The 8 Best All-In-One Computers To WFH in 2021

Sep 30, 2021

Category: Tech

We’ve reached a time in human advancement where normal life is predicated on one’s ability to access the internet and to utilize digital platforms. And while much of the digital realm (AKA The Internet) can be accessed via a smartphone or similar mobile device, most people also own a computer of some kind. However, figuring out which computer is right for you isn’t always as simple and straightforward as we’d like it to be.

If that sounds like a drag and you were really looking for the path of least resistance, you may be in luck today. You see, all-in-one computers might just be that path. These computers, as their name suggests, typically encompass a single unit — usually a hybrid tower and display — that’s about as plug-and-play as desktop computers come. They also usually have larger displays and, sometimes, better tech than laptops of a similar price. Of course, if you’re worried that a compact and simple format comes with some caveats regarding the quality of the internal tech, worry not; this class of computers has advanced quite a bit and, if you know where to look, they can go toe-to-toe with the best of them. That’s why we’ve rounded up our picks for the 8 best all-in-one computers for you below. For reference: our advertised specs are specific to the models shown; some can be upgraded or downgraded in varying ways.

What Is An AIO?

And Why You Should Buy One

Even if you only consider buying a computer from a big-name brand, picking one out can be near-herculean in its difficulty. However, knowing what you need to accomplish, how much money you have to spend, and an estimate as to what the future might hold can help narrow things down fairly significantly. Below, we’re going to go over a few of the chief reasons you might want to consider getting an all-in-one, as opposed to a more traditional desktop PC and a more portable laptop computer.

Office Overcrowding: For the record, we do not mean this in the sense of too many people, but rather the limited area in which one has to work. Put simply, a traditional desktop PC typically comes with a fairly large tower — in which all the various chips and cards are housed. These towers can take up a lot of room on, under, or inside your desk that might be better utilized for other organizational purposes. By contrast, many AIO computers are streamlined and much more space-saving than full-on PC towers. Usually, this means that all those computer parts are built right into the monitor — leaving all the room that would be taken up by a tower for other purposes. The downside to this, however, is that AIO computers are far less customizable and upgradable than their traditional counterparts.

Stationary Workstation: In our new WFH world, separating your work and personal life has never been more important. However, with laptops that fold up and go basically anywhere you go, it can be hard to remember that your kitchen, living room, and bedroom are not a part of your office. In that case, getting an all-in-one computer can ensure that your office or workspace stays in one spot and doesn’t encroach on the rest of your life. Pair that with the space-saving of their design and there’s definitely plenty of reason to consider an AIO computer for your home office.

Peripheral Investments: Buying a desktop PC isn’t as simple as picking up a tower and going home. Without a package deal, in fact, many of them don’t come with keyboards, mice, or even displays in the box. That means, when buying a tower-style PC, you’re not just buying the one thing — you also need to consider the peripherals you’ll need. And that can bump up the overall cost exponentially, especially if you’re easily swayed into buying top-of-the-line gear. However, AIOs almost always come with these as a package deal — which can save time and money, at least at first.

Utter Simplicity: Put simply, AIO computers can take the guesswork out of customization. To some, this is a major downside because, without professional help, that means you could be stuck with whatever parts come with your device — meaning you can’t just swap out a new hard drive or GPU on-the-fly. We’d, however, like to look at the bright side: that means you’re not going to be tempted to go out and buy the latest greatest computer part simply for the novelty of it. Granted, that might be a reach, but we’re sometimes slaves to impulsivity (especially when it comes to fancy new tech) and finding ways to curb that capitalist urge can be a huge boon to our bank accounts.

ASUS V241 AIO Touchscreen Desktop Computer

While you might look a this AIO PC and think to yourself, “this is just an entry-level option,” we assure you there is more going on here than just a low price. For starters, this computer comes out-of-the-box with a pretty spectacular 512GB solid-state hard drive (meaning it has no moving parts), 8GB of memory on-tap, and — perhaps most impressively — a touchscreen 23.8″ display. That latter bit helps with the argument that the ASUS V241 AIO works great as a starter PC for people interested in getting into design, but it also works just as a handy, day-to-day, ease-of-use feature for those who aren’t. This might not be a powerhouse PC, per se, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find better options for the price.

Display Size: 23.8″
Memory: 8GB
Storage: 512GB SSD

Purchase: $750

Acer Aspire Z24-890-UA91 AIO Desktop PC

For those who like the ASUS above but want something that packs a bit more of a punch, a couple hundred dollars extra will grant you access to the Acer Aspire AIO you see here. There are two very distinct differences between this one and the previous entry, besides the obvious styling differences. First, this one does not have a touchscreen display — although it does measure up at the same 23.8″ size. For most folks, that probably won’t be very irksome when choosing an everyday desktop computer. The second difference, however, is much more important: users will get access to 12GB of memory, which means this machine can bear a greater load of programs, apps, windows, tabs, etc. Mate that to the rest of its serviceable features and you might start to understand why Acer is so proud of the fact that they managed to stuff all that (and more) into an AIO case that’s just 1.45″ thick.

Display Size: 23.8″
Memory: 12GB
Storage: 512GB SSD

Purchase: $980

Apple iMac

For those familiar with the all-in-one computer category (and the greater PC landscape in general), it will come as no surprise to find the Apple iMac on this list. After all, the iMac has been the gold standard in AIOs basically since the category was invented. Along with Apple’s legendary design language, the iMac is one of the most approachable options — made all the simpler by the brand’s straightforward online configuration. At a baseline, users can choose between a 21.5″ or 27″ display (which scales to 4K on higher-end models), 8GB of memory (configurable, depending on the model, up to 32GB), 256GB of SSD storage (which can also be upgraded for an additional fee), and more. For those in the design industry, there might not be a better option — unless you’re dead-set on having a touchscreen display for digital art purposes.

Display Size: 21.5″/27″
Memory: 8GB
Storage: 256GB SSD

Purchase: $1,049+

Lenovo IdeaCentre A540-27ICB Touchscreen AIO PC

If nothing else, the Lenovo IdeaCentre A540-27ICB has what probably qualifies as the most unique design of all the AIO PCs on this list — thanks largely to its single support arm, pop-up webcam (great for lovers of privacy), and gold detailing. Of course, a beautiful exterior is only one of the many features that make this computer worth your consideration. It also has a touchscreen display that measures up at 27 inches, 12GB of memory out-of-the-box, a 256GB SSD, and Bluetooth connectivity — making this a great multitasking, wirelessly-linked option. Furthermore, that pop-up webcam we mentioned is full-HD — making this great for both video conferencing and streaming, amongst other things.

Display Size: 27″
Memory: 12GB
Storage: 256GB SSD

Purchase: $1,080

HP ENVY 32-A0014 All-In-One Computer

As mentioned, the Apple iMac is the gold standard in the world of all-in-one computers. Well, unwilling to rest on their laurels, HP has released a direct competitor in their ENVY 32-A0014 AIO — which you can see above. While it isn’t quite as beautiful as an Apple iMac, it does have some other handy features that help elevate it and make up for its stylistic shortcomings. That includes things like 16GB of memory (to Apple’s 8GB), a 512GB SSD (to Apple’s 256GB), a formidable 31.5″ Ultra HD 4K LED display (larger than Apple’s largest by 4.5″), Bluetooth connectivity, and a pop-up 5MP webcam for all your Zoom meetings and similar video-focused conference needs. Of course, that’s just a small snapshot of what this computer has to offer.

Display Size: 31.5″
Memory: 16GB
Storage: 512GB SSD

Purchase: $2,000

Dell OptiPlex 7780 All-in-One Desktop

Like HP, Dell wasn’t satisfied with letting Apple have all the glory in the AIO desktop computer — so they created their OptiPlex lineup, which is pretty deep and expansive. Because of the wide variety of options and the incredible amount of potential for customization, we’ve chosen to focus on the higher-end 7780 you see above. While keeping in mind that much of the specs can be changed, this comes out-of-the-box with a 10th Generation Intel® Core i7-10700 processor, 256GB SSD storage, a 27″ FHD anti-glare display, and a jaw-dropping 64GB of on-demand memory — which is enough to keep this a formidable (or at least serviceable) machine potentially for decades to come. Obviously, there comes a high price with this particular PC, but a Mac of the same caliber would likely cost more than twice as much as this one. Take that information and do with it what you will.

Display Size: 27″
Memory: 64GB
Storage: 256GB SSD

Purchase: $2,239+

Microsoft Surface Studio 2 PC

Finally, our third in the lineup of direct, purposeful iMac competitors, we’ve got the mac-daddy non-Apple AIO in the Microsoft Surface Studio 2. In the brand’s own words, this computer is Microsoft’s attempt at creating the “ultimate creative studio” — aimed specifically at top-level digital creatives, like architects, designers, etc. To that end, they’ve equipped this impressive machine with your choice of a 1TB or 2TB SSD, a quartet of USB 3.0 ports, an SDXC card reader, either 16GB or 32GB of memory, support for up to two additional 4K displays, and — the star of the show — a transforming format that pairs with a gargantuan 28″ touchscreen display that makes this more like an enormous 4500 x 3000 resolution tablet. As an added bonus for gamers, it also comes with Xbox Wireless built right in.

Display Size: 28″
Memory: 16GB/32GB
Storage: 1TB/2TB SSD

Purchase: $3,500+

Apple iMac Pro

If there’s any brand that deserves two spots on this list, it’s Apple. So, we’re closing this out with the brand’s biggest and most badass all-in-one computer, the iMac Pro. Sadly, it was just unveiled that Apple is discontinuing this model — likely to make room for a major upcoming iMac redesign — but they will continue to sell it while supplies last. For reference, that means there is only one available model: the one you see here. And, yes, the price is high, but you get quite a lot with it. That includes a 3.0GHz 10-core Intel Xeon W processor, a baseline of 32GB of memory, 1TB of SSD storage, a Radeon Pro Vega 56 with 8GB HBM2 memory, and the list just goes on and on. We have no misgivings about the high price here, but it’s definitely commensurate with the sheer amount of incredible tech that comes packed into this all-in-one.

Display Size: 27″
Memory: 32-256GB
Storage: 1TB SSD

Purchase: $4,599

The 12 Best Laptop Stands

Anyone who has a serviceable laptop might not be too eager to replace it with a desktop PC or AIO. In that case, you might be better off getting a second monitor and one of our picks for the best laptop stands and split the difference.

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