HP updated its TouchSmart all-in-one PCs to push them into high-end home theater territory not covered by earlier models or rivals such as the iMac. The IQ800 series carries a 25.5-inch, 1920x1200 display that converts the touchscreen PC into a near home theater; accordingly, the system comes with a Blu-ray combo drive in one model while all of them have 1080p-capable video and ATSC/NTSC TV tuners. To match the HTPC focus, either system also has new ambient lighting on their chins that either illuminates the wireless keyboard on a desktop or just sets the mood.
The PC builder's custom touchscreen interface is the same as before and streamlines lightweight photo management and editing, music playback, and widgets for weather or other info.
Two models start off the IQ800 line. The IQ804 is built for average use with a 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, a DVD burner and a GeForce 9300M GS for video. An IQ816 model adds the Blu-ray combo drive along with a Penryn-era 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo, a larger 750GB hard disk and GeForce 9600M GS video. Wi-Fi over 802.11n provides local networking for every model while either also has a Pocket Media Drive bay to add extra internal storage.
HP starts the IQ800 series at $1,899 and estimates a launch for September 21st. The premium IQ816 boosts the price to $2,099 for an October 21st release.