The 8 Best All-In-One PCs of 2021

See our picks for the best all-in-one computers

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The Rundown
Best Overall:
iMac 21.5 4K at Best Buy
"Powerful and feature-loaded in equal measure, Apple’s newest iMac is definitely the best all-in-one PC you can buy today."
Best Alternative:
Acer Chromebase at Amazon
"Easy to learn and perfect for both new and older computer users."
"This stunning all-in-one PC features a 27-inch WQHD touch-screen display with a resolution of 2560x1440 pixels and a 16:9 aspect ratio"
Best for Business:
HP HP Pavilion 24 at Amazon
"If you’re looking for a solid all-in-one PC that you (and your business) can rely upon, we suggest checking out HP’s Pavilion 24."
"Apple’s products have never been known to be affordable, but the latest iMac Pro really takes things to the next level."
Best For Media Consumption:
Dell XPS 27-7760 at Amazon
"Powered by Intel's sixth-generation Core i7-6700 processor, paired with 16GB of RAM and a 2TB HDD"
Best for Video Editing:
HP Envy 32 at Amazon
"The HP Envy line of AIO PCs is very customizable and available in a number of different configurations."
"The Microsoft Surface Studio 2 builds upon the first generation with an amazing design."

There are a lot of reasons you may seek out the best All-In-One PC you can find. They live in the space between desktop computers and laptops. They combine the compact nature of laptops with the power of desktop PCs. They're not quite as portable as their laptop cousins, and they don't take up as much space on your desk, which is surely welcome. How do they do that, you ask?

An All-in-One (AIO) PC takes all the components that would normally be in the tower and puts them behind the monitor. That includes the processor, memory, storage, and I/O. Hence the term, "All-in-One". The logic is that since you need a monitor anyway, add a few centimeters on the back and get all the other components in there as well. The benefit is a computer system that is more compact, slightly more portable, and keeps things nice and neat.

That can come at a cost though. Like laptops, All-in-One PCs can be notoriously hard to upgrade, since internal space is at a premium. Plus, there's a reason you usually don't want to put all your eggs in one basket. That being said, if you're dealing with limited space, or you need a workstation that doesn't take up a ton of room, an AIO is the way to go. We have some suggestions for you.

Best Overall: iMac 21.5 4K

iMac 21.5 4K
What We Like
  • Beautiful display

  • Minimal setup required

What We Don't Like
  • Gets expensive very fast

When it comes to AIOs, it's hard to look further than a company that is among those who have made them for the longest. One of the benefits of the AIO is the ease of setup, and that's something that "It just works" Apple has always pursued. The iMac is possibly the best example of that philosophy. Everything you need is in the gorgeous 4K monitor. And the price isn't too bad...at first.

Unfortunately, if you want anything above the base model (and you probably will) that's when the iMac goes from a reasonable $1,200 up to an inflated $2,200 and more. Since AIO computers are very hard to upgrade, this isn't something you can piece together over time. You need to drop the full wad right upfront. That can be hard to swallow if you want to do more than just surf, Facebook, or write some office documents.

"Apple knows a thing or two about creating beautiful all-in-one desktop computers and its latest 21.5-inch 4K iMac is no exception." Gannon Burgett, Product Tester

Best Alternative: Acer Chromebase

Acer Chromebase
What We Like
  • ChromeOS

  • Very slim profile

  • Includes mouse and keyboard

What We Don't Like
  • Celeron Processor

  • Very limited specifications

ChromeOS is making a strong showing in the PC market, having recently overtaken macOS as the second most common operating system in the world. The Acer Chromebase takes advantage of that in a very slick-looking way. This AIO has a very slim and attractive profile, behind its 23.8 inch Full HD screen. 

The specifications are underpowered, being limited to an Intel Celeron processor, 16GB of onboard storage, and just 4GB of RAM. One of the main benefits of ChromeOS is its ability to make the most out of little hardware. ChromeOS should run just fine on this AIO. There's even an HDMI out for a second monitor if you want one. Plus, Acer includes the mouse and keyboard in the box, so it's less you have to worry about.

Best Design: Lenovo IdeaCentre A540

Lenovo - IdeaCentre A540-27ICB 27" Touch-Screen All-In-One - Intel Core i5 - 12GB Memory - 256GB SSD - Mineral Gray
What We Like
  • Great design

  • Solid specifications

  • I/O on the back and side

What We Don't Like
  • FHD screen

  • Limited storage

This Lenovo IdeaCentre A540 is a stunner in the looks department. Balanced on a solid base with built in wireless charging, this FHD screen is surrounded by a minimal bezel. We'd like to see a 4K screen in there, just for the sake of future proofing, but FHD is still not bad. The design also lends itself to convenience as the AIO has I/O ports on both the back and the side of the display. Arguably one of the coolest features is the Windows Hello compatible slide up camera that appears from behind the screen. It's really slick.

The storage space is limited to 256GB which isn't ideal, but beyond that the Intel Core i5 and 12GB of RAM should be capable of all but the most demanding of tasks. Plus, if one screen isn't enough real estate, you can add two other screens with the Dual HDMI outs on the back of this PC. That should give you enough screen for any task you throw at it.

Best for Business: HP Pavilion 24

HP Pavilion 24
What We Like
  • Low price

  • Mostly bezel-less design

What We Don't Like
  • Small screen

  • Budget processor

The 2020 Premium HP 24 AIO Desktop looks really slick when you consider what it comes with. The midrange offering starts with 16GB of RAM and 1 TB SSD which is not trivial. This AIO PC is very customizable with different configurations of memory and SSD, and the price never really goes out of c control, which is awesome. Add the mostly bezel-free display, and from a design standpoint this is a winner, so what's the catch?

The AMD Athlon processor is a very budget oriented offering, which is a nice way of saying it's slow. This computer will get you through most everyday tasks like web surfing, or working on documents or spreadsheets. But if you want to do more with this PC , like editing or gaming, you are not going to have a good experience. The screen is also a bit on the small side as far as AIO PCs go. There's really a lot to like here, but that processor definitely gives us pause.

Best Splurge: Apple iMac Pro

Apple iMac Pro
What We Like
  • 5K display

  • Massive memory and storage

  • Gorgeous design

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

This AIO PC is top of the line for Apple. It really doesn't get better than this and it has a price tag to match. But when you consider what you're getting, it may be worth it. This AIO PC has a stunning design that almost seems impossible for what it offers. 32 GB of RAM and 1 TB of onboard storage, and a 27 inch amazing 5K display add to this already impressive package. You can do whatever you want on this PC and it'll come back for more.

But wow, that price tag is something. The iMac Pro will not be kind to your bank account, but it's every bit worth the extravagance.  This computer will keep you going for a long, long time. It's very future proof. It has to be, but we're fairly sure if you spring for this AIO PC, you'll be a very satisfied customer.

Best For Media Consumption: Dell XPS 27-7760

What We Like
  • Amazing audio

  • 4K display

  • Good gaming performance

What We Don't Like
  • Rear ports are hard to reach

  • Heavy

Amazing sound is what you get from the Dell XPS 27-7760. That's a full stop. The AIO PC comes with ten speakers sprinkled in among the other components. There are six front facing speakers on the lower bezel of the display, plus four others around the periphery that all combine to give you amazing sound from the highest high notes to thumping bass. Combine that with a 4K display and you have quite the multimedia machine.

You also get good, but not great gaming performance on this computer as well. There's an Intel core-i5 processor in there and 16GB of RAM. combined with a TB of storage, and you can do a lot with this PC.  It is extremely heavy though, at just over 36 pounds. That pretty much shoots the "portability" aspect out of the water. Also, because of it's design, the I/O ports on the back of the machine can be hard to get to. But if you're looking for a media machine with thumping bass, this is your winner.

Best for Video Editing: HP Envy 32

HP Envy 32
What We Like
  • Discrete graphics card

  • Nice design with thin bezels

  • Highly customizable

What We Don't Like
  • No height adjustment

The HP Envy line of AIO PCs is very customizable and available in a number of different configurations. You can upgrade the processor and the graphics card to find the perfect combination to knock out your video projects. At its highest configuration, the HP Envy 32 comes with an Intel Core i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 graphics card, 16GB of RAM, 512 GB SSD and 1 TB HDD.  That's a lot of power and the price stays reasonable.

One thing you cannot adjust is the height of the monitor. The stand for the AIO PC is not adjustable, which can be a bummer. But the PC has a great design with very thin bezels and six front firing speakers. With the discrete graphics card, you should be able to do some decent gaming on the PC as well. It's got a lot of power and a great design which is all you can really ask for.

"The gorgeous 5K display and solid specs makes the iMac ideal for both productivity and creative uses."Ajay Kumar, Tech Editor

Best for Artists: Microsoft Surface Studio 2

Microsoft Surface Studio 2
What We Like
  • Amazing design

  • Upgrade-friendly

  • Includes mouse, keyboard, and pen

  • Lays down almost flat for a great drawing experience

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Surface Dial not included

The Microsoft Surface Studio 2 builds upon the first generation with an amazing design ("stunning" in the words of our reviewer) with a really neat stand that lays the surface down almost flat for a great drawing experience.  The Surface Studio 2 was designed with graphic artists in mind, which is why the Surface studio comes bundled with a mouse, keyboard, and most importantly the Surface pen.

But all this comes at a high price tag, especially when you consider the specifications. At the price the Surface Studio commands, there are more budget friendly options with equal power. But the surface is designed to work with the Surface pen, which is included and the Surface Dial, which is not. As much as Microsoft wants to attract artists, we'd like to see this computer come with all the tools an artist will want to use.  All the same, if you're an artist looking for your next digital easel and canvas, look no further.

"The design of the Microsoft Surface Studio 2 remains entirely unchanged from its first-generation predecessor, and with good reason—it’s stunning."Gannon Burgett, Product Tester

Final Verdict

Overall, we love the Apple 21.5 inch iMac because of its simplicity in setup and operation, and the power it comes with out of the box. It does run macOS which may be an adjustment for you. But if you're a new computer shopper, this is a great choice that is going to be headache free for a long time. 


If you prefer to stick with Windows, the Lenovo IdeaCentre A540 has a lot to offer as well. You get a gorgeous design with a lot of extras including a Wireless charger in the base. That's pretty neat, but add to that all the I/O that this PC has and you've got a winner.

About Our Trusted Experts

Ajay Kumar is Tech Editor at Lifewire. With over seven years in the industry, he's previously been published on PCMag and Newsweek. He's reviewed thousands of products over the course of his career, including PCs, laptops, 2-in-1's, phones, and other devices. He likes the 5K iMac for its great high-resolution screen and uses for both productivity and video/photo editing.

Alice Newcome-Beill is Associate Commerce Editor at Lifewire. She's previously been published on PCMag, PC Gamer, and GamesRadar, so she's intimately familiar with desktop computers in all their iterations. She liked the Dell Inspiron for its affordable price and ability to use for desk check-in.

A technology journalist with over six years (and counting) of experience, Rajat Sharma has tested out numerous PCs and laptops having all kinds of hardware configurations. He also has quite a bit of experience in taking computers apart and putting them back together.

Adam Doud has been writing in the technology space for almost a decade. He’s seen dozens of computers sit on his desk in that time. He’s always looking for the right one.

FAQs

Can you upgrade an AIO PC?

AIO PCs are built to include all the components in the body of the monitor. That puts space at a big time premium, and as such components are usually designed with space constraints in mind. So it's important to make sure what you get on day 1 is what you want down the line. Some are more upgradable than others, but it's a good idea to plan ahead when shopping for AIO PCs.


What happens if the screen breaks?

That's a great question. The phrase "putting all your eggs in one basket" comes to mind. Of course, screens are repairable, but an AIO PC pretty much requires it, lest you throw away an entire computer when the monitor breaks.


Can I mount my AIO PC on a wall?

Some can mount to the wall, but that will often make it hard to access the ports on the back of the device. Many AIO PCs have their ports on the back of the chassis, so mounting on the wall might not work well. Further, some AIO PCs have built in stands which definitely won't work well hanging from a wall.

What to Look for When Buying AIO's

Screen size - Of course the primary focus of an AIO PC is the screen. It's the one component you definitely will not be able to upgrade, so it's important that you get one that will do everything you need. Generally larger numbers are getting in this case.

Specifications - AIO PCs can be hard to upgrade down the line, so it's even more important to pay close attention to what your PC offers out of the box. Things to pay attention to include the processor, RAM, storage, graphics card (if applicable) and the screen size.

Included accessories - Some AIO PCs come with extras, like a mouse, keyboard, or even a stylus. Look for an AIO PC that comes with some bonuses that make owning it a little more fun. An amazing sound system or wireless charging pad come to mind.

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