Tell us what you think about All-in-One computers


#1

So far we have already received over a thousand in-depth replies to our crowd development survey. Thank you all for your brilliant responses! We can’t wait to share the results with you, but in the meantime we would like to ask additional questions about some of the product categories to better understand what makes them special to you.

We’ll be tackling these in a random order, so don’t be too disheartened if your category isn’t picked first: more of these topics will be popping up over time. To kick things off, let’s talk about All-in-One (AIO) desktop computers!

THE ULTIMATE ALL IN ONE

We want to better understand what your vision is of the perfect AIO computer, and what can we do to make it a reality. We haven’t forgotten about the in-depth ideas that have already been shared in our What’s Next? category, but here are some high-level topics to get a fresh discussion going. Product categories selected for development will be discussed in substantially more depth!

So here are our questions for fans of AIO computers:

  • Describe yourself as a user
  • What are your main use cases for an AIO computer? How is it better than other form factors?
  • What is the best AIO computer available on the market today?
  • What’s missing in the market currently? What unique value or innovation could Eve & the community bring to this product category?
  • What is a fair price point for this kind of product?

Please let us know your thoughts!


The most wanted products of 2019!
#2
  • I am a product manager working in a startup, commuting between home and office daily

  • I use Eve V as the main device for work at office, but I also need a computer at home for personal and family use (mainly entertainment use, I rarely play games).
    Now I am using a laptop (which was my main device before Eve V), connecting with external 27 inch monitor (for better browsing and streaming experience), external speaker (for much better sound quality), and external wireless keyboard and mouse.
    And because I also have Eve V, I almost never moved the laptop. It just stays at the spot there like a desktop PC host.
    This setup works well, but it first takes much desktop space, and there are many cables around.
    So a AIO can perfectly replace this setup, giving me same level (or even better) performance plus a neat desktop.

  • I haven’t checked that what’s the best in the market, because I am not yet ready to spent money to buy a AIO until my laptop get too old

  • main stream performance + excellent screen (same or better as Eve V level) + outstanding speaker + slim bezel & neat design + upgradeable ROM/RAM
    Touch screen is not necessary for me
    No need to have excellent graphic card, gamers won’t play games on AIO

  • price starts at 500 USD, maximum 1000USD would make this kind of product perfect


#3
  • I am a community manager for a startup, and I work from home.

  • I use an iMac as a secondary computer at my desk. It is low-end and old (1st gen Core i3), but with a RAM- and SSD-upgrade it’s proven more than fast enough to handle all but the most challenging tasks I’ve thrown at it (and really, that’s what my primary computer is for). Even with my old-fashioned ideas about using cables to connect a keyboard or network, the AIO form factor offers a much cleaner desk than a second computer with separate monitor would. Fewer stray cables, and no desktop chassis taking up space. With almost infinite upgradability even in smaller form factors I’d say a ‘normal’ desktop is the superior machine in specs, and that includes the ability to upgrade the display. The choice for an AIO is in my opinion purely an aesthetic one: it looks sleek and tidy. And I like it.

  • In performance, the iMac or even the iMac Pro are the mainstream performance leaders. In functionality, the Surface Studio beats it with pen, touch, and the magic hinge. There are other players on the market, even ones that offer full compatibility with aftermarket graphics cards or even iTX mainboards, but none of them have anywhere near the prominence – or the elegance, and as I said before aesthetics are a major factor for AIOs.

  • Apple refuses to acknowledge touch is a thing for anything that isn’t a tablet or smartphone. Microsoft limits their device to laptop-grade hardware. Both have large price tags, though unless you conveniently forget about the quality of the display, the prices are more fair than they might initially seem. Except SSD and RAM upgrades, for which both companies charge through the nose.

  • You should be able to get a computer-and-display or laptop of comparable specs for about the same price. The form factor may make it a little more pricey (custom cooling solutions and whatnot), but when choosing between two machines of equal performance and spec, there’s only so much I am willing to pay extra for ‘sleek and tidy’.


#4
  • I am a self employed consultant for restauration of historical buildings with stone
  • I use Eve V as the main device for everything. In the office I connect it with a 34" screen, at home we use it for childrens Netflix use and outside I use it for the documentation of damages at construction sites and everything else…
    This setup works great as long as there is no damage at my V. This would be a moment of horror and I have to reactivate my SP3 (used by my wife atm) or buy a new V…
    So an AIO could maybe be a replacement or an addition for my office setup.
    Sometimes my V setup meet some borders of the gpu when using my special software for documentation.
  • at the worst moment of eve I was very close to buy a used Surface Studio 1 as security backup for my office. I’m sure this is the competitor in the market eve should aim for.
  • Must have is: main stream performance + excellent screen (same or better as Eve V level) + slim bezel ; neat design + upgradeable ROM/RAM +possibility to have other non-touch-displays beside or behind it and touch/ paint screen for the AIO device is necessary for me.
    No need to have excellent graphic card, real gamers won’t play games on AIO.
  • Aestetics are very important for me. I love #minimalsetups and I always try to have my desk as clean as possible… The usage of or a collaboration with an ergotron arm mount could be a option for an aio… we had great proposals with VESA mount in the history of this community… The ergotron arm mount could replace the Surface Studio hinge completely and make this device cheaper and more versatile.
  • price starts at 700 USD for low config going up to 1900 USD for pro-config would make this kind of product perfect.
  • the more I think about it the more ideas are coming to my head… AIO is good, but there should be a possibility to seperate display and “computer” (maybe by a TB3 connection)…

#5

I am Ervin.
The best All-in-One is Surface Studio.
Make the same 3:2 screen 28” or 32”. 4k or 6k or 8k.
Make the similar or same hinge system.
Make the similar or same base.

Add the options:

  1. A thunderbolt port for eGPU.
  2. Make the CPU upgradable via regular socket.
  3. Make the RAM upgradable, no soldering.
  4. Make the M2 upgradable, no soldering.
  5. Make the mobile GPU upgradable.
  6. Put some IO on the side as well.
  7. Make the housing easy to open for upgrades.

Add the options while purchasing:

  1. Display size and resolution.
  2. Touch or non touch.
  3. CPU, RAM and M2 size various combinations.
  4. GPU or no GPU option and if so, what GPU.
  5. Housing color options.
  6. Keyboard, mouse and pen option.
  7. Add eGPU options.

As far as supplying power, I lean on external block like the laptop charger. Surface Studio has built in one and I think that this adds heat.
Good speakers. Two or four in the display unit and one speaker or two in the base for depth.

Add a reasonable price and I would buy it :blush:
Cheers :clinking_glasses:

EDIT:
Add option to buy it “blanc”, no CPU, no RAM, no GPU, no M2.
That would be AWESOME :smiley:
To me at least :grimacing:


#6

I want my devices for business and home use.
I carry my devices with me nearly at all times and leave the charging/power devices at home and office or my home/office abroad. I also have separate external usually bigger hi res screens at each location.

My work entails writing, researching, spreadsheets, and occasional graphic or advertising design work for marketing projects.

I want an AIO because I’m tired of connecting some of the different set ups.
As well I have and use a fairly high spec NUC/mini PC when I need a bit more grunt and speed.
(But I must add here that my NUC is way too noisy to keep on my desk)

For my use a high resolution screen, great GPU and high CPU power, extra RAM and M2 slots AIO will be used for other things besides normal computing and even connected to my sound system for music and watching the occasional video.

It would be specially great if the AIO could have a detachable (Drop-in style) NUC/Mini PC as part of the base unit in which all or most of the components can be upgraded or reconfigured later if needed.

This way the base screen part of the system and keyboard etc could be left at my various work locations. I would be happy to buy 2 or more of the screen/keyboard systems without the main NUC/Mini part.
I can then just carry my base NUC/Mini style unit around as I need to and drop it in.
I’m not a fan of small screens for my work.

My NUC came only with a motherboard with built in GPU, CPU, fan and case. I added everything else that I wanted.

Being able to do this would be a great option for many of us who have a technical bent as well.
Please make sure any future design is ultra QUIET, I really love my V more for this reason.

It would also be desirable if the NUC/Mini could maybe run from a battery pack or similar as well as mains power, giving it the best possible portability where it could be connected to other screens such as the V screen. A transformer similar to the V unit would be good because it would reduce the heat in the main unit, and I guess having a high wattage inbuilt power supply adds to the heat as well as the weight,

I have done very little research because I’m probably biased towards the engineering and the overall clean strong great aesthetics and solid professional look of the Surface and Apple devices.
So for me the best AIO is probably the Apple Mac Pro, Surface Studio or the HP Envy firstly for their screens.

I must say I just love the stand mechanism on the Studio and a few of it’s components, and I nearly want one because of those feature alone, but no.
I’m not a fan of Apple these days.
When it comes to HP, I have never tried them, though I love their printers and the Envy looked attractive when I did a bit of minimal searching to write this.

Apart from the Surface Studio I’m not sure if the others have a touch screen or able to use a pen on them, but I think that’s important to have.

I use a Sit/Stand style desk and I would love it if my screen could drop down like the Studio, I feel that would be good for working when I choose to stand at a raised desk. It’s not necessary but it is nice to have if available.

Also what I think is missing for me in an AIO is flexibility, changeability and ability to easily self upgrade components etc. AS well the ability to choose high specs that I like. Normally it is a very limited choice of specs or it’s way too expensive for the value you get.

Good speakers would be a plus.

Price is not really the issue.
Value, customisation (choice) and quality are the important issues.


#7

AIO in my mind includes a display as well :grimacing:


#8

I am an engineer of quality assurance / quality control.

I am editing Video at home so I need a lot of memory and multiple monitors.
I uses it for statistical analysis of data at work, this also needs a many memory .Computers for testing equipment rarely use the latest ones because they are focused on stability.


I use EVE V write notes using onenote and write report , view photo.
I use EVE V with a mobile display while on a business trip.

Personally I do not use an all-in-one PC.
However, all-in-one PC is used to control recent inspection equipment.
I can not fix it myself when the PC breaks, so I have to call the manufacturer’s maintenance engineer and it is a agony.
I do not like much all in one from this experience.

The only thing I want in all-in-one is the combination of WACOM Cintiq Pro 32 + Wacom Cintiq Pro Engine Xeon.
It costs $ 8000 so I can not buy it

I requested an all-in-one PC,
Make Cintiq Pro 32 memory expandable and GPU selectable.
The video input terminal is absolutely necessary so that the monitor can be used even if the PC can not be used.


#9

Firstly, the classic AIO is not my ideal PC. I would much rather have a modular mini-pc system but I can see some benefits to using an AIO so here’s my thoughts.

  1. IT manager for a small ski resort, highly active in outdoor pursuits (mt biking, skiing, climbing, etc), dabble in film/photo work. I have come to rely on portable devices more and more. My personal desktop is an old Nehalem box that has sat unused for 2+ years and I don’t have a lot of office space at home. At work I am on the move a lot so I use my V, iPad Mini, phone or whatever workstation I’m in front of.

  2. An AIO is more elegant than the traditional desktop. It creates less cable clutter and offers “moveability”. An AIO would provide me with a desktop work device that can be easily shuffled around or easily moved entirely if needed. Having more power than a mobile device would help with video/photo work and allow constant access to Network Shares, Domain printers, etc.

  3. I am somewhat unaware of what’s new in AIO’s but I don’t feel like anything available qualifies as something I would call the best solution. If I had to buy one right now I’d get an Apple so I guess I’d say that’s the best right now.

  4. I think that a Modular AIO/Mini-PC/Dock is what is truely missing from the market. @Attiq has a great concept that I would love to see become reality. I want options and upgradability. If we’re talking a more classic AIO form factor then I like what @Masters888 said about drop in base unit and battery.

  5. Like most tech, AIOs cost way too much for what you get. The crowd development process could really bring something worthwhile to life. Separating the classic AIO screen/internals co-dependency would be a USP. Nobody wants to be unable to keep using a good screen just because the CPU, RAM, etc need to be upgraded. Nobody wants to have to deal with a full backup/replacement process just because their screen goes bad either.


#10

I’m a mechanical engineering student, right now I have only one computer, my eve V.

I use a eGPU to play some game and boost performance when using program like AutoCAD.I never had a AIO, but I’d love to get one, but I’m waiting for the right one with the right specs. My use for an AIO, would be I think, about the same thing I use my V, but with better performance, bigger screen, etc.

For me the best AIO is the surface studio, if it wasn’t for the price and the lack of performance.

A Good AIO is one that would :

Have a good set of port(what the surface studio does not have), like two USB 3.1, a USB type c, one ethernet port, a HDMI 2.0 port, a micro sd card slot, or a full sd card slot, and most of all, one or two thunderbolt 3 port, so we wouldn’t have to have a gpu inside the AIO and them pay less

A good cpu(not a mobile one)

Optional:lot of RAM

A really great 27inch screen(eve V level screen) and a choice from 4k touch to non-touch. No need for upgradability for me if it takes the total price too high

No need for you to make a keyboard\pen to go with it, since you could just make sure the competitor accessories are always compatible, it would be less complicate for you to juste focus energy on the AIO(example: I now have no keyboard to use since mine broke and I don’t know how much time it will take to get the new one)

I’d also like if possible, a good hinge, to be able to draw efficiently on my screen.

On the innovative side, even if it will take the price higher, i’d like to have wireless charging for my phone , and, maybe a projector behind the AIO, so we could watch a movie on a bigger screen in the same room would be a nice idea?

A good price would be around 700usd to 1400 usd I think. But if everything I said is to be on the computer, I’d be willing to pay more


#11

Let’s preface that I dont have an AIO, but I do have a desktop PC.

What are your main use cases for an AIO computer?

I use it for gaming, coding, 3D CAD, photo/video editing, as well as basic stuff (browsing, office)

How is it better than other form factors?

Compared to laptops, it has larger screen, better performance/storage, and generally runs quieter

Compared to regular desktops, it has significantly less cable clutter, generally easier-to-access IO, saves desk space, and sleeker design.

What’s missing in the market currently? What unique value or innovation could Eve & the community bring to this product category?

AIO with:

  • Upgradeable hardware with standardized form factors: future-proof
  • Good cooling performance (with watercooling)
  • Tinkerer-friendly, such as the ability to overclock

The point is we dont have to compromise between the sleek form factor and integration of AiO, and cost-effective / non-proprietary components of regular PC builds.

What is the best AIO computer available on the market today?

Today, it doesnt exist Id say, since they are all very difficult to upgrade and/or underpowered. But from few years ago, there were some AIOs that basically were ultrawide monitors with an ITX desktop bolted behind it.

Unfortunately, those were still limited in several areas, such as the limited cooling ability, hard-to-access IO and still quite a complicated layout to perform an upgrade. Not to mention the expensive price.

What is a fair price point for this kind of product?

Shouldnt be more (or perhaps only slightly more) than a similar computer + monitor bought separately.


#12

Intel was promoting thin mini-ITX (mITX) AiO PCs still in 2016, but it seems that they are less actively involved as the below catalogue dates from Q3 2016.

What is a thin mini-ITX motherboard like? The size is mini-ITX standard 6,7 x 6,7 inch or 170 x 170 millimetres and it usually has a desktop CPU socket (some motherboards have soldered CPUs).

The four main differences to a regular desktop mITX motherboard are:

  • thin mITX motherboards used to have a half length PCIe Mini card slot, but this seems to have been replaced with an M.2 connection for SSD or Wi-Fi (common usage scenarios)
  • memory uses SO-DIMM cards i.e. laptop memory cards
  • the I/O shield is lower (regular 44 millimetres, thin 25 millimetres)
  • no socket for a dedicated GPU (but you can have dedicated GPU with additional circuitboard)

Here’s a picture of a modern Asus thin mITX motherboard:

As far as I know, thin mini-ITX motherboards use only Intel chipsets.

The benefit of a thin mITX motherboard in an AiO is obviously its thinness. Less bulky housing needed at the back of the display (or thinner casing in general).

But that’s enough about thin mITX.

I love the idea of an AiO, but there are problems too.

The main dilemma is about upgradability. If the display is great (and expensive), then it makes little sense to have no upgradability for the other components. At least I wouldn’t want to throw away a perfectly working display, if the other components are just outdated.

If the display is crap (and inexpensive), then the whole AiO can be thrown away, when it becomes outdated - but how sensible is that? Plus the user experience isn’t very good either with crappy display and probably low spec other components.

An AiO with a mini-ITX (regular or thin) motherboard can become quite bulky and heavy due to cooling requirements - of course the AiO needs to be at least near silent. And quite expensive too with a lot of dedicated parts and components as regular desktop components aren’t known for their quietness, even if there has been a lot improvement is that area.

It is challenge to design an AiO with upgradability, low cost and quietness.

But the Eve community is capable of such an endeavour, so let’s get to it!

P.S. New Microsoft Surface Studio 2 has either Nvidia GTX 1060 or 1070, so not lacking in graphics horsepower. There is the usual Microsoft premium in the price, but Studio is expensive mainly due to the display - it is super expensive (and possibly Microsoft exclusive also).


What's Next? Survey results are in!
#13

I work in education administration so I used my V both at home and at work. At home, I have eGPU acting as my dockb and a 24inch monitor.

I already have a pretty awesome monitor. But, if it will be an AIO computer. It would need to be very good quality. I have been burned by them in the past and don’t really trust them.

I think the Surface is probably best in my limited experience and might be tempted to get one if it wasn’t so expensive.

Anyways, it would need to be faster than the V. Doesn’t need to be high-end but need to have a powerful CPU laptop grade processor or even a mid-range desktop cpu especially if it will be soldered to the monitor. A decent GPU would be nice but not important as long as it has a Thunderbolt connection.

As for a fair price, maybe between $800 and $1500 USD.


#14

I’m run several businesses including a weekly podcast. I’m using my Eve-V although the front facing webcam is insufficient for me to film greenscreen videos with and I purchased a 4k webcam separately. Would truly love a state of the art front facing webcam.


#15
  • Me as a user: I’m a student, working in safety at chemical plants in different places and travelling alot in my free time as well. Since I started studying I’m at home more now. I have a desktop PC at home for basically everything I do there and my V for taking notes at university, free time when working abroad and my travel computer. (writing this on my V during my month long travel in peru)

  • My use case for an AIO is … well none basically, I don’t have one. Well I do have one, an old iMac that isn’t working which I got from my parents, I want to tinker with it but just havn’t gotten around to it. For like a year or two -.-
    The purpose of this product for me is to be a good PC which gives you a clean setup at your desk (not going to happen with me because my desk is always a mess)

  • For me the best AIO is the surface studio. Because it actually has more functionality than a regular desktop. However, the value for money is horrible and using mobile components in a desktop is just aweful.

  • I would say AIO is not a good purchase decision because it’s normally not upgradable and bad value for money. Also if one part breaks you just throw away everything and that’s not the direction that we should be heading. If you want me or likeminded people to even consider purchasing an AIO you have to make it upgradable with standard parts. It’s really not that hard since it’s not a mobile device and size doesn’t matter as much when it stays on your desk.
    Basically make a screen with a case for a computer behind/under it. I would suggest going surface style and making the stand a standard computer case (small form factor) where nothing is soldered and you can put in the components you want. Also sell a barebones version of it where people can buy their own components to truly customize the performance they need, and different versions for people that want preconfigured hardware. No mobile components, just a range from basic to highend desktop performance.
    Also make sure it has complete input and output options. I want to be able to connect extra displays, speakers, Ethernet, whatever I want and would be able to do in a normal desktop.

  • Let’s talk pricing. Pricing on AIO is ridiculous. People pay a fortune to have a desk setup that is a bit cleaner than a normal desktop below your desk and cables running up the back of the table. Pricing needs to be comparable to a normal desktop + a screen. So for a barebones version probably start around 500$ (depending on display quality of course). For preconfigured: you can build some really high end stuff for about 1000$, of course you have to charge a premium, but I think 2000$ should be the limit (except if you’re going nvidia titan/quadro or dual GPU crazy kind of stuff, but who really needs that)


#16

One of the problems with thin mITX is the power delivery. If I remember correctly, it uses a DC barrel connector like laptops instead of a standard computer PSU. That limits the expandability (no GPU) and power consumption in general (e.g overclocking), since you can’t find, say, a 500W power supply for it.

All power delivery (e.g HDD) has to go through the mainboard, and perhaps there’s a safety issue with running 41A (12V for 500W) over a single cable to the motherboard, the same reason why some DTR laptops have two power supplies instead of one huge unit. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Either way, all the thin ITX boards are not optimized for performance (overclocking) and/or gaming, and I don’t see it changing anytime soon.

For those reasons, and fewer upgrade paths than “regular” ITX, I would personally go against thin mITX form factor.

New Microsoft Surface Studio 2 has either Nvidia GTX 1060 or 1070

I suspect it has the mobile version (but not MaxQ), so it has reduced TDP. I don’t believe they could cool a proper desktop 1070 in that tiny chassis.


#17

Preface: I am not sure if an AIO is right for me but if I did have one I would say

Must Haves:

  • Great performance (I play games (currently on my Eve V and I would like that to change or be improve) and use simulation software and video editing is something I hope to explore.)
  • Great display, preferably 2:1, high refresh. Yeah I know, but I think a gaming AIO would be cool.
  • Intelligent design (Great IO with mix of facing towards user and to wall, ability to upgrade parts, location of speakers is on side of display)
  • Great Price (I stick to my budget and I only buy things that make sense economically. I want every penny I spend to count. That’s why I got an Eve V in the first place!

I would say that the Surface Studio design is what needs to be beat. If we could get all the components into the base and make it upgrade-able with awesome thermals/cooling, I’d consider buying it.

P.S. I still believe that a docking solution for the Eve V would be preferred but I understand that Eve would have a limited audience if they made an Eve V specific docking solution.


#18

Don’t you think,If it is a comon PC, it will be OK if there is 500W.Right?
I think that GPU should be externally attached with type C (Thunderbolt 3) and power should be set separately.HDD is the same too.
If we put it inside the same case even if it is connected externally it will be good in design?

I think, the ITX may be cheaply procureable if the size is okay, and if we want to make it smaller, Intel NUC.Anything is fine as long as it can be low cost.

If user can add equipment for each required performance, EVE should be able to make the lowest configuration PC is cheap.
If we do not play games use cheap CPUs as it is.
If we want to play games lightly, change the CPU to Kaby Lake-G etc,
Heavy gamers use an external GPU and Enhance power supply.
It may be good to prepare NVIDIA QUADRO for professional use.Because the surface studio has only GeForce for the game.But Wacom has only GPU QUADRO. becose Wacom is for professional not playing games.

I think that it is interesting also for the stack type of block which Acer had put sold.


#19

So here’s my take on the questions asked by the OP:

  • Describe yourself as a user:
    I work as a HR manager but I do some webdesign/marketing work on the side. My main computer now is the Eve V and I use it for personal stuff, to write and to do design work. To help me work on my design projects, I plan to buy a good external monitor, a dock, KB/mouse and speakers. That’s why I first thought about an AIO while answering the survey, but in the end I opted for the dock and peripherals instead.

  • What are your main use cases for an AIO computer? How is it better than other form factors?
    It’s another alternative for the V setup I was thinking of. With an AIO I could keep the V for mobile work and have a more powerful desktop to work and even game on. It would allow for a cleaner and minimal look on my desk, more performance and (hopefully) some upgradeability which is the thing I like most about desktop PC’s.

  • What is the best AIO computer available on the market today?
    The Surface Studio is the most versatile AIO and it’s design is great, although the pricing is too high and some of the hardware it’s not that powerful.

  • What’s missing in the market currently? What unique value or innovation could Eve and the community bring to this product category?
    Best of both worlds without many compromises: great specs, design, screen, performance and a fair price for the package. It would be great to be able to purchase the peripherals on their own or even only the screen as a standalone monitor (something I saw many people asking for in the case of the Surface Studio).

  • What is a fair price point for this kind of product?
    Somewhere between 900 to 1.8k


#20

Well what do we see today?

It looks like “Modular” may be the way forward in the future and even Apple looks like joining in.

A great challenge for the Eve Design Community!