'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?
ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.
When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.
ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.
All-in-one (AIO) computers that integrate the internal components into the same chassis as the display have a long history, stretching back to 1980s devices such as the and . However, most people now associate the AIO category with a computer that looks very much like an LCD monitor, and in particular with Apple's range of LCD-based iMacs, which debuted with the in 2002.
AIOs have their pros and cons. On the plus side are economy of space, fewer cables, transportability, and an often stylish element to the design. On the minus side is less power, upgradability, and repairability than a traditional PC at the same price point.
Also: The best gaming PCs: Top rigs for pros, casual gamers, and creators
An AIO is likely to fit the bill for many remote workers who require a space-efficient computer with a decent-sized screen and no longer need to transport a laptop between office and home.
Here's a selection of the best AIO computers in various categories, covering different price points, use cases, and operating systems.
Tech specs: OS MacOS Monterey (MacOS 12) | CPU Apple M1 (8-core) | GPU Apple M1 (7-core or 8-core) | RAM 8GB, 16GB (unified memory) | Storage 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB (8-core GPU models) | Screen 24-inch 4.5K Retina (4480 x 2520, 218ppi, 16:9), 1.07 billion colours, 500 nits, wide color (DCI-P3), True Tone | Wireless Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) | Ports and slots 2x Thunderbolt 3/USB 4, 2x USB-C (8-core GPU models), Gigabit Ethernet (8-core GPU models) | Camera 1080p FaceTime HD | Audio 3 mics, 6 speakers (2x woofers, 4x tweeters) | Dimensions 54.7cm x 46.1cm x 14.7cm (21.5in. x 18.1in. x 5.8in.) | Weight 4.46/4.48kg (9.83/9.88lbs) | Price from $1,299 (8-core CPU, 7-core GPU, 8GB RAM, 256GB storage)
Apple's M1-based 24-inch iMac, released in May 2021, is the company's first AIO to run on Apple Silicon. It's also the only current iMac, Apple having discontinued its Intel-based iMac Pro in March 2021 and the 27-inch iMac in March 2022.
Built around a 24-inch 4.5K Retina display, the current iMac is impressively slim thanks to the highly integrated design of the M1 SoC (system-on-chip), with the screen panel measuring just 11.5mm thick. The entry-level configuration comes in four colors (blue, green, pink and silver), while the more expensive models (with an 8-core GPU) add yellow, orange and purple to the palette.
Read the review: Apple iMac 24-inch (M1, 2021) review
There are three off-the-page configurations, starting at $1,299 for a model with an 8-core CPU and 7-core GPU, 16GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, two Thunderbolt 3/USB 4 ports and a Magic Keyboard. Stepping up to $1,499 buys you an 8-core GPU, two more on-board (USB-C) ports and a Gigabit Ethernet port built into the power supply, plus Touch ID on the Magic Keyboard. The $1,699 model has 512GB of storage. A fully maxed-out configuration (16GB RAM, 2TB storage, Magic Mouse+Magic Trackpad, Magic Keyboard with Touch ID and numeric keypad) costs $2,658.
The striking design of the 24-inch M1 iMac makes it suitable for both homes and offices, and the performance and power efficiency of the M1 SoC is impressive. However, it carries a premium price tag, and you'll need to ensure that the specification you order will cover the system's expected lifetime, because user upgrades are not an option.
Tech specs: OS Windows 11 | CPU AMD Athlon 3150U, 12th-gen Intel Core i3-1215U | GPU AMD Radeon Graphics, Intel UDHD Graphics (integrated) | RAM 8GB, 16GB | Storage 128GB SSD, 1TB HDD, DVD-Writer Athlon model only) | Screen 21.5-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, 250 nits, 72% NTSC | Wireless Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) | Ports and slots 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0, HDMI-out, RJ-45 Ethernet, SD card reader | Camera HP Truevision HD privacy camera | Audio dual array mics, dual speakers, 3.5mm audio in/out | Dimensions 490.mm x 380.7mm x 204.5mm (19.30in. x 14.99in. x 8.05in.) | Weight 5.7kg (12.56lbs) | Price from $549.99
AIO computers can be pricey, but that's not the case with HP's All-in-One 22, which starts at $549.99 with an AMD Athlon 3150U processor, rising to $579.99 when equipped with a 12th-generation Intel Core i3-1215U. The Athlon model is unusual in sporting a DVD-writer, which is a rare sight on any computer these days; this legacy component is not available on the Core i3 version.
For a budget computer, the All-in-One 22 looks pretty smart, with its 21.5-inch FHD IPS screen sitting above a speaker grille and resting on a stand fashioned from tubular metal. The webcam (HD only) pops up from the top of the screen when in use -- a neat privacy measure.
You can't expect stellar performance from a computer based on the Athlon 3150U or Core i3-1215U, even with the maximum 16GB of RAM on board. But if you temper your use case expectations, the HP All-in-One 22 is an excellent budget choice.
Also: How much RAM does your Windows 11 PC need?
Tech specs: OS Windows 11 Pro | CPU Intel Core i7-11370H | GPU Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU (6GB) | RAM 32GB (DDR4) | Storage 1TB SSD | Screen 28-inch PixelSense touch screen, 4500 x 3000 (3:2, 192ppi), Gorilla Glass 3, Dolby Vision | Wireless Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) | Ports and slots 3x USB-C (USB4/Thunderbolt 4), 2x USB-A (3.1), RJ-45 Ethernet (1Gbps) | Camera 1080p + IR for Windows Hello face authentication | Audio stereo 2.1 speakers with Dolby Atmos, dual far field studio mics, 3.5mm headphone jack | Dimensions Base: 250mm x 220mm x 31.45mm (9.8in. x 8.7in. x 1.2in.) • Display: 637.35mm x 438.9mm x 12.5mm (25.1in. x 17.3in. x 0.5in.) | Weight 9.56kg (21lbs) | Price $4,500
Launched back in October 2018, Microsoft's Surface Studio 2, a 28-inch AIO computer, was well received. However, by 2022 it had become distinctly long in the tooth, being based on 7th-generation Intel Core processors -- well behind today's silicon. That said, the Surface Studio's innovative and versatile design with its clever 'zero gravity' screen hinge is holding up well, and clearly influenced the 2021 Surface Laptop Studio.
So the Surface Studio 2 was due an update, and this duly arrived in October 2022 in the shape of the . The new model retains the same industrial design as its predecessor, but now runs on an 11th-generation Core i7 processor for "up to 50 percent faster CPU performance", adding a 30-series Nvidia GeForce RTX GPU for "double the graphics performance", .
However, that '2+' naming drops a heavy hint that nothing revolutionary has occurred here, although the $1,000 price hike from $3,500 (Studio 2) to $4,500 (Studio 2+) for the entry-level configuration does suggest some significant evolutionary upgrades -- notably Nvidia's with 6GB of dedicated video memory, a mid-range GPU capable of handling fairly demanding graphical applications. Wireless connections also get an upgrade, from 2018-era Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 4.1 to Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2.
Read review: Microsoft Surface Studio 2+ review: Elegant, flexible all-in-one PC gets an upgrade
Also: Everything Microsoft announced at the October Surface event
Tech specs: OS Windows 11 (Home or Pro) | CPU Intel Core i5-11400, i7-11700, i9-11900 | GPU Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 (4GB), Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 (6GB), Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 (8GB)| RAM 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB| Storage 512GB, 1TB, 2TB | Screen 34-inch WUHD (5120 x 2160, 163.4ppi, 21.3:9) IPS | Wireless Bluetooth 5 or 5.2, Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) or Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) | Ports and slots rear: 3.5mm audio in/out, 2x Thunderbolt 4/USB 4, 4x USB-A, HDMI, RJ-45 Ethernet, power in • stand (side): SD card reader, USB-C, 2x USB-A | Camera 16MP (detachable, moveable)| Audio dual 2W speakers (tuned by B&O)| Dimensions 817.2mm x 368.4mm x 223mm (32.2in. x 14.5in. x 8.78in.)| Weight 11.05kg (24.4lbs) | Price from $1,999 (Core i5, GeForce GTX 1650, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD)
Creators and power users often need the largest screen possible, and that's what HP has delivered in the shape of the , which was in September 2021.
The display is a 34-inch IPS panel with 5K (WUHD) resolution, 500 nits brightness, an anti-reflection coating, a low blue light mode and a claimed screen-to-body ratio of 98.6%. It supports 98% of the DCI-P3 color gamut and is color calibrated out of the box. The screen is height- and tilt-adjustable, but there's no swivel support.
Nice touches include the detachable magnetic 16MP webcam that can be placed anywhere on the top, bottom or sides of the display and Qi wireless charging built into the stand base. Even more welcome is access to the RAM and SSD slots via a panel at the rear – an unusual feature on an AIO. There's also a good array of connections, including two 40Gbps Thunderbolt 4/USB 4 ports.
Read the review:HP Envy 34 All-in-One Desktop review
Envy 34 All-in One configurations start at $1,999 with a Core i5-11400 CPU, 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU, 16GB of DDR4-2666 RAM and a 512GB PICe NVMe TLC SSD. A fully maxed-out model with a Core i9-11900, 8GB Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080, 128GB of RAM, 2TB of primary storage and 2TB of secondary storage will cost you $4,988.99. (These prices are $150 off at the time of writing.)
Tech specs: OS Chrome OS | CPU Intel Pentium Gold 6405U, Core i3-10110U | GPU Intel UHD Graphics (integrated) | RAM 4GB, 8GB, 16GB | Storage 128GB, 256GB SSD | Screen rotatable 21.5-inch FHD (1920 x 1080, 102.5ppi) 10-point touch IPS | Wireless Bluetooth 5, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) | Ports and slots 2x USB-A, 2x USB-C, 3.5mm audio in/out | Camera HP True Vision 5MP privacy camera | Audio dual array digital microphones, dual 5W speakers (tuned by B&O) | Dimensions 507.5mm x 454.4mm x 174.5mm (19.98in. x 17.89in. x 6.87in. | Weight 6.97kg (15.37lbs) | Price from $629.99
Most Chrome OS devices are laptops or 2-in-1s, but HP offers an intriguing alternative in the , whose standout feature is a 21.5-inch touch screen that can pivot from standard landscape mode into upright portrait orientation.
This AIO has a distinctive design, with the screen attached to a cone-shaped fabric-clad base that houses a pair of 5W B&O-tuned speakers and a collection of ports at the back -- a pair each of USB-A (10Gbps) and USB-C (5Gbps), plus a 3.5mm combo audio in/out jack. The power button is also here, and there's a volume rocker on the right side. Another neat design feature is the two-stage privacy cover for the 5MP webcam: half-way closed turns off the video, fully closed turns off the mic as well.
Also: On the go and at home, HP branches out in Chrome OS line expansion
The 21.5-inch IPS touch screen is limited to FHD (1920 x 1080) resolution and 250 nits of brightness, and supports only 72% of the NTSC color gamut. It supports 20 degrees of tilt, plus the aforementioned pivot function, but there's no height adjustment.
The entry-level Chromebase All-in-One 22 configuration is based on an Intel Pentium Gold 6405U CPU with integrated UHD Graphics, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage. This has an RRP of $629.99, discounted to $499.99 at the time of writing. A maxed-out configuration with a Core i3-10110U CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD comes in at $839.99 (currently discounted to $709.99).
Tech specs: OS Windows 10 (Home, Pro), Windows 11 (Pro) | CPU Intel Pentium Gold 7505, Core i3-1115G4, Core i5-1135G7, Core i7-1165G7 | GPU Intel Iris Xe Graphics (integrated) | RAM up to 64GB | Storage removable 2.5in. SATA III HDD (7200rpm) or SSD (M.2 NVMe PCIe) | Screen VESA-mountable 23.8-inch FHD (1920 x 1080, 92.6ppi) non-touch IPS (touch option available) | Wireless Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) (Wi-Fi 6 option available) | Ports and slots rear: HDMI in, HDMI out, 3x USB 2.0, RJ-45 Ethernet • side: 2x USB-C, 2x USB-A, 3.5mm audio in/out | Camera FHD 1080p (external) | Audio stereo speakers | Dimensions 541.4mm x 534.92mm x 194.68mm (21.31in. x 21.06in. x 7.66in.) | Weight 8.45kg (18.63lbs) | Price from $549.99 (Pentium Gold 7505, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD)
MSI's may not be particularly elegant, but it has a number of features that make it attractive to business users, either in the office or working from home.
The 23.8-inch IPS screen is adjustable for both height (0-130mm) and tilt (-4°~20°), and can also be mounted on a VESA arm in order to maximize desk space. The screen also benefits from eye-care technology designed to minimize flicker, blue light, and glare, although the 92.6ppi FHD resolution could be higher.
Elsewhere, there are HDMI in and out ports, the former turning the screen on automatically when an external device is connected. Another unusual feature for an AIO is support for storage expansion via a removable 2.5-inch SATA hard drive or SSD. The drive bay is on the right side, just above a small joystick that controls the OSD menu. Also notable is the 1080p webcam, which is an external USB-connected unit that perches on top of the screen, rather than being integrated into the bezel.
The entry-level price looks tempting at $549.99, but that's for a distinctly low-end configuration based on a Pentium Gold 7505 processor with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD storage. You'll need to pay significantly more for a model that can tackle a decent range of business workloads.
The Apple iMac 24-inch (M1, 2021) is ZDNet's top choice. But one size doesn't fit all. See our comparison chart below to quickly see how the iMac differs from all the other top AIO PCs on our list.
Apple iMac 24-inch (M1, 2021)
HP All-in-One 22
Microsoft Surface Studio 2+
HP Envy 34 All-in-One (2022)
HP Chromebase All-in-One 22
MSI Modern AM241P 11M
As ever, 'it depends'. Overall, we think Apple's 24-inch M1-based iMac is the pick of the AIOs on the market for its combination of design and all-round performance, although some potential buyers will be put off by MacOS, and others by the premium price. Windows fans have plenty of choice though, ranging from 22-inch models from HP (All-in-One) and MSI (Modern) at the affordable end of the scale, up to the premium large-screen HP Envy 34 All-in-One and Microsoft Surface Studio 2+. Chrome OS users get a look-in too, with a very credible offering in the shape of HP's Chromebase All-in-One 22.
Choose this all-in-one computer…
If you want…
Apple iMac 24-inch (M1, 2021)
The best all-in-one computer overall
HP All-in-One 22
The best budget all-in-one computer
Microsoft Surface Studio 2+
The best all-in-one computer for creative purposes
HP Envy 34 All-in-One (2022)
The best large-screen all-in-one computer
HP Chromebase All-in-One 22
The best Chrome OS all-in-one computer
MSI Modern AM241P 11M
The best all-in-one computer for business
I have been writing, commissioning and editing reviews of PCs (and many other types of tech product) since the 1990s, and can remember using a in 1984. The selection process for this list is based on a combination of personal usage and experience, involvement in the ZDNet reviews process, and analysis of other reviews and roundups.
An all-in-one computer is more compact than a traditional desktop PC because it merges the tower and display into one form factor. However, internal components such as memory, storage and graphics cards will usually be less accessible for repairs and upgrades, and if the screen malfunctions you have a serious issue.
In this roundup of the best all-in-one computers, the HP All-in-One 22 and entry-level MSI Modern AM241P 11M are the joint cheapest at $550 in the US.
It all depends on your priorities. If you value economy of space, as few cables as possible, a degree of transportability and stylish design, you'll usually be better served by an AIO. On the other hand, if it's computer power, upgradability, and repairability you're after, then a traditional desktop PC will generally offer more for your money at the same price point.
Check out some of our other guides on the best laptops and desktops available right now:
Between all these resources, you should have no problem finding the best PC for you.
For your convenience, we've put the top option from our best computer guide below.