Best All-in-One (AIO) PC Windows Central 2021
Having a desktop PC doesn't have to mean having a separate box, monitor, and the endless cables that run between the two. Whether you're tight on space or just looking for something simpler and more elegant, the all-in-one PC could be the right choice for you. And fortunately, there are some great all-in-one Windows PCs, like the HP Envy 32.
Best Overall: HP Envy 32
Sometimes with an all-in-one PC, you have to compromise, but with the HP Envy 32, you genuinely do not. Its size helps a little, but you can have pretty much everything you could ever want from a PC all in this single unit.
That includes a full-fat 65W Intel Core i7 CPU, not the slimmed-down versions you often find inside an all-in-one or a laptop, and its paired with either NVIDIA GTX or RTX dedicated graphics. You might not be buying one of these as a gaming rig, but you bet it can tear up the latest titles.
The Envy 32 also boasts a massive 32-inch display, with both 4K resolution and HDR and a neat anti-reflective finish, which makes it so much nicer to sit in front of for long periods.
- 32-inch 4K anti-reflective HDR display.
- GTX or RTX graphics.
- 65-watt Core i7 CPU.
- Pop-up Windows Hello 5MP camera.
- Display input/output.
- No Wi-Fi 6.
- Display limited to 60 Hz.
- SSD is just OK.
Runner-up: Lenovo Yoga A940
Microsoft's Surface category usually sets a trend that the Windows OEM partners will try to emulate, iterate or just plain make better, and Lenovo's Yoga A940 all-in-one is undoubtedly one which fits that mantra.
It has an articulating hinge reminiscent of the Surface, which means for the creative folks out there, grab the pen and get to some comfortable drawing on a massive sketch pad. It's not just creators and designers who will enjoy it, though.
The big, beautiful 4K display is attached to some pretty exciting hardware, including a full desktop-class Intel Core i7, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and an AMD RX 560 GPU. It's also got Thunderbolt 3, an essential desire in modern high-end computers. Perhaps most amazing, though, is that you can upgrade some components on this machine, meaning you can keep it up to scratch for much longer.
- Relatively affordable pricing.
- Plenty of ports, including Thunderbolt 3.
- 4K touch display with excellent color.
- Robust hardware options.
- Loud, full, front-firing audio.
- More powerful GPU options would be welcome.
- Fan is quite loud.
- Build quality lacking compared to other premium AIOs.
Best for creators: Microsoft Surface Studio 2
The Surface Studio 2 isn't just an all-in-one PC. It's perhaps the most innovative computer in recent memory. Not only do you get a full, powerful Windows 10 PC in the same box as a display, but you also get a stunning, sleek, slim form factor. Oh, and it also folds down flat like the biggest, most glorious sketchpad you've ever seen.
The Surface Studio 2 is an amazing PC, but it comes alive when you're a creator. That massive display is all-touch with pen support, so it's an incredible digital canvas. Throw on the Surface Dial, and you've got a killer toolset at your fingertips. It isn't cheap, but at the upper levels, you can get fairly capable dedicated graphics from NVIDIA that will even be OK for some modest gaming.
The real draw to the Studio 2 is the articulating display, though. It's still largely unmatched, and the biggest drawback to it right now is that the Surface Studio 2 remains very expensive and, at this point, is probably due for a refresh. But the experience it delivers is still absolutely superb.
- Unique drawing and touch experience.
- Gorgeous display.
- Decent graphics horsepower.
- Fast SSD storage.
- Hardware starting to get outdated.
- Very expensive.
- No Thunderbolt 3.
Best Budget: Dell Inspiron 24 5000
Dell's new 24-inch all-in-one is a perfect addition to your family setup, thanks in no small part to its thoughtful design. The bezels are virtually non-existent, making for a compact body, and even the stand has been designed to be as space-efficient as possible.
It's not lacking on hardware, either. Inside, you'll find a range of Intel 10th Gen processors, up to 16GB of RAM, options for speedy NVMe SSD storage, and even a front-facing soundbar to make your music and movies sound great. There's also a pop-up webcam for those important calls to relatives. Or work colleagues.
There are options to suit all budgets, including a very affordable entry-level model, but you'll have to make do with sluggish HDD storage at this level as a compromise. All spec levels come with a 1080p display, though, making for a well-equipped, stylish family computer.
- Gorgeous design with almost no bezels.
- Space efficient stand.
- 10th Gen Intel processors.
- Options to suit all budgets.
- Pop up webcam.
- Entry model fairly slow.
- No dedicated graphics.
- No Thunderbolt 3.
The bottom line
Choosing an all-in-one PC can be difficult, not least because they're not the most popular type of machine, but that doesn't mean there isn't plenty of hot hardware to choose from. HP's new Envy 32 is the cream of the crop, and for many good reasons.
It ticks just about every box you could think of. You get a big, beautiful display, high-end hardware inside that includes actual gaming-class graphics from NVIDIA, stunning design, and some thoughtful features.
Not only does it include a webcam, but it pops out of sight when you don't need it, and it supports Windows Hello when you do. It's also one of the only all-in-one PCs that can accept a display input as well, so you can also use it as a monitor for your laptop when you need to. It can't be beaten right now.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Richard Devine is an Editor at Windows Central. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him covering all manner of PC hardware and gaming, and you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
Daniel Rubino is the executive editor of Windows Central. He has been covering Microsoft since 2009, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Surface, HoloLens, Xbox, and future computing visions. Follow him on Twitter: @daniel_rubino.
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