Asus takes the price/performance crown in this roundup. The company’s ET2701 all-in-one can’t match the audacious display built into Dell’s XPS One 2710, and it doesn’t have a fast SSD to supplement its 2TB hard drive, like the Dell; but many of the other components inside the ET2701 are exactly the same as what you’ll get with the XPS One. And the ET2701 costs $500 less.
The IPS display inside the Asus ET2701 is so beautiful you’ll quickly forget that its maximum resolution is just 1920x1080 pixels.
Touchscreens might not necessarily be the entire future, but they're definitely a big chunk of it. Smartphones and tablets have been selling at a brisk pace over the last couple of years, and now the obsession with smearing fingerprints on your screen has crossed over to desktops; IHS iSuppli reports that all-in-ones are the only shining star in an otherwise flat desktop market.
THE DISPLAYS IN HP’s TouchSmart series top out at 23 inches. To get anything bigger, you must move over to HP’s Omni all-in-one lineup. The upper limit here is a ginormous 27 inches, but you won’t get that slick touch user interface, and you’ll need to sacrifice performance to keep the price tag in the same $1,250 neighborhood occupied by the TouchSmart 520-1070 we reviewed in March. We’re not convinced those are good trade-offs.
Both models feature an HDMI input that allows you to use the display independent of the computer, and that’s easily one of their best features. Plug in a set-top box or a gaming console, and the machines can serve double duty as a computer and a 1080p display for watching TV or playing games. There’s just one problem: You can’t use the wireless keyboard to control or mute the volume when the computer is being used solely as a display. Instead, you must push the PC/Game mode button to bring up an onscreen control panel, press the minus button three times to select the volume control function, and then repeatedly press the plus or minus buttons to adjust the volume. To mute the volume, you must turn it to zero—which takes 14 button presses from full volume—or switch the display back into PC mode. That will drive you nuts at every commercial break and every time the phone rings.
Toshiba offers three SKUs in the DX735 line, two with Core i5 CPUs and one with a Core i7. All three models use mobile CPUs, and all three rely on integrated graphics. Whereas HP’s TouchSmart 520-1070 is somewhat capable of playing games, Toshiba’s DX735 series is not at all capable. If you really want to play games on this machine, we suggest plugging an Xbox 360 into its HDMI input.
All-in-one PCs aren't known for their upgradability, but then again, all-in-one PCs haven't been built by boutique computer builder Maingear -- until now, that is. Today, the company announced it was spreading its proverbial wings with the Solo 21, which Maingear claims is the first AIO to sport an SSD caching solution out of the box.
If you own a Lenovo ThinkCentre All-In-One computer, you've got a best of times/worst of times dichotomy going on right now: on the plus side, the touchscreen-optimized Windows 8 Consumer Preview probably feels great with the ThinkCentre's multitouch display. On the negative side, there's a chance your PC can catch on fire. Today, Lenovo and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of over 50,000 Lenovo ThinkCentre M70z and M90z AIOs after determining that a power supply defect can cause the systems to overheat and burst into flame.
Cybernet has been building all-in-one touch-screen PCs for hospital and medical use for years. Given the ambitious specs of the company's new iOne-H5—a 2.93GHz Core i7-870, 8GB of memory, and ATI's Mobility Radeon HD 5730 GPU—we found ourselves wondering if this long-term expertise would translate into an awesome consumer system.
With built-in 3D support and some serious muscle under the hood, MSI’s Wind Top AE2420 3D offers a tantalizing view of the future of this form factor. A 2.8GHz Core i7-860, 4GB of RAM, an ATI Radeon Mobility HD 5730 graphics part, Wi-Fi, and 1TB of SATA2 storage make this a solidly conceived all-in-one PC, even if it feels a wee bit unpolished.
It’s clear that HP sees the value in this category. The PC maker’s new TouchSmart is sleek, polished, and is the first all-in-one we’ve ever seen to feature a subwoofer-out jack. HP makes a subtle but valid point here: The truth about these systems is that, regardless of where we set them up—kitchen, living room, garage—we find ourselves frequently using them as music stations, so why not aim for higher audio fidelity? Conveniently, HP has also integrated Monster’s (and Dr. Dre’s) Beats environment, allowing the TouchSmart 610 to pump out impressive enough sound to make people do a double-take.
Aesthetically, Sony’s VAIO L Series all-in-one pleased us the most. Its sides and back are white plastic, the new “in” look for PCs this year, and the matching keyboard and mouse make this system a nice fit in any environment.