A couple weeks back, when we unveiled the TouchSmart 520, I gave you the quick line on what the all-in-one desktop was all about. Where that story sports slick marketing videos that showed how the 520 looks and works, what you’re about to read here is all about the results. I got my hands on the 520 and now, after kicking the tires for a week, I’m ready to report back.
In addition, I threw out the call on the blog: Ask me what you want me to look for and test on the TouchSmart 520. Well, I took a couple suggestions from the crowd….below are some of those results. Read on to see how the 520 fared with my tests -- and yours!
CPU: Intel Core i7–2600S at 2.8GHz (starts with i5-2400S) RAM: 8GB (4GB RAM Standard) HDD: 2TB 5400rpm HDD (starts with 1TB 7200 rpm drive) Display: 23-inch touch screen w/ 1920 by 1080 native resolution Video: 2GB AMD Radeon HD 6550 (Integrated graphics, standard), 1 optional HDMI-in Audio: 1 headphone-out, 1 mic-in jack; HP Pulse subwoofer Out, Beats audio Interesting I/O: I like the two side-mounted USB 3.0 ports!
Before I say anything here, I’m going to let the Windows Experience Index do a lot of the talking.
As you can see, it’s got some guts. Where the scores dip slightly is the hard drive speed department. A 5400rpm drive gives you a lot of value, but doesn’t access data as quickly as a 7200rpm drive. That actually affects some of the performance you see in-application. So, for example, if you’re stashing tons of MP3s and photos, a 5400rpm drive is fine. If you’re more into editing video or playing higher-end videogames, hard drive speed can impact performance. Just something to keep in mind. (If I were to buy a 520, I’d make sure to buy one with a 7200rpm hard drive).
Here’s what wound up happening in some of my tests:
Boot to Windows 7: 58 seconds System Shutdown: 15 Seconds System sleep: 3 seconds System wake-up: 3 seconds
Quick Gaming Tests: Total War: Shogun 2 720p Balanced, DirectX 11 Benchmark: 25.75 fps (Frames per second) 1080p Balanced, Direct X 11 Benchmark: 9.22 fps
Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War II – Retribution 1600 x 900, settings at high – to – ultra (translation: looks purty!): 23.16 fps 1360 x 768, settings at high – to – ultra: 31.55 fps
The People’s Review: For AdriaticBlue
AdriaticBlue asked me to test out a couple apps on a baseline model of the 520t (Intel Core i3, integrated graphics). So, the obvious problem is that I was given a fairly higher-end machine compared to what Adriatic had in mind. Questing through the labs, we found a 420 with similar specs: Core i3-2100 CPU, Integrated Graphics and 6GB of RAM.
On Adriatic’s test request list….
…Creating vector artwork in Adobe Illustrator CS5. A free trial is available for download. If Illustrator is not an option, please test with CorelDRAW X5 which also has a free trial available. If you have a lot of time on your hands, test both. :-)
…Running one of the most popular R/C Flight Sims available, RealFlight G5. There is a G5 demo download available for free. Note: This demo may require that you're logged in as Admin and that you set G5 to run in Admin mode. http://www.realflight.com/free-g5-demo.html. [Hey Adriatic: That's actually a fun little demo, thanks for tipping me off to it! - Darren]
Here’s the short version: Illustrator works as far as I can tell – but I’m by no means an artist. My idea of vector graphics involves a Star Wars arcade cabinet from the 1980s. But I can report that I didn’t have a problem running the flight game on the 420.
Honestly, the machine is up-to-snuff and scores well on the Windows Experience Index – out of a possible 7.9, the 420 scores 7.1 on processor and 7.3 on RAM. But for graphics, it nets a 5.6. Not bad for your everyday use, but I always favor stepping up the graphics on any all-in-one machine you consider.
These TouchSmarts look sweet, sure. They are awesomely fun to try touch-screening apps where you’d normally use a keyboard and mouse. Just think carefully for the future when you configure this machine and you can get some good mileage out of it. (I’m actually working on a couple stories chock-full of upgrading tips – for before you even buy a PC. Stay tuned for those!)
If you have questions, fire away! And if you have more test suggestions for future Hands-On tests, let me know!