Best All-In-One Computers for 2015

Category: Hardware

All-in-one (AIO) computers have emerged as a good choice for both PC and Mac home users. The minimalist form factor, with most components hidden inside a vertical monitor, is attractive and saves space on your desk. Here's what you need to know, and some all-in-one models to consider…

Which All-in-One is Best for Me?

All-in-one computers look great, but concerns about expandability, repairability and price have kept many people away. But in the past few 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.

Unless you have a digital hobby that requires specialized, souped-up hardware, there’s no reason to clutter up your desktop (or kitchen counter) with bulky towers, external components and all those wires and cables. And they're portable, too.

Expandability is not really a concern these days. Today’s AIOs contain everything the average user needs in a sleek, minimalist base and display chassis. Generally speaking, the all-in-one you buy is going to be the one you trade in a few years from now.
Dell Xps 18 AIO PC

Prices have fallen, too; you can buy a decent 19-inch AIO for around $300 now. It won’t include a touchscreen, which makes Windows 8 navigation a bit annoying. But who wants fingerprints all over their screen, anyway?

A Few AIO Models to Consider

Of course, you can still pay $2500 or more for a top-of-the-line AIO, like the Apple iMac with a 27-inch 5K Retina display. Yes, “5K,” as in 5,120-by-2,880 resolution, which translates into an unheard-of 14.7 million pixels. State-of-the-art 4K (3,840-by-2,160) videos can be played full-size with room to spare for the toolbars and menus of video editing software, although editing 4K video will be quite a strain for the iMac. The CPU is a 3.5GHz Intel Core i5-4690 processor and the standard 8 GB of RAM can be expanded to 32 GB. This iMac also comes with a hybrid Fusion Drive incorporating 1 TB of magnetic media and 120 MB of SSD storage.

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.
HP9830A all-in-one PC

The Dell XPS 18 (1820) is a $1500 portable AIO with an 18-inch, 1,920-by-1,080 resolution and 10-point touch display. This Windows 8.1 computer can draw power through a magnetic connector in its adjustable stand, or directly from an AC adapter, or from a built-in battery rated for five hours. When detached, the device can be used like a large tablet or propped at several angles on its built-in kickstands. The XPS 18 (182) come with wireless keyboard and mouse linked via Bluetooth. On the downside, it only has a headset jack, an SD card reader, and two USB 3.0 ports for connectivity. An Intel Core i7-4510U processor with integrated Intel HD Graphics 4400 and 8GB of memory are standard. The $1500 model comes with a 256 GB SSD, but hybrid drives are also available and cheaper.

Moving down the price scale, the $479 Lenovo C260 Touch sports a 19.5-inch touch screen, 500GB hard drive, and 4GB of RAM memory. The 2.41 GHz Pentium processor is no speed demon, but will run Windows 8.1 just fine. There's an HDMI port for connecting to your TV, and the angle of the display is adjustable with an arm attached to the back of the unit. The C260 is currently on sale for $399 at the Microsoft Store, and on Amazon for a few dollars more.

The Gateway ZX4270-UB31 sells for as little as $300 on Amazon. It has no touch capability, which may be OK with diehard mouse users. It comes with a 500 GB hard drive, 1,600 by 900 resolution 19-inch display, a quad-core AMD A4-5000 processor with built-in AMD Radeon HD 8300 graphics, 4GB of memory, and a lot of pre-loaded “bloatware” you’ll probably want to uninstall first thing. This is an entry-level AIO system, ideal for someone who is finally giving up their Windows XP machine.

For home users who want simplicity, AIO is the way to go, and it seems every PC manufacturer has gone that way. There are dozens of different models, most of which can be customized with CPU, file storage, and RAM options to fit every preference.

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

 
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This article was posted by on 17 Feb 2015


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Most recent comments on "Best All-In-One Computers for 2015"

Posted by:

john
17 Feb 2015

Thank You but I'll stick with my Chromebook.


Posted by:

Jon
17 Feb 2015

If I get another AIO (herself has a lenovo thinkcentre which weighs a ton) I may go in for a little DIY.

We have a ZBOX nano which we use for a media centre and would would fit easily on the back of whatever monitor we wanted.

NUCs, ZBOXs etc seem to be the way to go. Tiny and some of them are quite powerful. The upgrade of small computers is usually far easier than the AIOs with a direct split between computer and monitor to hedge bets for the future.

Our comparison test shows the following result

AIOs - got one never again.
Micro computers - we want another!

Jon

P.S. We've even got a remote on the media monitor (about £7) - Sugru is fantastic sticky silicone putty and great for adapting bits and pieces.


Posted by:

Herb
17 Feb 2015

I bought a Gateway A-I-O system over a year ago. It's got a 1920x1080 touch screen (I rarely use the touch feature - it's a long and horizontal reach), Intel Pentium G2030 @ 3GHz, 4GB RAM, Win 8 64-bit OS (upgraded to 8.1 of course), and a 1TB hard drive. All that for under $300. It certainly isn't a game machine, and it can slow down when some AV programs go into scan mode, but it is great for home use (internet surfing, e-mail, Word/Excel/PowerPoint/Visio, light photo editing, etc.). I'm glad I bought it - especially for the price.


Posted by:

A.C. Whalen
17 Feb 2015

I really like the simplicity ot it--your office machines all in one; for a small office, wonderful. I, however, never even went for the all-in-one printer because if one of the "ones" broke down, the whole thing would have to be brought in for repair. For the same reason, I would not choose an "all-in-one" computer.


Posted by:

Ray Konko
17 Feb 2015

Bob, the HP9830 was the first "PC" I worked on (in an auto manufacturing plant quality department). What memories you just stirred up!


Posted by:

Jim Guld
17 Feb 2015

I set an AIO Lenovo up for my mother in law who suffers from Alzheimer's and is in assisted living.
An aide can turn it on for her and touch one of the four tiles on the customized Start Screen. Pictures will play a slide show of pre-loaded photos. Videos will bring up a list of videos she herself shot as a world traveler and scuba diver. Music will play an appropriate Pandora radio station. The last button will initiate a Skype video call to my wife.


Posted by:

George
17 Feb 2015

I have been using an Acer Aspire for the last several years with much success. Used primarily for maintaining web site(s), storing/editing videos while on the go. For example I have two locations I frequent when at home, plus spend winters in Florida. I made a carrying case out of a suitcase that handles the unit itself, plus keyboard & accessories. Very handy and reliable for my purposes. (¯`·._.·ns¢ävË·._.·´¯)


Posted by:

MmeMoxie
17 Feb 2015

While, I doubt if, I would ever purchase an AIO computer system ... Do all of the ones you mentioned, have a DVD-ROM or a DVD-RW, in them?

I think, that would be an important component, especially, when purchasing software, at a store.


Posted by:

Retta Vesely
17 Feb 2015

I have a five year old 22" Acer, and it's wonderful. Seeings that it's 'getting on', I'd like to get another. Acer, so far, has been excellent for me...just afraid it's 'time'.


Posted by:

William Greer
17 Feb 2015

In September 2012 I bought a refurbished Gateway ZX4971-UB10P that is the best PC I have ever had. Despite my ISP's modest download speed that tops out at 4 Mbps, I have a very enjoyable video streaming experience with the 21.5" LCD HD Ultrabright touch-screen (1920 x 1080) and built-in WiFi LAN (802.11b/g/n). My AiO was sold by BLINQ through Amazon for $384, but I used a lot of reward points to get the final price down to $116. Its card reader supports MultiMediaCard, Secure Digital, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO Duo and Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo formats. It has a Celeron Dual-Core G530 2.4 GHz processor with a 2 MB cache and 4 GB DDR3 (expandable to 8GB) and 500 GB Serial ATA hard drive (7200 rpm) and a r/w DVD tray. It came with 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium, a Webcam (1.3 MP), HDMI, 2 USB 3.0 and 4 USB 2.0 ports, wireless keyboard and wireless mouse. I have been delighted with it.


Posted by:

Jerry
17 Feb 2015

The 9830 was a great machine; fast and very capable. And easy to program. Used it in he back rooms at the Aerospace Data Facility. Even the tape storage worked great.


Posted by:

Duane
17 Feb 2015

I've got a Dell OptiPlex 9020 w/ 64 bit Win 7 Pro.
My first AIO and I love it for home use.


Posted by:

Erasmus
18 Feb 2015

I wouldn't choose home market models of any computer over business models, except for Apple, who doesn't give you that choice. For a Dell I'd go with an OptiPlex. For a Lenovo, a ThinkCentre M Series. Better design, better parts, more stable platform, far greater durability in every way, superior tech support, and a 3 year warranty with 2nd business day on-site service. All for a comparable price.


Posted by:

WingIT
18 Feb 2015

My new All-In-One system ---
HP ENVY27 running Windows 8.1 Pro
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4785T CPU @ 2.20GHz 2.20GHz
Installed memory (RAM): 16.0GB (15.9 GB useable)
System type: 64-bit Operating System, x64-based processor
Pen and Touch: Full Windows Touch Support with 10 Touch Points
Full tilt screen with wireless mouse and keyboard
What a fun usable system!!!


Posted by:

Jon
18 Feb 2015

But what about the HP sprout? Herself saw the ads this morning and has a more than slight attack of the 'I wants and gimmies'. £1900 in the UK looks like a complete rip off - $2945USD when it's $1900USD in the USA.

EDITOR'S NOTE: See http://askbobrankin.com/must_see_the_hp_sprout.html

I see a lucrative business for you. Order a boatload of those things from the USA, and sell them in the UK for £1600 :-)


Posted by:

Robert
18 Feb 2015

I am old fashioned so I think I will stick with the ole desk top computer. When I leave the house my computer stays in the house and I just leave with ME, MYSELF AND I, and of course most times my wife tags along. It is safer driving that way!!!!!!


Posted by:

Erasmus
19 Feb 2015

Re: WingIt's post 18 Feb 2015:

So far, here in NY, I've worked on maybe two dozen HP Envy AIOs and I've been very impressed by them.

Various good to great packages w/ good to great specs for the money, plus impressive displays, features, included software, etc. And they can often be bundled w/ a good HP MFP.

To date, I haven't encountered a single hardware problem.


Posted by:

Dwight
20 Feb 2015

Still making a recommendation for Lenovo after the Superfish Malware issue?

EDITOR'S NOTE: The C260 is not one of the affected models. I'll be posting an article soon about this issue.


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