The best all-in-one computers can be incredibly useful for those looking for PC performance without the pains of a PC setup and cable management. They also double as an excellent budget machine, since it comes with all the specs prebuilt at an affordable price while taking up as little space as possible.
And what’s truly impressive about AIO PCs is that despite them taking up so little work desk real estate while combining a desktop PC, a full-sized display, and computer speakers, they tend to be some of the most powerful machines on the market. Some models can even handle high workloads like gaming and graphic design. And since the monitor that comes with an AOI tends to be larger than the best laptops, it’s much better suited for graphic designers and multitaskers who need higher-screen real estate.
What also makes all-in-one PCs such a great value is that because everything is included in the box, there’s no need to purchase parts separately meaning that there’s no risk of having to spend more on said parts if there’s a sudden price spike. This is perfect for the casual buyer who may not be well vested in PC building.
Over the years we’ve tested many all-in-one PCs and some of us even use them for our daily workload. So we have the knowledge and experience to help you find the best AIO for your needs.
If you think that the new iMacs couldn’t possibly be as good as they look, you’d be wrong. The iMac (24-inch, 2021) is not just an improvement over its 21.5-inch predecessor externally, touting a fresh new face that comes in several different attractive colors reminiscent of the retro iMacs. The new line also comes with fresh new specs, rocking Apple’s new M1 chip that lets it deliver excellent performance, which we found to be ideal for budding content creators.
It also has a better, larger screen. You’ll also be happy to know that you’re getting great value here, as you’re getting the Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse included – in matching colors, we might add. Sitting at a more accessible price point, the iMac (24-inch, 2021) is a terrific price, performance, features, and design. There’s no doubt it’s best all-in-one PC we’ve ever tested.
Read our in-depth iMac (24-inch, 2021) review
Even though the Apple iMac 27-inch (2020) is a little older at this point, this model sports some massive improvements in its specs that are still powerful even by today’s standards. That includes the felicitous webcam and microphones update it came with.
On test, we found it to be more than powerful enough to seamlessly see you through demanding workloads like photo and video editing. We ran multiple apps at once, with web browsers full of tabs open, and the iMac 27-inch (2020) didn’t even break a sweat. Similarly, we found its studio-quality microphone array to be crystal clear in quality and its webcam to be just the perfect accessory for work-from-home workers. Sure, its overall design hasn’t seen so much as a tweak, making it look a bit tired. However, if power is at the top of your list, this one’s an ace.
Read our in-depth iMac (27-inch, 2020) review
The HP Envy 34 all-in-one computer is undeniably powerful, offering an excellent iMac alternative to Windows users who want outstanding design, fantastic features, and great performance for a relatively affordable price. Our coveted five-star rating is rarely given, which should speak volumes about how impressive it is. That's despite the fact that it runs a last-gen Intel processor and a mobile GPU.
Among the many things we appreciate here are its movable 16MP webcam and excellent selection of ports. On test, however, it's its stunner of a display that hogs the spotlight. This height-adjustable, 34-inch, 5K 21:9 screen isn't just gorgeous; it's also bright with 500 nits of brightness and 98% coverage of the DCI-P3 gamut, which makes it ideal for video editors that work in that color space.
Don't like upgrading to a new computer every couple of years? It's also expandable up to 4TB M.2 storage and 128GB DDR4 RAM so there's room to grow here.
Read our in-depth HP Envy 34 All-in-One review
Back when the original Surface Studio hit the streets, it was a game-changer for artists and content creators alike. And, the sequel still stands in a league of its own. The Surface Studio 2 doesn’t just feature the same gorgeous display and unique functionality, but it also ups the power significantly, making it a much more future-proof device.
During testing, its innards have showcased that they are capable of basically all modern computing tasks. That includes rendering 3D graphics, multitasking, and processor-intensive tasks like encoding video and rendering dense spreadsheets – although it does stop short of rendering videos. It’s still extraordinarily expensive, but if your use case is right for the Surface Studio 2, then, it’s hard to think of a better all-in-one PC for artists and graphic designers.
Read our in-depth Surface Studio 2 review
The Lenovo Yoga A940, Lenovo’s latest all-in-one offering, may not be as powerful as Apple’s premium AIO, the iMac Pro, or even the recently updated iMac, which now offers a 9th-generation Intel Core configuration. After all, the 8th-generation chips and Radeon RX 560 graphics are ageing at this point. However, it is still plenty powerful to meet the needs of creative professionals out there who are not entirely impressed by Apple’s pricey machines.
On top of that, the Lenovo Yoga A940 has a few aces up its sleeves. The 100% Adobe RGB support, a port offering that’s more generous than Apple’s all-in-one, and a stylus included in the box are just the key for artists. Meanwhile, the Dolby Vision and set of Dolby Atmos speakers are terrific for media consumption. Of course, the thoughtful design with innovative features is another convincing selling point.
Read our in-depth Lenovo Yoga A940 review
How to choose the best all-in-one computer for you
All-in-one PCs, like their desktop and mobile counterparts, come in different configurations, designs, and price tags. Choosing the best one for you, therefore, is much like when choosing a laptop or a desktop PC. You must consider things like power and performance, as well as design and features.
Of course, since an all-in-one comes with its own set of peripherals, these are obvious considerations as well. Check the display, and make sure that it has the right size, resolution, color coverage, color accuracy, and brightness for your workload. Ensure also that the speakers sound great. Since many AIO PCs come with their own keyboard and mouse, make sure that those are comfortable to use and reliable. Otherwise, you'll only end up spending more to get better quality peripherals.
Since there are all-in-one PCs sitting at different price brackets, the price is a very important factor. Don't get an expensive one if you aren't going to take full advantage of its features, and don't get a cheap one when it can't meet your demands.
How we test all-in-one computers
Here at TechRadar, we believe in rigorously testing every piece of hardware that passes through our hands. If it fails to impress during testing, we won't recommend you buy any product that falls short of the performance median for its price range.
Our testing process varies from product to product. Specifically with all-in-one PCs, because they come with their own display and speakers, we test those on top of their ability to tackle workloads. We're always sure to run the most appropriate tests, including running editing benchmarks for an AIO designed for content creation. We also always examine its build quality and features to see how they measure up.
Finally, we take everything to see whether it aligns with the attached price tag. If you want to know more about how we test and rate the computers in this guide, check out our explainer on how we test laptops and desktops to learn more.
What are the benefits of an all-in-one PC?
All-in-one PCs have a ton of benefits despite their varying sizes and price points. The best all-in-one computer is equipped with powerful hardware that’s capable of running any software you might need, from the everyday Office Suite to more complex video editing programs. Some AIO PCs even have touch screen capability which isn’t a necessity, but is still a nice bonus.
Compared to standard PCs that require monitors, towers, keyboards, and mice to be purchased separately, all-in-one computers come with the monitor and tower combined which helps save you money in the long run. You might even be able to save a little more money by finding a bundle that comes with a keyboard and mouse as well.
If you’re tight on space, you might want to consider getting an all-in-one computer because it will only be the size of the monitor and stand - no tower required. The only potential downside of an all-in-one PC is it’s difficult to upgrade internal hardware, so if you like upgrading your tech on your own you might have a slight disadvantage with an all-in-one computer.