Are all-in-one desktops a decent deal?

Summary:Averatec, the O.C.'s other computer maker after Gateway, has released a new all-in-one desktop.

Are all-in-one desktops a decent deal?
Averatec, the O.C.'s other computer maker after Gateway, has released a new all-in-one desktop. The design doesn't break any new ground in this category, but it is simple, compact and reasonably attractive. And with a 22-inch LCD, Nvidia GeForce 8400 graphics and an integrated TV tuner, at first glance it looks like a solid value at $1,200.

The Apple iMac is still regarded as the gold standard in this category, but nearly every OEM now offers an all-in-one priced between $1,200 and $1,400. So it is relatively easy to comparison shop, though the graphics vary widely in terms of capabilities. Here's a quick comparison of the AIOs:

Averatec All-In-One Apple iMac Dell XPS One HP TouchSmart IQ504 Gateway One ZX190
2GHz Intel C2D 2.4GHz Intel C2D 2.2GHz Intel C2D 2GHz Intel C2D 1.5GHz Intel C2D
2GB DDR2-667 1GB DDR2-800 2GB DDR-667 4GB DDR2-667 2GB DDR2-667
320GB 250GB 250GB 320GB 400GB
GeForce 8400 Radeon 2400XT 128MB Integrated Integrated Radeon 2600XT 256MB
22-inch LCD 20-inch LCD 20-inch LCD 22-inch LCD 19-inch LCD
Vista Home Premium Mac OS X Vista Home Premium Vista Home Premium Vista Home Premium
$1,200 $1,200 $1,300 $1,300 $1,400
How does this stack up to a typical desktop around $1,200? Not very well. Best Buy is currently selling an HP Pavilion Elite with a 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 6GB of memory, a 750GB hard drive, Nvidia GeForce 9500 GS with 512MB of graphics memory, and Vista Home Premium for $1,030. Throw in a matching 19-inch HP LCD display for $240 (though you can find cheaper LCD displays), and the total is $1,270.

There are good reasons for this. Most all-in-ones use more expensive components typically found in notebook PCs. And for many users the benefits of a clutter-free desk are worth the added cost. But the point is that even a value all-in-one such as Averatec's new model still carry a hefty premium.

Topics: Hardware, Enterprise Software, Microsoft, Windows


John Morris is a former executive editor at CNET Networks and senior editor at PC Magazine. He now works for a private investment firm, which may at any time invest in companies whose products are discussed in this blog, and no disclosure of securities transactions will be made. No investment advice is offered in this blog. All duties are... Full Bio

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