By Ben Bowers
on 9.18.09

hp_dream_screen

Tablet, Tablet, Tablet. It’s all we’ve been hearing out of the tech rumor mill lately, and it’s all referring to Apple’s supposed next big thing. While we won’t begin to claim that HP’s recently announced Dream Screen covers everyone of the hypothesizing bases that Apple’s eventual product might, it is built with the same intentions in mind. Basically, it’s to serve as a hybrid between the company’s Touchsmart all-in-one PC and a digital photo frame; the Dream Screen is designed to handle a variety of tasks such as listening to Pandora, other internet radio, or networked music collections, sharing photos, checking Facebook and weather updates, and much more. In other words, all of those small tasks you normally wake up your computer every half hour for. Don’t confuse its touchscreen, though, with the multi-touch functionality of the iPhone, as for now the device supports only touch enabled controls found on it’s outer frame. However an included remote control can also be used for navigating from a far, which conveniently slots in the back of the machine for descrete storage when not in use.


hp_dream_screen_side
Built in wireless means you’re free to place the device anywhere you’d like and transfer content to it over your network. Two sizes are also available based on your preferences. The smaller unit features a 10.2″ screen, while the larger bumps up to 13.3″. Both have a 15:9 aspect ratio for viewing. Two gigs of on board memory allows owners to have some flexibility for storing content on the unit, although admittedly it’s as not much as we’d like to have seen.

Overall the Dream Screen provides an interesting mix of appealing features that may perfectly suit the lighter computing needs of larger households. While it can definitely be improved upon, our suspicion is that keeping the price down was a strong motivator behind HP’s feature selection. At $249 and $299 for the larger version, the Dream Screen is definitely positioned in the impulse buy range and much more likely to be snapped up by more than just technophiles and hard core gadgeteers. If you’re in the market for something more robust, keep twiddling your thumbs for Apple to make it’s move.

Check out the video below for a peek at how it works.

$249 for 10 inch, $299 for 13 inch

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