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HP TouchSmart 520 All-In-One Review

By on April 14, 2012

Where it is trend of computer tablets roaring loud, there is a computer market that is taking another shape. Of course, desktops will always stay there, but will need to change with the changing trends.

Actually, people now want their desktops to be compact, more powerful, and more user-friendly. The trend of those heavy, lengthy cabinets and those intermingled wires is going to die very soon. The thing that is coming now is an all-in-one desktop. These (all-in-one) types of desktops occupy a unique niche.

hp touchsmart 520 all-in-one

Photo Credit: Armacomp.hu/hirolvas.php?e=936

On other words we can say that these are extremely compact desktop computers that contain all the peripherals in one unifying design. Where the all-in-one desktops give you more vacant space, you also remain free of entangling wires. There are more pros than cons in having an all-in-one desktop.

All-in-ones should not be considered only as as compact or compressed desktops, but they have evolved, both in form as well as function. Features like touchscreen display, in-built TV tuners, unified microphones and webcams, integrated wireless networking, A/V connectivity, and many other make these devices stand out completely.

Recently, HP came up with its all-in-one desktop computer, named HP TouchSmart 520 All-In-One. Let us have a look at some of this all-in-one’s features.

Features of HP TouchSmart 520 All-In-One


The HP TouchSmart 520 is a pretty remarkable all-in-one desktop computer having aesthetic design with a robust selection of software and high-end hardware. As expected, the TouchSmarth 520 occupies minimal space on your desk. To our surprise, HP has done a great job to pack all the internals very neatly in thicker-than-a-regular LCD monitor.

hp touchsmart 520 features

Photo Credit: Comercialmmorales.es/tienda/ordenadores-sobremesa-c-116.html

All the internals have been done very cleanly into the screen chassis. Actually, HP has avoided to give the TouchSmart 520 a gaudy outlook. The manufacturer has done it very sophisticatedly, giving the unit a solid and simple black screen along with the support that is silver in color. The all-in-one unit has an decent profile to fit easily into a home decor. All in all, a great design!

Measurements and Dimensions

In total, the system weighs 25.77 pounds, which, we would say is pretty okay for an all-in-one desktop. It measures 22.85 inches in length, 8.54 inches in width, and 18.01 inches in height. The HP TouchSmart 520 All-in-One comes with a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer.

Screen and Display

One of the most highlighted features of TouchSmart 520 is its screen. The 23-inch multi-touch touchscreen display has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, which, according to our opinion is absolutely perfect. The colors are accurate and very well adjusted along with a relatively good brightness.

hp touchsmart 520 all-in-one

Photo Credit: Envirotech-int.com/all-in-one-pc-to-all-family-members/

The viewing angles are also pretty decent, whether looking straight-on or off-center; however, the screen takes a relatively yellow shift as soon as you tilt your head towards right or left. Up and down motion causes it to darken a little. Sharpness is good, but not razor sharp, but it is possible for more than one person (sitting at different angles) to enjoy a video very clearly.

The thing that you will enjoy with this all-in-one desktop is the touch capability. The touchscreen is highly responsive and immaculately accurate. The finger movements are tracked pretty precisely and quickly.

The manufacturer has tried its best to make each and every function of the device to be accessible by touch function, and has succeeded to do so even. Where some basic tasks can be performed by simply touching onto the desired programs, more complicated ones can be done with swipes, double-taps, and other simple gestures. For the users who have had a feel of MacBook, it would be very easy to use the TouchSmart 520. In any case, if you are not able to find anything, the on-screen virtual keyboard would be available for help.

Power and Performance

The HP TouchSmart 520 packs in an Intel Core i7-2600s 2.8 gigahertz Quad-Core Sandy Bridge processor. The small “s” that you see at the end of processor name stands for “low voltage”. No slowdown was observed while playing multiple video files, multiple browser windows, or playing more demanding 3D games. It is clearly apparent that the i7-2600s is stronger than the i5 2.7 gigahertz and 3.1 gigahertz processors found in 2011 iMac.

In addition to everything, and contrary to iMac, the Touchsmart 520 supports hyper-threading, which means the users get four real cores and four virtual cores. All this makes a huge, huge difference in apps that support multiple cores. The device also comes fitted with the Radeon HD6450 video card that is perfect for streaming videos at 1080p and playing Blu-Ray movies.

All in all, no performance-related hitches or hiccups were observed while watching videos.

Also Read

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Other Features of HP TouchSmart 520 All-in-One Desktop

Other noticeable features of this all-in-device are 2 terabyte of 5400 RPM hard drive along with wi-fi (802.11 b/g/n). The 23-inch LCD is LED backlit and has a built-in HD camera. The system has an 8 GB of 1.3 GHz DDR3 RAM.

In addition to all this, the system has a built-in Bluetooth, slot-load SuperMulti Blu-ray burner, HDMI input, four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, Ethernet (10/100/1000; RJ-45), headphone/microphone input jacks, and six-in-one multimedia card reader.

The system comes in packed with wireless keyboard and a mouse, integrated speakers with Beats Audio, and built-in TV tuner with touchscreen remote control.

Additional Words

However, the system can do reasonably well in terms of sales, but is expected to really take off with introduction of Windows 8 later this year. With Windows 8, the touchscreen computing really has a chance to touch the sky. In the meantime, HP, along with other all-in-one desktop manufacturers, is finding its ways to manipulate the current version of Windows (Windows 7) to suit the touch interaction.

With HP’s amazing user interface, Magic Canvas, TouchSmart 520 has really scored high and definitely deserves appreciation. Magic Canvas is really smooth, highly responsive, and full of different ticks to enhance the Windows experience for touch computing. Seeing the future of computing, or the fact that touch computing will make its place ultimately, this can be one of the reasons to consider this all-in-one PC from HP.


One of the drawbacks you would find in all-in-one desktops is with their upgradeability. It is one of the most justified and common complaints of the all-in-one form factor. Generally, the only method to upgrade your all-in-one computer components is to upgrade to the stronger options at the time of purchase.

With this, we mean that buy an all-in-one system which has now-best technology available in it. Because the presently-best technology will take time to get really obsolete, you’ll get maximum time with your all-in-one desktop PC. In another case, if you choose to buy an average-configuration PC, once the PC is in your hands, it is very difficult and too much time consuming process to swap out the components. Plus, you will void your warranty!

Price and Availability of HP TouchSmart 520 All-In-One Desktop

This high-performance all-in-one device can be purchased from all leading retail stores or HP shops. Per manufacturer, it is set to cost around $1,400.


For the fact that all-in-one PCs are still making their way into the homes, it is a good chance to grab one pretty early. Improvements are bound to come, but with the hardware, core, and outlook of TouchSmart 520 at around $1,400, it is a nice deal. If not anything else, it is a great example for all other all-in-one PC manufacturers.

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