HP TouchSmart 300 and 600 bump the software to the next level, tx2 comes along for the ride

While the hardware on the outside looks to hardly be a departure from the norm for HP's TouchSmart line, there's some exciting stuff going on under the hood. Of course, multitouch is the big buzz this season with Windows 7 onboard and those fancy Surface apps are fine to play with, but more important is what HP is doing with its own TouchSmart application. It's added panes for Hulu, Netflix, Twitter and an HP Music Store powered by Rhapsody, which work in nicely with the rest of the touch-friendly apps onboard and a bit of underlying Microsoft technology keeping things humming -- like a nice big handwriting pane for quick Rhapsody searches. There's also a voice controlled recipe app that can capture recipes from popular recipe sites and read them out loud to you, and the photo app can hook up with a phone over Bluetooth and pull off photos. The other big new touch is the addition of HDMI and composite inputs, specifically for use with gaming consoles on the colorful 20-inch (300) and 23-inch (600) screens. What we would've really liked to see at this point would be a bit of that stylus-friendly capacitive Wacom tech, since a computer like this is dying to be turned into an easel, but this infrared camera-based stuff will have to do for now. HP had to hit these friendly $899 and $1,049 respective pricepoints somehow. Specs are nothing too special, but TV tuners, discrete graphics and Blu-ray are all in the offing. Meanwhile, HP's tossing all that fancy new software onto the TouchSmart tx2 convertible multitouch tablet, which starts at $800, and the dv3 is also getting a touchscreen as rumored -- thought details are slim there. The tx2 and 600 launch on October 22, while the 300 lands November 1. %Gallery-75369% %Gallery-75370%