Review – All-In-Ones

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This is another installment of my review posts, where I give my opinion on hardware, software and services.

As you know, my company provides 3rd party IT support services to clients. As part of these services, we sell and deploy desktop workstations (and laptops, and tablets, etc). Just a few weeks ago, I wound up needing to replace my own desktop in my office. Previously, I’ve always had the separate case / monitor setup, and in this case, I was running a system on Windows 7 with dual monitors. When I began looking for a replacement, (keeping in mind that I also use a Dell laptop and a Microsoft Surface Pro), I decided to look at the All-In-One options.

All-In-Ones (AIOs) were really made popular by Apple. It really began with the first Apples back in the 1980s, and really began to gain serious traction with the colourful iMacs of the 1990s, as seen below.

aio

As this model line grew and matured, today we have the AIO iMac that is very thin, very sleek and highly aesthetically pleasing. Being that I’m in the business of supporting small business networks that are primarily Windows-based, it makes sense for me to also be on the Windows platform. Over the last year, manufactures of Windows-based PCs have been diving into the AIO market. To be honest, I think the reason isn’t because they’re trying to emulate Apple’s success, but rather they’re trying to figure out how to create ‘large’ tablets-style computers. Portable tables are great when they’re 8”, 9” or 10” in size. But when we sit down at a desk, we really want a larger screen than that. But how do you make a 23” tablet ? Essentially, it’s an AIO with a touchscreen.

I ended up purchasing an HP Envy Recline 23” (I know people say they hate HP, but I’ve had HP laptops and desktops and have never had an issue with them). I won’t get too deep into a review here, as I literally just unboxed it a few days ago and haven’t even configured Windows yet or installed any software.

None the less, I did set it up on my desk and get everything connected and functioning. I have to say, so far, I’m VERY happy with it. The sheer space savings is incredible. There are so few wires and cords now, just power and Ethernet. The included keyboard and mouse is wireless (and seems to be without a USB dongle, or maybe the dongle is internal ?). The system seems quite fast, is barely audible, and has a crisp, clean display.

As we move forward in the world of technology, I see AIOs becoming more and more popular. There are some other form factors, like the Intel NUC, that offer more flexibility in hardware components and customization, but overall I believe the traditional ‘PC tower’ is going to disappear in the next few years.

Author

Martin Lehner

Martin Lehner is an technology professional working for an IT services firm in Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada). He has been working in the technology field for over a decade. With a degree in Business Admin and numerous industry certifications, Martin leads a team of IT professionals that provide third party support for clients. Originally starting a company to offer web development services, Martin quickly realized that clients wanted the entire spectrum of technology services. When Martin is not at work (which is not often, since his company offers 24/7 support), he is busy at home spending time with his family.

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