All-in-one computer



An all-in-one computer is a type of computer which contains the casing of the computer with other hardware components such as the monitor and speakers. An example of an all-in-one computer is Apple’s iMac desktop which features a compact design with the monitor alongside a keyboard and mouse without the use of a traditional desktop tower.

Over time as computer hardware has continued to become more advanced and their size has dramatically decreased All In One PC’s have become more lightweight and less bulky then they once were making them a more attractive option to more consumers.


Some of the advantages of all-one computers include the following:

  • They often take up less space than a desktop tower
  • They can sometimes be cheaper than a desktop with a tower
  • Can be quieter and use less power


Whilst they offer some advantages they also have some potential drawbacks including:

  • Reduced performance in comparison to a desktop with a tower
  • Limited opportunities to upgrade components. This is particularly relevant for gamers who will want to be able to upgrade the CPU, GPU and RAM as newer games come out.
  • Harder to access components for repairs

Factors to consider

When selecting an all-in-one computer some factors which you may wish to consider may be:

  • How important is your ability to upgrade parts?
  • How much money do you wish to spend for a desktop or all-in-one
  • What kind of computer performance do you require

Examples of All In One workstations


Image credit:


Image credit:


Image credit: official website

All In One’s VS Laptops

It used to be that All In One’s were a more affordable option than laptop computers but this has changed over time and most laptops are cheaper or at a similar price point and depending on model and specifications more expensive.

The main feature which both laptops and All In One’s have in common is their small form factor which doesn’t take up as much desk space as a traditional desktop computer.

But the main advantage that cannot be beaten is mobility where laptops outshine All In One’s so if travel is an important factor then laptops are a better option.

All In One’s however at the higher end can have higher performance components and larger displays for more demanding software however are not as good as traditional desktops for longevity as they are harder to upgrade.


All up all-in-one computers do have their advantages most notably their smaller size and form-factor however if your a power user or gamer then it is always better to go for a tower for added performance as well as the ability to upgrade later on which will greatly extend the lifespan of your system.

If this page helped you be sure to check out the blog and video areas for more content.

*Image credits

Intel Free Press [CC BY-SA 2.0 ( or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Related content from our glossary

SSD (Solid State Drive)

Alphanumeric keyboard

Interactive whiteboards

CMOS Battery