Best All-in-One Computers for 2014

Category: Hardware

After several years of consumer skepticism, all-in-one (AIO) computers are catching on. The minimalist form factor, with most components hidden inside a vertical monitor, is attractive and saves space on your desk. Here are some of the best AIO computers you can buy now, and heading into 2014...

Is an AIO Right For YOU?

All-in-one computers look great, but concerns about expandability, repairability and price have kept many people away. But in the past two years, concerns about expandability have diminished, as hardware costs have fallen and everything one could possibly want comes bundled in one slim box at an affordable price. You just might not need a huge case with lots of empty bays and slots anymore.

You may think that Apple pioneered the all-in-one computing genre with the iMac G3 in 1998. But actually, the first all-in-one computer was the HP 9830, introduced in 1972. Granted, it's 7K of RAM and 32-character LED screen are not very exciting by today's standards, but someone had to be first.

AIOs are now offered by most of the big names in desktops, and in a variety of configurations to suit many computing needs. Here are some of the best AIO computers available going into 2014:
All-in-One Computers 2014


Apple’s 27-inch iMac is still setting the pace in AIOs. Its stunningly thin design, anti-glare screen, top-of-the-line CPU and graphics processor make the iMac a standard-setter. But its nearly $1800 price tag make it a budget-buster for many people. Like many things Jobsian, the iMac is not very adjustable; in fact, you cannot adjust the height of the display, and expandability is zero. And like other Apple products, you won't find a CD/DVD drive in the iMac.

Apple refreshed the iMac lineup in 2013 with faster Intel Haswell processors, better graphics and 802.11ac Wifi. But despite the churning of the rumor mill throughout 2012 and 2013, the iMac still lacks touch screen capability.


Lenovo’s IdeaCentre B750 will offer a ginormous 29-inch diagonally-measured screen. It has an extra-wide 21:9 aspect ratio and resolution up to 2,560 x 1,080 pixels. Lenovo Split Screen technology helps you take full mult-tasking advantage of all that screen real estate. The display is touch-sensitive for use with Windows 8 and comes with Lenovo Motion Control so you don’t even have to touch it; just wave your hands around and things happen.

The guts of the IdeaCentre B750 can include an Intel Core i7 Haswell processor; 16GB of RAM; 2 TB of hard drive space; and Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 graphics. Of course, all that luxurious power will also include a price tag of $1195.


The Dell XPS 27 One carries a hefty price tag of $2100. It, too, has a Haswell processor and Nvidia graphics, a 2TB hard drive, and a DVD player/recorder. Its articulated stand lets you adjust height, angle from center, and tilt easily. The 27-inch display offers 2,560-by-1,440 resolution, better than 1080p quality. The power supply is in the base so there is no clunky brick, just a slim cord to plug into the wall. The XPS 27 One has a slot-loading optical drive (DVD+-R/RW), two USB 3.0 ports and an SD card slot on the edges of the monitor.


The Vizio 27-inch All-in-One Touch PC is only $1549. All of its internal components reside in the base, enabling a lighter, more easily adjusted monitor mounted on a swivel arm. It comes with a wireless trackpad instead of a mouse. It has an impressive array of I/O ports: four USB 3.0 ports, Ethernet, a SD card reader, eSATA port, a headset jack, and a pair of HDMI in ports. a 32GB solid-state drive supplements the 1TB SATA hard drive.


Overall, the guts of top AIOs are pretty much the same. The number and variety of I/O ports are a bigger distinction between products. Of course, there is quite a range of prices in just these examples. So buying a simple, elegant AIO computer is no more simple and elegant than buying a traditional desktop machine.

Some say what you're paying for in an AIO is mostly good looks. Yes, they take up less desk space, but you can always hide your desktop's system unit under the desk. And you're paying at least 50% more for the same computing power. But to each his own!

Do you love your all-in-one computer? Thinking of buying one? Post your comment or question below...

 
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Most recent comments on "Best All-in-One Computers for 2014"

Posted by:

Retta Vesely
22 Nov 2013

I have an Acer AIO and, so far....so good!! It's wireless, so it's great without all the cables on the table. Except for price, I would sure consider another, but, I guess in the next year, they may come out cheaper.


Posted by:

Keith
22 Nov 2013

On the Lenovo B750: Your listed price is for next model down, the 550. No price on website for 750.

Currently the 750 is listed as unavalible, possibly because users could not find a touch-screen and eventually a "product expert" agreed that was true.

Gamers were sad to find no videocard upgrade was available (integrated with mother board).


Posted by:

Nezzar
22 Nov 2013

Bob,
I am considering a purchase of an AIO in the future. However, at present, I have a HP desktop, and I have been pleased with its performance. You didn't mention HP's AIO computers in your review. Are the HP AIO computers not very good?
Thanks.
Nezzar


Posted by:

Dell James
22 Nov 2013

I bought my Packard Bell AIO in July 2011. It's brilliant, although I do think it's now on its way out. It's the quietest computer I have ever owned, which is a big plus.


Posted by:

RandiO
22 Nov 2013

Little Johny (sitting in the back of the class) raises his hand and shouts ""Best AIO" is an oxymoron!"
He is quickly dismissed from the class and sent directly to the Principle's office for being disruptive.
Short of building one myself, I would have to vote for the IBM Selectric typewriter, which, at least, had a removable head for being able to use different fonts! Else; I would entertain the Microsoft Surface Pro2, if someone was to hold a gun to my head and had to select one before 2013 is over!
This topic is similar to the joke about hydrogen fuel-cell cars >> It is the wave of the future, always was and always will be!
No disrespect. ;)


Posted by:

JMeans
22 Nov 2013

Thanks for the great article. I need to replace my very old Dell laptop, & have been eyeing the Dell XPS 27. Nice to see it made your list. Now to dig around for the necessary pesos. :)


Posted by:

john
22 Nov 2013

I refer to a comment I made yesterday concerning display breakdown. I am not a fan of AIO. At least with a desktop or laptop you can be up and running in the time takes to make a Walmart trip, for a monitor. But how long are you down if you need to ship it for repairs. For me it is a silly idea. I had the use of an Imac for a couple of weeks very recently. In a word. Boring. Best regards, john.


Posted by:

Elaine
23 Nov 2013

Did you forget that the IMac is a great AIO? A very few repairs will be needed. Cost a little more now, but it lasts and lasts. It is the bestest! ---- Elaine

EDITOR'S NOTE: I did mention the iMac, did you miss that?


Posted by:

Jon
23 Nov 2013

I bought herself a lenovo AIO a few months back.
i3 500GB and 4GB ram.

No I'm not bonkers - it was a customer return from a supplier to businesses that dumps such stuff on ebay and with what remained of a 3 year guarantee cost just over £300 (that's $480 in American).

She's a happy little surfer and in 3 years it will have cost £2 a week IF it dies then.

We also have 2 lenovo tablets and a lenovo desktop (OK so we do have more than one computer each) no problems with any and all bought as 'last years model' at reasonable prices.

AIOs don't have to be expensive if you shop around and are prepared to get last years model.

Thanks for another informative article,

Jon


Posted by:

James Orpin
23 Nov 2013

This might be off topic ....
But I have my desktop videoed to my 55" LCD TV with a wireless keyboard. I believe this is better than any AIO. I sit on the couch, keyboard on my lap. I'm 20 feet away. BOING!!!

My remotes keep me connected without moving from the couch. POTATO!!! I've got TV - Computer - Wii/Netflix - Surviellence Cameras. And yes, pillows and a blanket. Oh yea, a coffee table.
Talk about an AIO!!!!


Posted by:

Herb
23 Nov 2013

I bought a Gateway ZX6980 AIO about a month ago from HSN; Intel Pentium G2030; 1TB HD; 4 GB RAM; Windows 8; about $700 with tax & shipping. It's everything I need and more. So far, so good.


Posted by:

MmeMoxie
09 Dec 2013

Bob, as always, good article.

I am not interested in AIO Computers. The only AIO product that I use, is a Printer and I want my Printers to have Scan, Print, Copy and Fax capabilities. Which is why, I purchase the Brother AIO products. Brother, happens to be my choice and I have had several, with great satisfaction.

For my computer needs, I want a Desktop, period. No, AIO Computer, either. I want to know, that my computer is not only solid, but, upgradable as well. Too many AIO computers, do not have upgradeable capabilities.

However, for those who want and love having an AIO Computer, more power to them. :)


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