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The All-in-One Desktop Buying Guide is a great general guide to help give you a better idea of what you want and need from your new All-in-One (AIO) Desktop PC. For most shoppers, this guide will provide information on each of the key specifications so you can decide for yourself which of them you can or can't live without.

After deciding on which features are significant to you, you can also use the Newegg Shopping Tool to: compare desktops that have those exact functions, review all of the specifications of each PC side-by-side, and narrow down your choice even further. Overall, remember that not every All-in-One can be compared "apples-to-apples" since design and special software will differ between brands.

Screen Size

There are a variety of screen sizes available for AIO PCs ranging from 18.5" to 27". The most recent models on the market are mostly 27" and are typically equipped with touch-screen capability. Please keep in mind that the screen size is rather important. For daily use, you will want to look into PCs with 21"-23" screens. For entertainment use, you might opt for a 24"-27" screen—this will be similar to a small TV. Also note the type of screen—is it standard or high resolution?

Touch vs. Non-touch Capabilities

Touch function is another option to consider, since it affects pricing. Touch branches out into several types of touch functions: frame-less touch, 10-point capacitive touch, and multi-touch.

  • Frame-less touch allows the side frames of the screen to be touched or swiped.
  • 10-point capacitive touch allows the users to use all ten fingers simultaneously. Users can play family games on the computer or use a piano program, for example, to its fullest potential.
  • Multi-touch could mean a two-finger touch.

If you purchase a non-touch computer and later decide you want to try out the Windows® 8 desktop with touch, there are many new devices you can find available in the market with touch capabilities such as the Microsoft® Wedge mouse, which has a swipe-touchpad function built into the device to allow a touch experience similar to that of a touch-screen.

Processor (CPU)

The CPU determines whether or not the desktop can process data in an efficient manner. Most AIO computers on the market today will have either an AMD® processor (including E2, A4, A6, and A8), or an Intel® processor (including Celeron®, Pentium®, Core™ i3, Core i5, and Core i7).

AMD and Intel are the main manufactures for processors, and each has its own strengths and fan bases. More popular AIO models include the Intel processors. However, AMD carries CPUs with an integrated GPU (graphics card) in the processor, such as the A4, A6, and A8.

Some PCs have desktop processors, which are larger in size and have higher voltage consumption. Others have mobile processors, which are smaller in size and tend to have a lower voltage consumption.

Hard Drive (HDD)

The hard drive is usually a big factor to consider when buying an AIO since it is the device that allows for long-term data storage—ranging from the PC's operating system to its applications. Some commercial AIO desktops have started adding a solid state drive (SSD) into the hard drive to help with efficiency. However, this could add to the price.

Memory (RAM)

RAM is used to help access data: more RAM in the PC typically allows the machine to access data even quicker and be more efficient. An average AIO desktop will have a minimum of 2GB of RAM. Users who are more tech-savvy may want to purchase additional RAM to add onto the desktop. However, it may be more cost-effective to buy a machine with the amount of RAM you want already in it—this also helps save time when looking for and installing the correct RAM sticks.

Operating System (OS)

Most computers are currently equipped with Windows 7 Home/Professional. However, after the October 2012 launch of Microsoft's Windows 8, a majority of the AIO PCs will be equipped with Windows 8 to enhance the touch experience for users. This does affect whether or not you value touch-screen AIO desktops.

Video Card

AIO desktops usually come with an integrated graphics card due to the fact that AIO screens are quite thin and cannot support a discrete graphics card. Although, some manufacturers, such as ASUS®, have developed particular AIO desktops with a discrete graphics card.


Audio cards are standard on All-in-One desktops as the systems come equipped for you to fully enjoy the audio function. Higher end desktops may have better sound quality with the system. The built-in higher quality audio along with high screen resolution can deliver an exceptional entertainment experience. Many AIO desktops come with a built-in webcam which makes video communication (by means of Skype and other applications) more convenient for you and your loved ones to connect over the internet.


Design is another determining factor because it can affect how you use your computer. Most AIO desktops have limited tilting abilities, while some can be completely folded to lay flat. For example, Sony VAIO released an AIO computer that is actually portable, whereas some other models will be stationary because of the stand's base. Prices are influenced by the various design features provided by each manufacturer. So from here, decide your preference— whether you prefer a more ergonomic tilt or if you don't mind a simpler, slight tilt-screen stand with a slight tilt-back function.