Crafting a new computer is tough. Everyone loves touch—fingers are winning interfaces. But pawing an upright monitor is physically tiring. So? HP's design team cleverly brought the monitor down to you. And we've got their concept sketches.
HP design guru Randall Martin walked us through the process. They know that their old TouchSmart form factor wasn't sustainable. It was a nightmare on elbows, and just sort of felt wrong. I'm fine pointing away like that at an ATM, or when buying movie tickets—but checking the news, or writing an essay? Unbearable. Our bodies aren't meant to work that way, as much as our hands want to drag and pinch and swipe. But the convergence of our hands and our computers is, more than inevitable, well on their way. The desktop is the next stop. But it has to stop sucking. HP's new TouchSmart series is mostly unremarkable as an actual computer the software is sloppy, the specs are a desktop jammed into a chunky slice, and the touchscreen itself is wonky and inaccurate. But they've nailed one thing—design. And not looks. It's face is as unremarkable as its guts. But the TouchSmart's new ability to gracefully 60 degrees down into a tabletop position is brilliant, and the only hope of the touch desktop, if it has any future at all.