These days, technology is getting smaller, more mobile and more user friendly. But what about us old school geeks? The ones who like the PC the way it is: big, full of components and packed full of wires. Call me old fashioned, but I love the tower PC, it’s a classic. But for those who like the feel an the flexibility that only PCs offer, but still want some mobility, all-in-one PCs are the answer. Better performance and customizing options than laptops and tablets offer, but smaller cases and almost no wires, it seems they incorporate the best of both worlds.
Things to Know Before Buying All-in-one Computers
If you decide to acquire this type of computer, keep in mind some important aspects:
- Not all all-in-one computers offer the same level of performance, because of the limited space the designers have to work with, high-end components cannot be installed.
- All-in-one computers tend to get pretty hot, so look towards a model with decent cooling.
- And maybe the most important aspect, in the future you will probably need to upgrade, so keep that in mind when looking for an all-in-one computer. Quick access to the most important components (DDR slots, hard-drive slot, video card) and space for the new models to fit.
Just like with everything else, you have to establish from the get-go what is the purpose of your all-in-one computer. If you are a gamer, than you will probably go for a gaming rig, or LAN PC, all-in-ones just don’t have the necessary horsepower. But for office work or home multimedia computer, it’s perfect, and you don’t have to invest to much. An average would be $900, but you could go up to $2000 if you want, or, for some low-end models, as low as $400. It’s up to you what level of performance you need.
To help you decide what is the best all-in-one computer for you, next, I’ve made a quick round-up of some of the best all-in-ones on the market.
Top 10 All-in-One Computers
10. Samsung Series 7 all-in-one
Samsung have decided to produce some mid range all-in-one computers, and one of the best models so far is the series 7, otherwise called DP700A3B. Although it doesn’t have great performance, it’s a great alternative to a home personal computer, packing a 23” full HD touchscreen display and plenty of storage, it could prove to be a worthy multimedia console.
- Intel 2nd Gen Core i5 i5-2390T, 2.7 GHz (up to 3.5 GHz)
- 8 GB DDR3 Memory
- 1 TB – 7200 rpm SATA hard drive
- 1.3 Megapixel Camera
Pros: Generous display, HDMI output, USB 3.0, touchscreen display, great design.
Cons: It lacks the video capabilities of other models in the same price range, it does not come with a Blu-ray drive.
Price: $1149 [Amazon]
9. HP Omni 200 5380qd
HP seem to have picked up very well in the all-in-one computer race. We have started to see more and more powerful all-in-ones in the last few years, and HP is well on its way to lead the pack. With the Omni 200, they managed to get reasonable performance for a reasonable price. Although it’s not a gaming rig, it does have some pretty good specs for its price, just take a look:
- Intel Core i5 i5-760 / 2.8 GHz
- 4 GB / 8 GB (max) DDR3 Memory
- 750 GB @ 7200 rpm SATA hard drive
- NVIDIA GeForce G210 with 512 MB memory
Pros: Very good performance for a pretty low price.
Cons: The absence of a touchscreen, only 21.5” display.
8. Asus ET2410IUTS
One in a long list of all-in-one computers produced by Asus, the ET2410IUTS (horrible name if you ask me) has an impressive list of features and it packs quite a punch. Combining excellent performance with a state of the art full HD 23,6” touchscreen display and DTS Surround Sensation UltraPC™ sound system, 1.3 Mpx Web-Cam, this baby is an excellent choice for a multimedia computer. And if that didn’t convince you, take a look at its other specs:
- Intel® Core™ i5-2400S (6M Cache, 2.50 GHz, Turbo boost up to 3.3GHz)
- 2 GB (Up to 8 GB) at 1333MHz
- Up to 2TB SATA 6Gb/s hard drive (7200rpmRPM)
- Tray-in SuperMulti DVD/Blu-ray Combo/ Blu-ray Writer
Pros: Great touchscreen and great sound system.
Cons: Integrated video card, low video performance.
Price: $1000 [Amazon]
7. HP Compaq 8200 Elite XZ909UT
Compaq has come a long way in the last few years with their new series of laptops and all-in-one computers. The 8200 Elite is of their best models so far, due to its impressive features and top-of the line performance. It features, among others, a 23” full HD WLED anti-glare LCD display and a ENERGY STAR® 5.0 qualified external power supply.
And if you are not impressed by those features, take a look at the other specs of the 8200 Elite:
- Intel® Core™ i5-2400S @ 2.50 GHz
- 4 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 SDRAM
- 500 GB 7200 rpm SATA hard drive
Pros: Nice design, a great display and three-year warranty
Cons: Integrated graphics and no touchscreen
Price: $1049 [HP]
6. Apple iMac 21.5”
The Apple iMac needs no introduction. Apple is considered to be the father of any all-in-one computer out there. The name all-in-one has become synonymous with the all-in-one computer concept. Even if you are not an owner of one, you definitely have heard of it. iMac 21.5” now takes the stage. This is the little brother of the 27” model, but just as potent, just take a look at these specs:
- 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with 6MB on-chip shared L3 cache
- 4GB of 1333 MHz DDR3 memory
- 1TB (7200 rpm) hard drive
- AMD Radeon HD 6770M graphics processor with 512MB of GDDR5 memory
- FaceTime HD camera
Pros: Apple quality, beautiful design and good performance.
Price: $1132 [Amazon]
5. HP TouchSmart 610q
One of the best all-in-one computers I have seen is the HP TouchSmart 610q. It features a tilting display, that can transform your all-in-one into a touchscreen console. As with most of HP’s products, it has a great build quality, a great touchscreen and it runs Microsoft Windows 7 lightning fast. If you are looking for a good all-in-one computer, with top of the line performance, than take a look at these specs:
- Intel Core i7 2.93 GHz
- 8 GB RAM Memory
- 1.5 TB – SATA – 5400 rpm
- 1GB ATI Radeon HD 5570
- Blu-Ray Optical Drive
Pros: Great design, competitive price, Blu-Ray player, USB 3.0, very good multitasking.
Cons: No video output ports, glossy display that is highly reflective.
4. Apple iMac 27”
This beauty is Apple’s biggest weapon, the massive 27” display iMac, the very best that they have to offer. Although is just a iMac 21.5” on steroids, this baby is aimed for designers who have a huge workload on their hands and want some extra horsepower. It quite capable of handling some amount of gaming, but, to be honest, it’s far from a gaming rig. Its performance is much better than the other all-in-one computers you might find, but then again, its price tag is also bigger.
Aside from its 2560 by 1440 resolution, the iMac 27” packs some other cool gear:
- 27-inch (viewable) LED-backlit glossy widescreen TFT display
- 3.1 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with 6MB on-chip shared L3 cache
- 4GB of 1333 MHz DDR3 memory
- 1TB (7200 rpm) hard drive
- AMD Radeon HD 6970M graphics processor with 1GB of GDDR5 memory
- FaceTime HD camera
Pros: Excellent build quality, top of the line performance, great design
Cons: Price (as with all Apple products)
Price: $1600 [Amazon]
3. Acer Z5
I must admit, not the best looking all-in-one computer I’ve ever seen, but nonetheless, a very good competitor in this round up. The Acer Z5 is host to an impressive array of features and it’s one of the best all-in-one computers when it comes to performance. Although it doesn’t score to many points for design, its performance and features give it a great boost to our number 3 position.
- Intel® Core™ i5 650 Processor @ 3.2GHz, 4MB Smart Cache
- 4GB DDR3 (upgradable to 8GB) DDR3-1333/PC3-10600
- 1TB SATA2 HDD
- Blu-ray Disc Combo Drive
- Nvidia GT240M 1GB DDR3
Pros: A generous 23″ Full HD Touch Screen (Multi Touch Capable) with 1920×1080 resolution, remote control, low price.
Cons: Bulky design, only 2 USB ports.
Price: $817 [Amazon]
2. HP Z1 Workstation
The HP team have really overdone themselves, being able to combine design and functionality with the very best in performance. The HP Z1 workstation is more of a tool for a graphics designer than a personal computer. The performance is absolutely staggering, being able to take on a massive workload and completing demanding tasks quicker than almost any other all-in-one computer out there. The possibility of configuring your own Z1, easy access to the components and the possibility to upgrade easy are what make it great.
HP Z1 offers its users the best performance available and one of the most affordable price tags.
- Intel Xeon E3-1280, 3.5 GHz Processor, 8MB cache, 4 cores, 95W
- Four memory slots. Up to 32 GB, DDR3 ECC/ 8 GB DDR3 nECC, 1600MHz
- NVIDIA Q4000M Graphics
- SATA 7200 3.5-in. drives: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
- SATA Solid State Drives: 160GB, 300GB
- Blu-ray Writer
- 4 1 PCIe x16 full, 3 miniPCIe slots
Pros: USB 3.0, blazing fast computing speed, great design, 27”, LED backlit IPS display (support for up to 1.07 billion colors) at 2560×1440 resolution, great price.
Cons: None that we can think of.
Price: $1899 [HP]
1. Lenovo IdeaCentre B520
Not often do you see an all-in-one computer with performance similar to a gaming rig. But it seems that the guys over at Lenovo have cracked this nut and developed an all-in-one computer capable of handling high end games due to its array of features, that include 8GB RAM memory, 23” full HD 3D display with multi touch and many others.
If this hasn’t convinced you, just take a look at what else the IdeaCentre B520 has to offer:
- Intel® Core™ i7-2600 Processor ( 3.40GHz 1333MHz 8MB )
- 8 GB PC3-8500 DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz
- 2TB 7200 rpm Hard Drive
Pros: TV Tuner, it comes with 1 pair of 3D glasses, card reader, HDMI Input/Output.
Cons: No USB 3.0 ports, no eSATA.
Price: $1037 [Amazon]