All-in-one computers provide everything your average consumer might need in a single package, nixing the need for a standalone desktop in favor of a monitor-endowed piece of PC hardware. They come in an array of styles, offering everything from 1080p touchscreens and 5K resolution to robust sound and high-end Intel Core processors, each of which typically comes bundled with a keyboard and mouse.
Most target the premium market with a sleek, streamlined design, yet recent market offerings continue to push the boundaries of what a budget-based PC is capable of. Consumers pay for this style and convenience with performance, and while the best all-in-ones don’t pack the processors or video cards some enthusiasts demand, they’re efficient enough for most everyday tasks.
HP Envy 34 Curved ($1,750+)
Building on the pedigree of its all-in-one predecessors, HP has built a desk-defining system with the HP Envy 34 Curved. It has an enormous stand and an even bigger display, but that’s because it not only is designed to offer great performance and visuals, but be an aesthetically domineering piece of equipment. It’s all you need on your desk for work, entertainment, and play.
Internal hardware options include an eighth-generation Core i5-8400T or i7-8700T CPU paired up with as much as 16GB of DDR4 memory. Graphics include an Nvidia 950M or GTX 1050 and the up to 2TB of storage space can be made up of hard drives or SSDs, with an option for enhancement using Intel’s Optane memory.
As impressive as the hardware inside the Envy 34 Curved is though, the outside is so much more extravagant. The ultrawide, quad HD display has a resolution of 3,440 x 1,440 and thanks to its IPS panel, offers fantastic colors and a 178-degree viewing angle. There are heaps of ports on the base, as well as built in high-quality Bang and Olufsen speakers, and wireless charging support for mobile devices.
Microsoft Surface Studio ($3,000+)
Microsoft may be a newcomer to the all-in-one market, but that hasn’t stopped the Redmond giant from making a splash with the high-end Surface Studio. Its massive and beautiful 28-inch PixelSense display boasts an enormous 4,500 x 3,000 resolution. It’s one of the best displays we’ve set eyes on, easily claiming the top spot among touchscreens.
You’ll find your choice of sixth generation Intel Core i5 or Core i7 CPUs inside, plus either the GTX 965M or GTX 980M. We didn’t find the hybrid drive inside to our liking, but it’s still better than a pure HDD — and it’s the only option, so you’re stuck with it. Starting at $3,000, the Studio is targeted at designers, graphic artists, and animators, but will draw the eye of everyone who walks by.
Apple iMac with Retina 5K display ($2,000+)
Apple’s 27-inch, Retina display iMac offered the first 5K display in the world. The stunning, 5,120 × 2,880 screen delivers crystal-clear images and sharp text, while boasting powerful internal specs in the form of a quad-core, 3.5GHz Intel Core i5 CPU and 8GB of RAM. Moreover, the all-in-one maintains the stylish design with which we’ve all grown accustomed, reveling in a gap-less front panel and rounded corners that compliment the glass-and-aluminum build. The on board Radeon Pro 575 graphics chip can’t really handle games at full 5K, but it’s sufficient for many at 1440p.
If you have deeper pockets though, you could always opt for the iMac Pro which improves the internal hardware to as much as an 18-core Intel Xeon W CPU, up to 128GB of RAM, and an AMD Vega 64 graphics card for astounding performance. It is $5,000 though, making it a bit of the reach of most potential all-in-one buyers.
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Dell XPS 27 Touch ($1,500+)
The XPS 27 Touch is among the best Windows-based AiO we’ve ever laid eyes on. The plastic backside may feel a bit flimsy compared to most premium machines, but the 4K touchscreen gleams with detail and reclines to better accommodate tapping and swiping on a 27-inch screen. that’s powered by a seventh-generation Intel core i5 or i7 CPU, with up to 64GB of RAM, and as much as a terabyte of SSD storage space.
Graphics options are a little more limited, with a choice of either on board Intel HD graphics, or an AMD RX 570. That’s enough for a little off-hours gaming, but you would really struggle with anything but the lowest settings in most modern games.
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Asus Zen AIO ZN242GD ($1,000+)
The Asus Zen AIO ZN242GD might have a mouthful of a name, but the system itself is finely tuned, finely balanced, and packed with fine hardware. Starting at $1,000, prospective buyers have the option of Core i5 or Core i7 CPUs and up to 32GB of RAM. That general computing power is paired up with an Nvidia GTX 1050 graphics card which offers passable gaming performance for off-hours fun, as well as the ability to accelerate some 3D application.
Arguably the system’s most impressive feature though is its footprint. Eschewing the large stands of some of its contemporaries, the wine-stem-like frame of the Zen AIO takes up very little desk space, meaning you can use it on even quite diminutive surfaces without it taking over. At just 24-inches, this isn’t the largest all-in-one out there, but at 1080p resolution and with thin bezels it’s a good fit for a compact, but great-looking system.