From the sofa to the desk to the bus – many computer users are accustomed to switching between desktop PCs, laptops and tablets. So wouldn’t it make better sense to combine the devices?
New all-in-one PCs in which the processor and memory are built inside the monitor or display panel, and not in a separate casing, can in fact be used as if they were large tablets. You can unplug them from the power supply and rely on their built-in battery.
”This combination of desktop and tablet computers is especially an alternative to those larger-format laptops which are seldom used outside of the home,” said Christian Hirsch from the computer magazine c’t.
The devices often feature the same technology as in modern laptops, but users need not sacrifice performance. Included is a full version of Windows 8, instead of the slimmed down tablet version, Windows RT.
”The computers can also run conventional Windows programmes and they are much more powerful than tablets,” added Hirsch.
The devices open an entirely new market. A very important factor for many users, for example, is being able to access their employer’s network and the company’s own special software. That is basically no problem with Windows 8.
And those who want to avoid a mess of cables on their desk or often work from different locations in the house will be well-served with the tablet-PC hybrid.
The all-in-ones however are the wrong choice if users predominantly want to surf the internet on the go.
For one, a 20-inch display is often too large and the battery life is much shorter compared to smaller tablets and laptops.
Hirsch also warns about the weight of the devices.
”At more than 2 kilograms, they are not really suited for the train or airplane. They are too heavy for that,” said Hirsch.
Still, users can really work well on the devices, thanks to the touch-screen and Windows 8.
Those looking for a bit more precision can also connect a mouse and keyboard.
There is meanwhile a cheaper alternative for users not interested in using the all-in-one PC as a tablet but still wanting to do without a big casing under their desk. Mini-PCs range from the size of a box of cigars to a shoe box.
They start in price at 500 euros (670 dollars), much less than the all-in-one PC/tablet.
Germany’s PC magazine recently tested the all-in-ones and gave the best grade to the Transformer AiO from Asus, which costs about 1,100 euros in Europe.
The testers suggested the XXL Tablet XPS 18 from Dell (1,100 euros) as a light model while Sony’s Vaio Tap 20 (starting at 850 euros) is heavier and more practical for use as a PC for the office desk. (dpa)