I love all in one desktop computers. My ardor for this form factor is fueled by the fact that all-in-ones help keep clutter in my office to a minimum, and, most of the new all-in-ones I’ve reviewed allow their users to gain access to first-tier technologies relatively inexpensively.
Another aspect in my love affair with all-in-one desktops are the large 23-inch screens commonly found on most of these machines.
But I’m not blind to some of the problems common to this form factor. Highest on my list of dislikes is a low Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) rate for the hard and Optical disks found in many all-in-ones. Over the last several years, I’ve had to replace four hard disk drives and one optical drive in two all-in-ones that were less than 18 months old.
Th basic design premise for all-in-ones is simple—marry a notebook motherboard (most often socketed with high speed processor) to a built-in big screen display, then put it in a thin and wide case that doesn’t eat up all a desk’s real estate. The problems with such a design are obvious—to confirm this, merely place your hands on the upper edge of your all-in-one’s top most vents.
Feel the heat? It’s not your friend—unless you’re home office is in the basement of a Denver suburb and it’s too cold to snow on the Front Range.
Low MTBF numbers for portables that use high speed processors have been an issue for notebook computer designers for years. And PC makers have been quick to market the advantages of machines that run cooler by incorporating new thermodynamic controls and other heat reducing technologies.
All in one desktops deserve attention to detail in their design phase. And heat issues are inherent in fast processor clock speeds. There’s a simple solution to what I believe is a becoming a problem that can affect any brand.
The solution is the addition of hyper efficient, quiet, fans that move air from the bottom out the top of the system case. And if those fans help reduce hard disk and optical drive failures PC makers will help improve consumers’ confidence in in their brands. Fans are inexpensive adders to a system’s overall cost of goods.
There, I’m so glad this is off my chest.—Jim Forbes on October, 23, 2011.