In this age of cord-cutting and elegant desk spaces, an all-in-one PC makes great sense. These PCs feature all components in one display unit so the only extra components you have outside the PC are the keyboard and mouse. These peripherals connect wirelessly via Bluetooth so essentially, the only wire you need to connect is the power cord and if needed, the Ethernet cable.
All-in-one PCs are as much about looks as about performance. Therefore, OEMs place great emphasis on the design aspect as you will see in this article. Most all-in-one PCs work great for both home and office use and rarely we find any outlandish designs in this segment. However, there are a few factors to be kept in mind before deciding to splurge on an all-in-one computer.
Firstly, we need to look at the specs. Since an all-in-one PC has a limited area behind the display, there is a certain limit as to what sort of CPUs and GPUs can be used. You can put in the fastest and most powerful components but the limited space can result in thermal throttling. This also means that there is limited scope for upgrades so it's advisable to weigh in the requirements and then commit to one.
The next most important aspect is the display as this is the only part of the computer you will be interacting with. It needs to be as immersive and color accurate as possible otherwise you'll end up having a less than ideal experience while watching movies or working on spreadsheets. You can, of course, use external speakers but most users stick to the built-in ones. In that case, speaker quality is paramount as well.
Since most all-in-one PCs lay emphasis on large displays, you need a capable GPU that can drive high resolutions and still have enough power to play games or decode 4K video. We'd recommend going for a discrete GPU option as much as possible but modern integrated GPUs are not too bad either.
Finally, the design and portability are important considerations. An all-in-one PC is usually displayed in the living room or in office receptions so having a good design aesthetic goes a long way in leaving a lasting impression. Also, it shouldn't be too heavy so that you can shift from place to place without much fuss.
Having considered all the above aspects, we have narrowed down on some of the best all-in-one PCs that you might be interested in. So, here are the 8 best all-in-one PCs to consider buying in 2018.
1. Apple iMac Pro 27-inch
- Specs: Intel Xeon W 8-core CPU; 32 GB DDR4 RAM; 1 TB SSD; Apple T2 chip
- GPU / Display: AMD Radeon Pro Vega 56; 5120 x 2888 Retina 5K display
- Ports: 4x Thunderbolt 3; 4x USB 3.0; 1x 10 Gb Ethernet; 1x SDXC card slot; 1x 3.5mm headphone jack
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 25.6 x 20.3 x 8 in
Apple bills the iMac Pro as the best computer there is and the price reflects it. The iMac Pro offers great performance and comes with Intel Xeon CPUs up to 18 cores, which are workstation class processors with support for ECC RAM. Up to 128 GB, DDR4 RAM and 4 TB SSD can be configured. The dedicated AMD Radeon Pro Vega 56 provides class-leading performance for creative workflows and the 5K Retina display pulls you into the content.
All this power is fit into an ultra-slim display chassis that is stunning to look at. Now, this is where the problem also lies. Although the SSD and RAM are theoretically upgradable, accessing the components is not easy and Apple's restrictive service policies make a DIY repair next to impossible.
- Pros: Workstation-class components; Highest performing iMac
- Cons: Extremely expensive; Difficult to repair and upgrade.
2. Microsoft Surface Studio 2
- Specs: Intel Core i7-7820HQ; 32 GB DDR4 RAM; 1 TB SSD; TPM 2.0 security chip; Windows Hello facial recognition
- GPU / Display: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060; 4500 x 3000 28-inch PixelSense touch display
- Ports: 4x USB 3.0; 1x SD card reader; 1x Gigabit Ethernet; 1x USB Type-C; 1x 3.5 mm headphone jack
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 25.1 x 8.6 x 21.6 in
The Microsoft Surface Studio 2 is the Windows equivalent of the Apple iMac Pro. The latest iteration comes with the Core i7-7820HQ CPU, 32 GB RAM, and 1 TB SSD. The 28-inch 4.5K PixelSense display supports pen and touch and works with the Surface Dial and Surface Pen. Unlike the iMac Pro, the Surface Studio 2 houses its components in a separate base, which makes the display extremely thin at just 1.3 inches.
Given the slim design, the Surface Studio 2 is also not an upgradable-friendly machine. It is a premium device that will work great for creative work in software such as SolidWorks, 3D Studio Max etc.
- Pros: Powerful specs; Extremely thin display
- Cons: Expensive
3. HP Envy Curved All-in-One
- Specs: Intel Core i7-8700T CPU; 16 GB DDR4 RAM; 256 GB SSD + 1 TB HDD; Amazon Alexa built-in
- GPU / Display: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050; 3440 x 1440 34-inch QHD curved display with B&O speakers
- Ports: 1x Thunderbolt 3; 1x 3.5mm headphone jack; 1x 3-in-1 media card reader; 4x USB 3.1; 1x HDMI out; 1x HDMI in; 1x Gigabit Ethernet
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 32.08 x 18.03 x 7.87 in
The HP Envy Curved All-in-One is probably the best-looking all-in-one PC in the market today. With a Core i7-8700T, 16 GB RAM, and a dedicated GTX 1050 GPU, the HP Envy offers enough power for work and play. The curved QHD display offers a large canvas for creative work and the integrated B&O speakers offer a great soundstage. Connectivity options are well endowed and the best part is that you can use the display as a standalone monitor thanks to the HDMI-in port.
The Envy Curved all-in-one PC is a great performer but HP loads a ton of bloatware, which might not be needed. Therefore, it is best to get rid of unwanted software for a smooth experience. We would have preferred a touchscreen but HP, unfortunately, does not offer one.
- Pros: Ultra-wide QHD curved display; HDMI-in
- Cons: Not a touchscreen; Bloatware
4. Dell XPS 27 7760
The Dell XPS 27 7760 was announced at CES 2017 and it has proven itself to be a great all-in-one PC for creative pros. With a Core i7-7700 CPU, 16 GB RAM, and a 32 GB + 2 TB hybrid HDD, the XPS 27 7760 offers enough muscle to run most apps. The touchscreen display works with most digital pens available in the market today and offers a neat 4K resolution. The Radeon RX 570 is great for 1080p gaming or helping with GPU-intensive tasks. It's not the slimmest all-in-one PC but the powerful components justify the size.
While the XPS 27 7760 offers a good combination of aesthetics and performance, Dell's placement of the rear USB ports makes it difficult to access them. Also, the Radeon RX 570 has slightly higher power and thermal requirements so you really cannot push it beyond a certain load.
- Pros: Good performance for creative apps; 4K touchscreen
- Cons: Rear port placement needs to be improved
5. Acer Aspire S24
- Specs: Intel Core i5-8250U CPU; 12 GB DDR4 RAM; 1 TB HDD; Acer TrueHarmony Plus; Qi wireless charging base
- GPU / Display: Intel UHD Graphics 620; FHD 23.8-inch IPS display.
- Ports: 3x USB 3.1; 1x USB 3.1 Type-C; 1x USB 2.0; 1x HDMI-in; 1x HDMI-out
- Dimensions (W x H x D): 21.26 x 16.14 x 0.24 in
At a thickness of just 0.24 inches, the Acer Aspire S24 is the slimmest all-in-one PC in the market today. The Aspire S24 sports moderately powerful specs including a Core i5-8250U with integrated graphics; 12 GB RAM, and a 1 TB HDD. This might put off many and rightly so, we feel that at this price, Acer could have just included at least a low capacity SSD. The Aspire S24's base houses all the components and also supports Qi wireless charging so you can just place your smartphone on the all-in-one to charge it.
Connectivity options are fairly good. You also get an HDMI-in port for using it as a standalone display. The FHD resolution might seem low so if you're looking at higher resolutions, this is certainly not for you. The extremely thin nature of the display makes it fragile so you need to ensure that it is handled with care. These issues apart, the Acer Aspire S24 is a great all-in-one PC for both home and office use.
- Pros: Extremely thin display; Built-in Qi wireless charging
- Cons: Fragile construction; No SSD
6. HP EliteOne 1000 G2
The HP EliteOne 1000 G2 is an all-in-one PC for a business that is very similar to the HP Envy 34 curved all-in-one in terms of specs and features. However, the EliteOne 1000 G2 has a few business-centric features in place. This all-in-one PC is built for web conferencing and collaboration and comes with dedicated collaboration keys. It sports a Windows Hello-compliant IR camera for secure facial logins and an FHD webcam for clear video calls. You can also swap out the display if you need to use something else.
The HP EliteOne 1000 G2 comes with HP's signature business security features and apps including HP Sure Start Gen4 and the HP Manageability Integration Kit for automatic threat detection, system recovery, and remote management.
- Pros: Great for business collaboration; Integrated security features; Tool-less display replacement
- Cons: None as such
7. ASUS Zen ZN242GD
The ASUS Zen ZN242GD all-in-one PC stands out with its NanoEdge display that offers a near bezel-less experience. It's an FHD display but suits the 23.8-inch diagonal size so you wouldn't have any issue in legibility on screen. The Zen all-in-one PC comes with the Intel Core i7-8750H 45W CPU, 16 GB RAM, and a 500 GB SSD. The GTX 1050 GPU provides enough power for running graphics-intensive apps and also moderate 1080p gaming. The standard suite of connectivity options are available and the screen also supports 10-point multitouch.
Performance-wise, the ASUS Zen ZN242GD all-in-one PC never breaks a sweat. You can run most tasks at ease and given the aesthetics, this can also be used at both home and work.
- Pros: Decent specs; Touchscreen display
- Cons: None as such
8. Lenovo IdeaCentre 510
If you're on the lookout for an all-in-one PC close to $700, take a look at the Lenovo IdeaCentre 510. If you think that the Pentium 4400T is a bit on the downside, you can configure it with up to 6th gen Intel Core processors. The FHD display supports a 10-point multitouch interaction and works great with Windows 10. The built-in speakers are Dolby certified for a great audio experience.
Performance-wise, you get what you pay for. This will not break any records for speed or looks but is perfect for home use as a family PC. You also need to invest in an SSD separately to minimize boot and load times. Lenovo offers great support and after-sales service so you can be assured of peace of mind.
- Pros: Value for money all-in-one PC; Touchscreen
- Cons: Not very powerful specs; SSD needs to be purchased separately
Dear reader, those were our picks for the best all-in-one PCs available in 2018. These PCs place great emphasis on aesthetics as well as performance. The design aspect results in limited upgradability options but they can still offer good performance benefits as long as you don't push them too far.
We hope that this article has helped you in deciding on a good all-in-one PC. As always, feel free to reach out to us if you have any doubts or would like to suggest what other laptops we should include and we will get back at the earliest.