At long last PC makers are taking steps to make, All-In-One (AIO) desktops easier to service and upgrade.
Historically, AIOs have used beefed up versions of system boards designed for portable computers but housed in a case that's not easily opened by users for common upgrade procedures such as adding additional system memory.
Over the last 30 months , a handful of AIO makers have introduced new designs that include access ports that make it possible for owners to upgrade their systems, without completely disassembling a system case.
The first PC maker to introduce those was Apple on it’s high end IMac line. Apple was followed by Asus and Lenovo. A $1,000 Lenovo or a $2,500 iMac that doesn’t allow a user to easily add more (or change) memory is a bad investment.In fact user accessibilty is so important to me that it was among the top two reasons why I purchased a Lenovo with a 29-inch display last year.
Lenovo B750 with access port
All-in-one manufacturers should rethink all their case designs and support features that make it easier for users to upgrade their systems.
ONe of the most consistent reasons users upgrade memory on their All-in-Ones is t o increase performance overall and specifically to better take advantage of memory hungry graphic programs.
I suspect Microsoft’s new HoloLens technology could be a factor that pressures AIO makers and users to bump up their system memory, or upgrade harddisks.
AIO case system designs should also be changed to make it easier to replace optical disk drives.In the 18 month period ending October of2014, the optical drives on a 23-inch Lenovo and a 23 inch Sony AIO both failed out of the waranty period. I was unprepared for a service bill that included 3 hours of labor and a wait of up to three weeks to get an optical drive that would fit in the cases of either system, so I bought an external USB optical drive and gave the systems to a young relative who is a college student.
I’m willing to bet that hP is at the head of the AIO Makers who will increase the capabilities of all-in-ones in the coming months. The example here is the HP Sprout, a 23-inch Windows 8.1 platform with a capacitive touch pad under the screen that can be used to directly alter or manipulate images.
I hope the other AIO makers take a good look at the HP Sprout and its capabilities, which could kick off a new class of desktops that challenge Apple’s 27-inch iMAC.--Jim Forbes on February 2, 2015.