 4670 (256MB), and the HP Nvidia GeForce 9600M FS. So, all in all, it depends which technical features you prefer to have.
And now, let's talk about the warranty. Both of them, the HP Touch Smart and the iMac, have a limited warranty of 1 year and complimentary telephone technical support of 90 days on the iMac. Curious about the prices? Well, the HP will cost you around $2, 000, and the iMac around $1,700.
After comparing these two computers, what more can we say except that when you are looking for a new computer, you should remember the advice your grandma gave you - fruit is good for you!
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