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Updated: Best all-in-one PC - which should you buy?


PCHF Tech News
Jan 10, 2015

All-in-ones are interesting little (or in some cases, big) PCs. They're desktops with integrated displays and are often built with laptop-grade parts. As such they've inherited a bad reputation for poor performance compared to their full-on desktop tower brethren. The stigma is not completely undeserved. Mobile graphics cards and processors have always lagged behind those made for personal computers.

However, the all-in-one form factor has its own advantages. These self-contained PCs take up less room than a giant full-size tower and don't create a giant tangle of USB and display cables. What's more, some all-in-one computers are doubling as giant tablets. When's the last time you were able to pick up your PC and screen off your work desk and ferry it over to work on the couch?

Without further ado, here are the best all-in-ones we've reviewed.

Dell XPS 18


The Dell XPS 18 blows away any notion that all-in-ones are hulking great machines tied to desks. Essentially a massive touch-operated tablet that turns into a monitor when slipped into its stand, the 18.5-inch device is designed to be used all around the house and is a great choice for online TV addicts. It's a capable PC too thanks to its Intel Core i7 CPU, Intel HD 4400 graphics and 8GB of RAM at the top end.

Apple 27-inch Apple iMac


While Apple's iMac with Retina 5K display is one of the most impressive all-in-ones around, its price places it out of the reach of most people. Apple's older 27-inch iMac possesses many of its best qualities without the wallet-intimidating price tag. Apple redesigned its iMac line in 2013 to give it an attractive slimline chassis that houses a sharp 27-inch IPS display with a respectable 2,560 x 1,440 pixel-resolution. Excellent build quality means it's a PC built to last, and a fine option for productivity work, watching movies or light gaming.

LG Chromebase


The LG Chromebase's biggest strength is its simplicity. Essentially a Chromebook crammed into a 21.5-inch 1080p IPS display, the Chromebase runs Google's ChromeOS that lets you do basic PC tasks using Chrome's growing list of web apps. If you have no need for the bells and whistles that come with Windows 8.1 and OS X and don't mind relying on the internet to get things done, the LG Chromebase is an attractive, affordable and convenient all-in-one.

MSI AG240 All-in-One


All-in-ones tend to be advertised as family-friendly alternatives to desktop PCs due to their suitability for the living room, but the MSI AG240 isn't interested in that. The 23.6-inch AG240 is a gnarly gaming PC in an all-in-one's chassis, combining an Intel Core i7 CPU with a powerful Nvidia GeForce GT860M GPU that's backed up by 16GB of RAM. If you're hankering for a large touchscreen display with the innards of a gaming PC, the dare-to-be-different AG240 fits the bill.

Lenovo Horizon 2


Like the Dell XPS 18, the Horizon 2 is an all-in-one Windows 8.1 PC that can transform into different positions, allowing it to be used as a large tablet. But unlike Dell's machine, the Horizon 2 lets you connect HDMI-equipped devices such as Blu-ray players or games console to be used at its native 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution. The XPS 18 packs quite a punch itself thanks to the Intel Core i5 CPU and Nvidia GeForce GT 840A GPU inside that can handle demanding games. It also has the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi and comes with a capacious 1TB hard disk.



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