Although all-in-one PCs have their limitations, their popularity is ever-growing. These devices mostly share parts with their laptop counterparts that allow for their small size. Unfortunately, because of this, they also share the laptop weaknesses and, for instance, their graphics are still behind the ones of desktop computers.
Luckily, they are progressing every day, and the best all-in-one computers are not that far from the regular desktops when it comes to performance. In other words, if you have decided that you need a new computer, and you like the practicality and modest dimensions of all-in-one PCs, there is no reason not to choose them instead of desktops.
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Here are a few things you should look for when finding yourself a new all-in-one computer.
How to Choose the Best All-in-one Computer
Size, resolution, whether or not it is a touchscreen – this is the order you can follow. The size of a screen depends on your personal preferences or the space that you have reserved for your all-in-one PC. The resolution is important for your multimedia experience. The bigger the resolution, the better the quality of pictures you see. FHD is a minimum these days, while professional work asks for 4K or 5K resolution. It’s best to choose according to your needs. A touchscreen is a good option, but it shouldn’t be a deciding factor.
Professional design and multimedia work require for i5, i7 or Ryzen 7 processors, other processors are for office work or home use.
8GB of RAM is a minimum for normal work unless you use Chrome OS, which works tremendously even with 4GB. For professional work, stick to 16GB or 32GB of RAM. Office work or home use can work with integrated graphics; everything else requires more serious stuff.
The best all-in-one computer would have GeForce 1080 or Radeon RX-570 with 8GB of RAM that is good for heavy gaming of professional multimedia development. If you are not in that department, go for the less expensive options.
Always chose devices with more storage. If it is possible to go for the computers that have their OS on an SSD, it will work much faster than on the regular HDD. Also, keep in mind that, for instance, Windows 10 needs about 16GB of space. In other words, if you chose a computer with only 32GB SSD, you will have only 16GB of storage for other application and personal files.
It’s simple. The more ports there are, the more options you have and more peripherals you can connect.
Windows, macOS or Chrome OS? Chrome OS limits you only to Android apps, while the other two allow for full PC experience. If you feel more comfortable in one ecosystem and want an OS that can suit all your needs, there is no reason to change the winning team.
If you don’t have a limited budget, you can choose whatever you want. On the other hand, if your resources are limited, stick to the crucial components and compromise with the less important ones.
9 Best All-in-One Computers
Microsoft Surface Studio 2
The Best All-in-one Computer for Creative People
Microsoft Surface Studio 2 is one of the best all-in-one desktop computers money can buy, and speaking of money, you should know that this machine is VERY expensive. However, if you can live with the price tag, you’ll get a lot of bang for the buck. Marketed as the ultimate creative studio, the Microsoft Surface Studio 2 comes equipped with Intel’s 7th gen I7 CPU, 32 GB of RAM, 1 TB Flash Memory Solid State drive (!), a high-end 28” PixelSense Display, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 GPU and, obviously, Windows 10 Pro on board.
On top of that, you’ll get high-quality peripherals in the retail package, the likes of Surface Keyboard, Surface Mouse, and Surface Pen. One of the best things about this sleek and elegant all-in-one PC is the touch screen, which is nothing short of spectacular, being amazingly thin and very accurate in regard to touch input. All these features make the Microsoft Surface Studio 2 to be the ideal choice for art and/or design work, i.e. for content creators, artists and professionals in general.
- industry leading tilting 28’’ display with excellent color accuracy (4,500×3,000 PixelSense touchscreen 192 ppi)
- solid hardware performance
- impeccable workmanship
- rich connectivity options
- optimized for professional grade software, like Autodesk, Adobe Creative Cloud and SolidWorks
- arguably the best all-in-one touchscreen PC for digital creation
- the USB-C port is not Thunderbolt compatible
Decent AIO with 9th Gen Processor
A Device That Delivers Good Performance for an Affordable Price
This all-in-one computer comes with the 9th generation Intel i5 processor, with 3.4 GHz, which, along with 12 GB DDR4 RAM memory provides an excellent performance. Accompanying that, there is 512 GB SSD, which allows fast and stable boots and overall processes.
Along with that, it features 23.8” Full HD Back-lit LED monitor, which can be used for watching very high-quality multimedia, making it perfect for designers and movie lovers. With that, there is pretty good double-layered 8X DVD-RV Drive, allowing you to watch movies and install older games that are only available on DVDs.
When it comes to connectivity, this computer features 802.11ac Wi-Fi device, ability to connect via Ethernet LAN cable and Bluetooth 4.2LE.
Apart from that, there are two 2W Stereo Speakers, allowing you to have excellent sound, as well as 2MP built-in FHD Webcam. Along with that, in this package you also get Wireless Keyboard and Mouse and Windows 10 Home Edition, so you don’t have to install an operating system on your own.
- Excellent Intel Core i5 Processor
- Full HD Monitor (1920 x 1080p)
- A good amount of RAM memory
- A pretty good amount of SSD storage space
- Multiple connectivity options
- The keyboard is not that good
HP Pavilion 24-Xa0032
Fast Contender from HP
This all-in-one computer from HP Pavilion family features 10-point touch display, which is 23.8” Widescreen Full HD with WLED backlit IPS micro-edge technology. It is capable of recognizing all your fingers separately, which makes it very fast and responsive to touch commands.
It comes with dual speakers with HP Audio Boost, as well as B&O tuning, which all can reproduce high-quality audio effects. Not only that, but it also features Intel Ultra HD Graphics 630, for smooth live streams, watching HD movies and playing video games.
To boost your experience even further, this computer is equipped with a top-notch Intel Core i5-9400t processor with six cores, each having 1.80GHz.
Apart from that, it is capable of booting in just a few seconds with 512GB SSD and a total of 12GB DDR4 system RAM memory, which is upgradable to a maximum of 16GB. It comes with a pre-installed Windows 10 operating system.
- Excellent 10-point touch monitor
- High-quality i5 processor
- Perfect graphics card, for prolonged streams and gaming
- 512GB SSD for smooth boot-ups and file transfers
- Total of 12GB of RAM memory
- Components are not upgradable, so you probably won’t be able to use it for advanced operations
HP Envy 34 Curved
The Best All-in-one Computer for Enjoying the Multimedia
The HP Envy 34’ Curved is a crazy and attention-grabbing high-performance all-in-one PC, boasting a massive high-quality display, solid hardware performance and a very attractive and stylish design, everything at a reasonable price. If you’re looking for a nice piece of hardware that will fit perfectly both in a home environment and in your office, this baby has your name on it.
Hardware wise, the HP Envy comes equipped with a powerful (hexa-core) 8th gen Intel Core i7-8700T CPU, 16 GB of RAM, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 GPU, and a 256GB SSD/1TB 7200RPM HDD combo (or 2TB HDD), everything running on Windows 10 OS. According to HP, the Envy 34’’ Curved makes for world’s widest all-in-one PC, and on top of that, you’ll get the always-cool Amazon Alexa built-in feature, i.e. you’ll be able to go on a wild ride on the infotainment super-highway and control your smart-home by just using your voice.
- strong hardware performance
- stellar QHD 3440×1440 pixels resolution curved display
- premium design and build quality
- Amazon Alexa integration
- high-end Bang&Olufsen speakers
- the retail package includes a wireless keyboard with volume control and optical mouse with nano-dongle kit
- excellent choice for content creators
- relatively affordable for what it is
- not suited for hardcore gaming
The Best All-in-one Computer for Non-Demanding Users
If you are looking for a cheap all-in-one PC for multimedia, browsing the internet, streaming video and the similar, and don’t have a need for using more complex programs or heavy gaming, Asus Chromebase might be what you are looking for. Although its 24” FHD IPS screen, Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM, 16GB SSD, 3 USB3.1, 1 USB2.0, and 1 HDMI connectors don’t sound impressive, the fact is that it will do a decent job, thanks to its non-demanding Chrome OS.
If you don’t mind being limited to just Android apps, and its price tag of less than $500 sounds rather appealing, the best all-in-one computer under $500 is waiting for you.
- Limits of Chrome OS
- Weak hardware
- Generic design
Apple iMac 27 Inch
A Device That Proves That Performance and Amazing Design Can Go Head To Head
“Apple” is all that needs to be said, and everyone will know you are talking about an amazing device with that sets standards when it comes to design. This Apple iMac is no exception. 27” Retina 5K display, i5 processor, 4GB/8GB of RAM (expandable), 1TB fusion drive, 4GB Radeon Pro 570 or 575 graphics, 2 Thunderbolt 3 and 4 USB3.1 connectors gathered under its almighty iOS will work miracles. Gaming, multimedia, design – you name it, and it will be done smoothly.
Premium quality for not that premium price of about $2000 is more than a bargain for one of the best all-in-one desktop computers.
- USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 3
- Excellent 5K display
- Limited tilt and its height that can’t be adjusted
- Rear ports aren’t practical
Dell Inspiron 24 AIO
Powerful AIO With Not so Great Storage
Dell Inspiron 24 AIO features 23.8” FHD Native touch screen monitor, capable of letting you experience HD videos and giving you the option of having full 1920 x 1080 resolution in your games. With Anti-glare tech it is capable of reducing reflections, thus giving you a very clear picture with an excellent color palette.
Accompanying that, it is very powerful Intel Core i7-8700T processor with 4 cores and Intel Turbo Boost technology, which is capable of giving you some additional power every time you need it, while also making sure to preserve some energy when working on full power is not needed.
Along with that, this computer comes with 12GB of system memory, which allows you to do multiple tasks at once, which is perfect for both home and business users. As for the storage, it features 1TB HDD space, which can be used to store your work files, photos, movies, games, etc.
When it comes to connectivity, it comes with next-gen Wireless connectivity, LAN port for Gigabit Ethernet cable and Bluetooth 4.1. Dell Inspiron 24 AIO comes with Windows 10 OS.
- Top-quality i7 Processor
- Excellent Full HD Monitor
- A good amount of RAM memory
- Comes with Windows 10 OS
- McAfee Live protection
- It has HDD instead of SSD
The Zen Master
The ASUS Zen AiO ZN242 is a premium looking and feeling all-in-one PC, which boasts an amazingly thin NanoEdge 23.8’’ touchscreen, along with top-notch hardware, the likes of an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H CPU (hexa-core before you ask), 8 GB of RAM (DDR4)and a cool 128GB M.2 SSD + 1TB HDD combo.
However, tech specs aside, the main selling point of the ASUS Zen AiO is represented by its incredibly beautiful design, doubled by impeccable workmanship. To make a long story short, this masterpiece of industrial design is excellent for both productivity related tasks and multimedia/gaming, thanks to its gaming-grade GeForce GTX 1050 GPU.
- solid hardware under the hood
- great display
- the jack of all trades (gaming, productivity, multimedia) in a compact (90% screen-to-body ratio), elegant and premium looking and feeling package
- comes with wireless mouse/keyboard included in the retail package
- rich connectivity options
- none really at this price
Lenovo Ideacentre AIO 520S
The Lenovo Ideacentre AIO 520S is a 23’’ all-in-one desktop computer, powered by an Intel Core i5-7200U (U stands for low-voltage) CPU, with 16 GB of RAM and a 1 TB HDD. If you’re looking for a slim and elegant AIO computer that looks equally good both at home and in your office, and has enough horse-power under the hood for mitigating office tasks/editing etc. with flying colors, the 520S may be the answer, especially if you’re not willing to break the bank in the process.
- brilliant matte 23-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS display
- good speakers
- compact and elegant design
- mechanical HDD is terribly slow compared to modern SSDs
- the display cannot rotate
- kind of heavy
- fan sound can get on your nerves
- the Intel HD Graphics 620 is not suitable for gaming
All in all…
You can be a fan of all-in-ones or not, but no one can deny the fact that they are advancing fast, and that they are probably the future of computing. Thanks to their small size, little cabling, and practicality, people like them and it’s only a matter of time when they are going to become a mainstream, everybody’s first choice. Until then, it will be fun to follow their development and see if the predictions come to life.