As a touchscreen, the TouchSmart's screen is excellent. It's smooth to the touch, which makes using it very comfortable, and it's responsive and accurate. Multi-touch gestures, such as pinch-to-zoom, are very smooth and quick. Overall, everything feels snappy on this screen, which is great considering the other input peripherals aren't exactly top-of-the-line.
Video looks and sounds fairly nice on the TouchSmart's screen. Action scenes were fluid, though I did notice some slight artifacting around the corners of darker, high-motion scenes. HD streaming video played without a hitch, and regular video also looked nice and not too choppy.
If you've read any of my earlier reviews of HP machines, you'll know that I am a huge fan of the BeatsAudio enhancement that the company has been including with just about all of its systems. The TouchSmart is no different--audio from the all-in-one's built-in speakers sounds very good, with warm, thumpy bass and full-sounding surround-sound. The speakers get fairly loud and can be a little harsh at higher levels, but you should be fine if you keep them in the middle range. The headphone jack, which is enhanced with BeatsAudio as well, also sounds excellent.
The bottom line
While the HP Envy TouchSmart 23 isn't the fastest, most powerful machine out there, it's an excellent choice for people who are interested a sleek-looking all-purpose machine. I may not love HP's frame-like stand style, but I can't knock it for being easy-to-use, flexible, and sturdy. Plus, the Envy 23 TouchSmart has an excellent touchscreen, speakers enhanced with BeatsAudio, and very solid overall performance.
Bottom line: this all-in-one is a win for just about any shopper, so long as you're in the market for a general purpose PC that's not strong in any one area.