The Best All-in-One Computers of 2018

The Best All-in-One Computers of 2018

Save Some Space So the 15-inch display on your laptop is starting to feel cramped, and you work mainly in one location. Yes, you could attach an additional screen to your notebook, or opt for a desktop tower with a separate monitor, but another option is an all-in-one (AIO) pc.

Focus on the Screen

The first thing to look at (no pun intended) is the screen. While less expensive AIO PCs will come with 20-inch screens, those are better suited to cramped spaces like classroom labs or dorm rooms. What you really want is a display at least 23 inches on the diagonal—and larger is better if you can do it. (The biggest all-in-ones we’ve seen to date have had curved 34-inch screens.) You’re almost guaranteed a 1,920-by-1,080-resolution (full HD) screen at this size, and larger screens will go even higher (up to 4K in many cases, or 3,440 by 1,440 on an ultra-wide display). That gives you the ability to view multiple windows side by side, or view a three- to four-page-wide spreadsheet; and if you’re a multitasker, the more screen room the better.

Though it’s not a concern to those with 20/10 or better vision, a larger screen and higher resolution will let you increase the font size on your Word documents or Excel spreadsheets while still keeping a lot of information on the screen. Desktop screens are brighter than laptop displays in general, as well. Look for In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology for the best screen quality. IPS screens are inherently better at off-axis viewing, which means you won’t have to be sitting perfectly centered to see accurate colors and all the detail in your images.

To touch screen or not to touch screen—that is the question. The tiled Start interface in Windows 10 was designed with touch screens in mind, and makes interacting with your various applications as easy as it’s ever been. But although these can be fun and functional for families, a touch screen isn’t 100 percent necessary yet, especially if you plan to use the all-in-one like a traditional computer, in which case you’re better off using a keyboard and mouse. There are some touch gestures in macOS as well that could take advantage of a touch screen, but for Macs it’s (also) not yet a necessity. Scrolling with a mouse or a touchpad will still be as quick or quicker than on a touch screen. Selecting text for copy and paste is easier with a mouse. If you fill out forms online and switch between text-entry boxes, pull-down menus, and check boxes, then it’s likely that you’ll be able to enter data quicker with a keyboard and mouse or touchpad.