My last home PC was an HP (which is living a second extended life with a family member now) and my current home PC is an HP. In fact, so is my office PC and I even had an HP TouchPad. But my next will not be and it’s because of my current PC. It’s an HP Touchsmart 600. At the time I thought the novelty of a touchscreen in an all-in-one would, at some point, make a lot of sense. I liked that it was uncluttered. I liked tv in/out (something that’s mandatory for me for some odd psychological reason even though I rarely use it). I figured that having a 23” HD touchscreen would just work well for work and play. And it was fine in the beginning. But as expected it’s slow as molasses now and I don’t have much installed on it. The touch software they have is total crapware. And the DVD player has never opened with the physical button.  And don’t try to use touch on this touch screen – it’s about as accurate as using your elbow to type.  Too many of the paper specs ultimately didn’t perform as well in reality as they should have.

Bottom line is that there’s a simple solution we all know that’s $40 – install Windows 8. I was never able to get any of the preview versions to install. Online there are some possible ways to do it but the only solution is to do a clean install with a bios tweak in play. That’s pathetic. I figured the consumer release would fix this. Nope. I spent two days trying to install Windows 8 and I’ll end up spending at least one more. The solution (shy of a clean install) is a few different bios changes to see if any of them (which may result in losing WiFi and likely result in rolling back to older graphics drivers and disabling updates) work for me as results seem to vary.

But wait, I’m sure HP will support the PC they sold me right? No, they state they haven’t tried to upgrade this model (they have a shit-ton of models because of slight differences in configurations but really, they should be able to get to the common configs and know what works and if it fails why). In the end, there’s something unique to what they sold me. Something special (in a bad way) about its set up that fails the upgrade and there’s not a simple solution to it. And as far as I ‘m concerned, HP dropped me off and sped away. I can’t blame MS  – there are too many PC’s with varying configurations to get a 100% success rate. I gave most of my money to HP (MS just got a license fee) and I thought we were in it together.  We’re not. I’m on my own and since I’m going it alone, I’m finding a new pal for my next journey. It’s likely not for at least another year if I can get Win8 onto this thing, but with Windows 8 I’m all-in on all-in-one touchscreens like the Lenovo A720 (but that price tag is serious).

But what PC makers are firing on all cylinders these days?  What are you guys rocking?

4 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve also bought my last HP (and sadly I must use a dell for work). My Envy 17 was lightning quick when I first got it, now, it’s horribly slow, can’t run a damn thing in 3D to save its life, and has been left to rot on my home office desk for the past two years, only to be used to rip my massive DVD and BD collection to my NAS.
    I have a few other PCs in the house (Sony Vaio, Compaq, and another HP), but my two macs (2011 iMac and a 2011 MacBook Air) are still working just as well as they did the day I bought them. This actually makes the first two apple computers I ever owned in my life, the best computers I’ve ever owned. I’ve never had a single issue with either. Never dealt with slow down, never had a driver issue, never needed to reload the os, etc.
    I’ll never buy anything other than an Apple computer again. You get what you pay for usually, and with my apple computers, it has been peace for 2 years. I honestly can’t believe it.

    Before you whip out the ifanboi bullshit, yes, I own A LOT of apple devices These days. I bought my first Apple device in 2010, and haven’t stopped since. But that’s only because they fit into my life perfectly. I’ve never come across a device that does what I need in a better, easier and more reliable way. I’ve used almost every other brand and OS on the market and nothing has piqued my interest enough for me to switch anything. I love my iPhone and my iPad.

    As for the computers, even after I had bought my iPhone and an iPad or two, I was still pretty dead set on not buying an Apple computer. And then the 2011 MacBook Air launched, and brought Lion with it. The best OS I had used with the nicest small laptop on the market was too much to resist. Now, after 20+ years of being a hardcore Microsoft fan, I won’t touch their product outside of work.

    Thanks to Microsoft and their partners for doing crappy work so I still have a job.

  2. Asus my friend. Aside from a couple of pieces of Asus crapware (music and video players, I think) that they didn’t fully install, and I promptly uninstalled, my new i7 desktop worked right out of the box. Nearly three months and not a single freeze, forced reboot, or anything other than simple pleasure. And fast a shit through a goose. The little 11.6″ touchscreen Asus i3 has worked equally as well, although obviously not as fast.

    I have stayed away from HP for a number of years because every one of their machines I encountered had some sort of custom bios or other drivers that made them hard to work with. Like HTC and Dell, their hardware usually meets the mark, but their software implementation generally sucks. Note that I successfully upgraded a 9 year old Fujitsu, 5 year old Compaq and 3 year old Gateway (although it needed a new video card – Nvidia) to Win8 without issue, so HP has no excuses. Especially on a machine that new.

    • Yes, Asus it is. I have seen few Asus laptops and they are built with good. I have two HPs at home HP dv6 series laptop and a touchpad. I am done with HP and I have Lenovo G570, which I upgraded to Windows 8 and it rocks. I would suggest Lenovo or Asus would be the choice.

  3. Honestly, i’ve been debating whether or not to turn Microsoft’s penchant for horrible marketing and training into a business. In the last month I’ve had several calls from family and friends to show how to navigate Windows 8.

    I currently have 3 ASUS laptops that I use for everything from writing blog posts, internet browsing, graphic design and video editing. I’ve had one issue with one of the laptops where I unplugged the HDMI plug from the laptop to TV and now my sound doesn’t play through the speakers only through headphones or exterior source.

    The more frustration comes the more I have started to seriously consider other platforms.

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