How to Buy an All-in-One Desktop PC
Buying an all-in-one (AIO) desktop PC is no simple feat. It requires understanding the form factor and deciding on the features you find most useful. It also helps to establish a budget so you don’t overspend.
But once you get your all-in-one PC home, you may quickly find that it goes a long way towards improving your computing experience. Today’s AIOs are now more powerful than ever and deliver even better designs. And since they come with a monitor in front of their components, they tend to save you valuable space in your office.
Given their popularity, AIO PCs have grown in number and variety. And if you’ve visited a retail store lately, you’ve undoubtedly witnessed that variety. But with some tips and by following the blueprint outlined below, you should be able to narrow down your AIO choices quickly and find the most suitable option for you.
Display is important
Arguably the most important component in any AIO PC is the screen. After all, why buy an all-in-one desktop if you aren’t using it to reduce your footprint and have a single device with all the components you need in one spot?
When considering your AIO PC, first decide how big of a screen you actually want. Most all-in-one computers come with larger screen sizes starting at around 20 inches. You can often find plenty of options with 24-inch or 27-inch screens and others may deliver monitors even larger than that.
After choosing your desired screen size, you should also consider resolution. The higher the resolution, the better the visual experience (and the higher the price). You really shouldn’t choose an AIO PC without a resolution of at least 1080p, though 4K may be more desirable.
There are some other factors to think about, including whether a screen has high dynamic range (HDR) to deliver more vibrant visuals or how wide its color gamut is to give you the best-looking visuals. It’s a good idea to choose an HDR-ready screen and one with a wide color gamut, but be sure to check prices and ensure it doesn’t move you outside of your budget.
Power and performance are another major consideration when buying an AIO PC. And in many cases, the options can be all over the place.
Most AIO PCs launch with either Intel or AMD processors with a variety of speeds, cores, and features. In today’s marketplace, opting for an Intel Core processor with at least i7 performance is a good idea. You’ll also want to look at clock speed — the higher the speed, the better the performance in most cases.
Aside from processing power, also keep in mind that the more RAM memory you bundle with your all-in-one computer, the more appealing the computing experience. And although plenty of AIO PCs ship with hard disk drives, opting for a solid state drive that accesses data more quickly may be a better option.
Remember storage and components
Speaking of storage, it’s important to remember that you’ll likely own your all-in-one PC for several years. And over time, as you add more photographs, videos, and programs to the computer, you’ll start to really need storage. Most desktops today ship with at least 500GB of storage and that’s a generally good baseline for most users. If you want additional storage, consider going with 1TB or even 2TB to future-proof your AIO PC and ensure you have plenty of space as you continue to use it over time.
AIO PCs also come equipped with a host of ports on the back, including USB, USB-C, HDMI, and others. The more expensive AIO PCs on the market tend to come with more ports, though having so many isn’t always necessary. To determine what’s best for you, first think about all the accessories you want to connect to your machine, including a mouse, keyboard, speakers, cameras, and other products. Then ensure that whichever AIO PCs you’re considering have enough ports on the back to accommodate your need.
Having extra display ports, like DisplayPort or HDMI, are also handy since they allow you to plug in additional monitors to your AIO PC. If you don’t think you’d use the computer in that way, you likely can save a few bucks by opting for a machine with fewer display ports.
Set your budget
Budget is undoubtedly one of the most important components in deciding which AIO PC to buy. Because all-in-one desktops are so popular, they come in a variety of sizes and price points. Some of the factors listed above, including a higher-resolution screen, more powerful components, and a larger number of ports, will increase prices.
Since it can be easy to be wooed by a high-end AIO PC, it’s always a good idea to establish a budget and stick to it. That will at least allow you to narrow down your choice and pick from the best device in your price range.
But regardless of what you opt for, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding a suitable all-in-one PC. The market has a slew of outstanding options that will deliver the power and design components you want in your next computer.