Laptops may have dethroned the desktop, but all in one computers are now growing at a rapid rate. Several manufacturers have announced new models featuring Intel’s latest Ivy Bridge processors. If you are looking for ways to save desk space in cramped quarters, the all in one PC is the device you are looking for. Packing an LCD screen and a computer in an all-in-one ergonomic design, these machines are the practical option for those who have limited space and aren’t planning to buy more components than what is needed. The space-saving capability, convenience, and features bundled in the all in one PC are something that you can’t beat.
While they may not be the very best choice for gaming and other hardcore applications, these computers can handle most of the tasks thrown at them. These computing devices are functional and stylish machines to go about your computer needs. Here are the top all in one computers based on performance, design, and overall value.
Dell XPS One 2710
Dell Inc. has taken this huge 27-inch display and have assembled it together into a spectacular all in one computer. The Dell XPS One 2710 (pictured above) boasts fast performance and one of the highest LCD resolutions among 27-inch Windows 7 all-in-one systems. This pixel dense PC is one of the best Windows-operated all in one computers in the market today, barring the new iMac as a high-end recommendation. In fact, Futurelooks recently reviewed it and our very own Michael Kwan, gave it a hearty recommendation.
To date, it is the only all in one PC that matches Apple’s iMac in design. Between its great performance and crisp display, the XPS One is one of the best all in one computers in the market when it comes to user configurable options. With a screen resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels, the XPS One provides a refreshingly huge canvas on where you can manage your apps. For standard activities like photo editing, spreadsheet work, online browsing, and word processing, the screen alone makes you feel like you are utilizing a better than average desktop. A standard NVIDIA GT 640M 2GB GPU onboard makes it capable of better than average gaming performance as well.
The DELL XPS One 2710 starts at $1399 US and can be user configured to suit most user’s needs and comes with Intel’s latest Ivy Bridge processors. You can find out more about available options on the DELL website. Although there is no multi-touch screen option available, they are not the only one holding back on this till Windows 8 launches later this October 2012.
Apple’s 27-inch iMac
Starting with a second generation Sandy Bridge Core i5 CPU (Core i7 available), promising Thunderbolt peripheral support, and a higher end AMD GPU, Apple’s new iMac offers plenty of features for enthusiasts and professionals, especially in terms of device flexibility and performance for the Apple converted. Though the iMac’s popularity jumpstarted during the all in one trend, it still remains as one of the most expensive devices in the market. Though its aesthetic appeal is pretty hard to quantify, Apple has been awarded several design awards and the hardware is immediately identifiable.
The 27-inch iMac cuts a sleek profile, and a glossy 2,560 x 1,440 display offers a totally satisfying experience. The iMac is recommended for professionals and digital media editors using Apple’s OSX operating system who have heavy performance needs on the strength of its connectivity potential, impressive speed, and premier display. However, compared to the field of PC competitors, Apple is definitely starting to feel the heat when it comes to value for money as the features are quite strong on the PC side.
Prices start at $1699 US for a Core i5 configuration at the Apple Store and quickly rockets up from there depending on user configuration. A less expensive 21.5 inch version is also available for a starting price of $1199 US with similar specs, but “Apple Taxes” are heavy for upgrades. Rumors are saying that iMacs with Ivy Bridge third generation are just around the corner this month so you might want to hold tight before letting go of your hard earned dollars.
Samsung Series 7
As a new player in the all in one computers market, Samsung has truly captured the attention of mainstream users with its easy to use software. The all new Samsung Series 7 brings fresh eyes to the all in one product category. Its distinctive appearance, general usability features, and convenient touch software makes it stick out. It also seems to be arguably be one of most family-friendly and accessible model thanks to its consumer electronics roots. But it does lag behind the pack in terms of specs.
Like the Apple iMac, it is still hanging on to a second generation Sandy Bridge processor and seems to only be available with a Core i3 processor, as opposed to a Core i5 or i7 option in every other. The Intel HD graphics also hinders its gaming performance. So what does it have to offer over competitors?
The real star of Samsung’s touch show is the Touch Launch app. This software acts as a distinct environment within Windows 7, providing an interface design that is meant for touch input. Since its debut in the United States, the company has attracted mainstream customers with its accessible touch interface and clean looks. It’ll be interesting to see how this system does when upgraded to Windows 8 later this month.
The Samsung Series 7 currently comes in a 23 inch version starting at $899 US and a 21.5 inch version starting at $599 US. Both are available through major electronics retailers in the US and Canada. So it’s not overly expensive for a convenient package. A Series 9 version is slated to be available with the launch of Windows 8 in late October 2012. It’s rumored to be priced starting at $1999 US.
Lenovo IdeaCenter B540p
The full-featured Lenovo IdeaCenter B540p builds on the last generation IdeaCenter B520 by increasing the impressive assortment of entertainment for its affordable price. This includes being the only desktop with an option to add on NVIDIA’ s 3D Vision 2 technology via a 3D panel upgrade, allowing you to add NVIDIA’s 3D vision 2 glasses to immediately enjoy gaming on the new GT 650M (1GB/2GB) graphics onboard. All this is driven by Intel’s latest third generation Ivy Bridge Core i5 and Core i7 processors.
The device comes with a 23-inch display, sporting a 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution. With a screen large enough to watch movies, the IdeaCenter B540p includes a wireless keyboard and mouse that helps you navigate the your desktop from a distance. Or you can spring for the multimedia remote control for an additional $79 US. A multi-touch and 3D screen is also available in the top end configuration.
It currently runs under Microsoft Windows 7 and features a DVD burner/blu-ray combo drive. Like the Samsung Series 7, we expect it to be one of few systems that will be able to take full advantage of the new Windows 8 interface, out of the box, if configured with the optional multi-touch screen
If you are looking for self-contained system with options for a 3D capable and multi-touch screen, it’s hard to beat the B540p at a starting price of $1399 US direct from the LENOVO website. The only thing missing is a 27 inch screen which is covered by the LENOVO A Series and comes standard with a unique 27 inch articulating screen. However, it does take a hit in the graphics department from a GT 650M to a GT 630M so if you are a gamer, you might want to consider the trade off of screen real estate versus performance and the higher starting price of $1729 US.
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