When he first showed off OS X Lion last year, Steve Jobs explained Apple’s reluctance to add multitouch displays to their line of iMacs by saying that multitouch needed to be horizontal to be pleasant to use. Use it in a vertical position and you’re always leaning forward to poke and prod the screen, leading to what Steve Jobs calls “gorilla arm.” That’s why Apple has only brought multitouch to the Mac through peripherals like the Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad. Even so, some patents have shown up over the past year that suggest that Apple’s been experimenting with multitouch-capable iMacs with pivoting displays that pull down to a more appropriate horizontal orientation when a user wants to interact with on-screen elements directly.
If you want to see what such an iMac might look like in the flesh, though, check out HO’s latest TouchSmart PC. Look familiar? Yup, that’s right: it features a pull-down design that drops the multitouch display into a horizontal position to reduce arm fatigue… just like in Apple’s patent!
Windows PCs both, HP’s latest TouchSmart series are 23-inch affairs boasting full 1080p resolution, LED backlight LCDs. The cheapest is the 610, which starts at just $900 and comes with options of Intel or AMD CPUs, up to 16GB of RAM, 1TB of storage, Blu-Ray optical drive and Beats Audio Speaker. That’ll be available on February 9th. If you can wait until May, though, the TouchSmart 9300 will boast an Intel Sandy Bridge processor and an 160GB SSD. Given OS X Lion’s improved support for both multitouch and SSDs, it’s probably the safer bet if you’re looking to beat Apple to the punch by Hackintoshing together one of their patents your own self.