Royce Eddington

Nothing to see here. Move along people.

Month: April 2011

I like HP’s original 600 series over the “new” 610 series

It has been another bonkers week. I’ve been swamped, running ragged, and everything needed to be done yesterday, but I have a micro-moment to post a quick observation on HP’s latest product update.

Initially, HP offered a 600-1000 series touchscreen PC that was going over very very well at most locations I work at. “Absolutely awesome” would be the best way to sum up the HP 600-1000 series model XL731AV#ABA.

Progress being progress, HP recently updated the 600 line to the 610 series.

The only thing they definitely got “right” with the 610 update is that the PC now lays flat so it’s semi-level with your desk. You can type and sketch on the screen like a ginormous keyboard, then rotate it back up to be in “monitor mode”.

That’s the end of the happy dance.

Somebody at HP decided to change so many features in the “new and improved” 610 XT models, this is really a different-feeling machine.

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s significantly changed in the “new and improved” HP touchscreen 610 series…

  • The bottom stand of the 610 gets SCRATCHED with EVERY adjustment! (Did nobody test swivel this thing a few times?)


  • HP610ScrewUp01


  • There is no “tensioner” on the swing arm. You don’t like how hard it is to level the 610 PC? Tough.

  • The 610 frame feels like cheap plastic. Compare the 610 matte plastic frame (top) to the 600 high-gloss frame (bottom). The high-gloss looks and feels nicer. Having said that, I completely understand why they switched to matte. The high-gloss frame was a perfect-copy-of-your-fingerprint magnet, and since the 610 will be laying flat, there had to be a change to keep it semi-clean. Unfortunately, the new matte frame still holds on to smudges.


  • HP610ScrewUp02


    HP610ScrewUp03


  • RCA connections are no longer an option on the 610!! On the 610 order page, you can specify that you want HDMI & Composite inputs, but when the 610 arrives, you will only get HDMI ports! The HP order fulfillment sales department in India finally transferred me to HP stateside who confirmed that even though the order says HDMI & COMPOSITE INPUTS, you don’t get the RCA connections anymore because there’s a typo on their website! Oh, and for the record, I was the first to find that typo, thank you! (600 series inputs photo next and current screenshot of HP config page with composite input option follows)


  • HP610ScrewUp06


    HP610ScrewUp07


  • No “desk light” on the 610! The little three power “night light” under the entire bar of the 600 series pointed at the keyboard was amazingly awesome for the night-owls who love to work in the dark with minimal light. This took some major “cool” points off the 610. (600 series “night light” switch photo below)


  • HP610ScrewUp05


  • No “dummy” CD/DVD activity light on the 610 or any manual menu override like the 600 had. (600 series photo below)



HP610ScrewUp04



HP probably saved some money with these “updates”, but the 9 HP touchscreens that initially came in are “it” for where I work for now. Nobody liked the new models’ look and feel, and the missing RCA connections were a deal killer for five locations that still use VHS tapes and wanted an all-in-one training hotspot for their employees.

Different isn’t bad. Real-world use and a little bit of time with the 610s will tell if these new HPs are good enough to replace the 600 series.

More app Bait and Switch – this time from the app store

I ranted before about how there are some apps on the iTunes store for iPhone/iPad that are full of Bait & Switch. They offer a “free” version of their app, but later REMOVE features and then have the balls to say these features are now only available in a “full version” you have to pay for.

This B&S has found its’ way into the Mac desktop app store. Specifically Breathing Zone Limited’s app “Breathing Zone Free”.

The first version of the app had no limit on time scheduling. You set the time…

BreathingZoneRipoff03


…and press play. Done.

BreathingZoneRipoff02


But the “new and improved”  update in the app store?

BreathingZoneRipoff01


Now there’s a 5 minute limit. Give up some cash if you want the original features back! Ha ha!

It’s sad there are companies like this out there. The only way I can think of to fight B&S like this is for Apple to have an option to NEVER UPDATE an app in their update que for their app store. That way the consumers win, and not the greedy B&S companies that remove features to justify charging for future updates.

Without this option, the customer has to cherry-pick the updates they want to apply. If the B&S company ever adds another “update”, the original warning about the feature removal from the first “feature update” is replaced with the news about the most recent update.

I sent this to Apple at their official iTunes feedback page, so hopefully some engineer gets it and goes “AH HAH! THERE’S MY 2011 PROMOTION RIGHT THERE!”

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