When it comes to raw computing power, Moore's Law is still going strong after all these years. The focus has evolved from a megahertz and gigahertz race to one where the goal is to squeeze as many processors onto a single die as possible. Yet from the outside, the PC remains as it was ten, even twenty years ago. The large and bulky CRT monitors have been replaced by the sleek and slim LCD panels but the same rectangular chassis housing the innards of the PC is relatively unchanged.
That was until Apple released its iMac line of computers in 1998. Apple got rid of the boxes, integrating the processing hardware into the display. The original iMac looked like a slightly bloated albeit colorful CRT monitor. With subsequent models, the iMac started using flat panel LCDs but the design goal remained consistent - to unify the display and the processor into an aesthetically pleasing unit. While Apple's designs have often inspired legions of imitators and there are quite a few iMac clones out there, there hasn't been any decent original work extending or improving this concept.
Such is the challenge that HP has taken up with its new HP TouchSmart IQ770 PC. Its silver and black exterior, coupled with an innovative touchscreen based design may contrast with the simplicity and elegance of the iMac, but bristling with buttons and its multiple ports and connectors, it screams of pure technology and power. Instead of blindly aping Apple's design ethos, where tech gadgets evolve into fashion accessories, HP has gone its own, very PC-centric way of loading the TouchSmart with as many functions and capabilities as a modern multimedia PC will require.