back to article What do you call an all-in-one PC that isn't? 'Upgradeable', says HP

All-in-one PCs look pretty and make for tidy desks but don't often feature in business settings because bonding a monitor and a computer reduces maintenance options. HP Inc's therefore had a crack at what it's calling an “upgradeable” all-in-one that – erm – isn't really an all-in-one at all. The company last week gave the …

  1. Youngone Silver badge

    My boss will hate it

    I have purchased a tiny Dell desktop for one of my users that fits on the back of a monitor nicely, uses standard connectors and costs about half what that does.

    Price is the main concern where I work, and we won't pay extra for things to look good, although I accept others might.

    1. Triggerfish

      Re: My boss will hate it

      Never had a user yet complain their PC isn't pretty enough.

      1. m0rt Silver badge

        Re: My boss will hate it

        Back in the days of AS/400, before renaming, there was an article about prettying up your AS. Wall paper was mentioned...

      2. Solarflare

        Re: My boss will hate it

        "Never had a user yet complain their PC isn't pretty enough."

        Really? I have had several people try to convince me to buy overpriced shiny plastic with mediocre specs a Mac - their principle reason being that it is prettier than a PC...

        1. rmason Silver badge

          Re: My boss will hate it

          My experience mirrors Solarflare's

          I've helped kit out entire companies with Macs in various formats and (one or two users aside) literally all they are used for is to connect to a windows RD server to do their work. One is an engineering company, one marketing and was did something to do with the designing of clothes.

          The directors of said companie value "looking good" and "appearing successful"and this was the sole reason for the purchases.

          I'm sure I'm not the only person to have been thanked for improving some system or other when you've really only replaced the case too. Again, happens. (I told you I needed a new PC, this one is loads faster).

          At the engineering firm the receptionist got one of the most expensive macs available at the time, because she was the point of contact when people visited. HUGE spec Mac pro jobbie with the largest screen possible. I'm sure her system was in the 5k ballpark. Again all it got used for was booking meeting in outllook etc and admin stuff.

        2. Triggerfish

          Re: My boss will hate it @Solarflare

          Change users :)

        3. Just Another SteveO

          Re: My boss will hate it

          ‘Really? I have had several people try to convince me to buy overpriced shiny plastic with mediocre specs a Mac - their principle reason being that it is prettier than a PC...”

          Plastic you say......

        4. JJKing Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: My boss will hate it

          I knew a school Principal who after using a school supplied laptop for 9 years decided they wanted to get a Mac. When I asked her why, she said, "Because it's shiny." and I kid you not. Lots of fun, lots of fun with it too. Wouldn't run the school reports software so the solution was to run a Virtual Box and a MS operating system. With the minimal RAM Apple like to stuff on their machines, that was fun.

      3. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        Re: My boss will hate it

        I have, we literally laughed in their face. They wanted a Mac Laptop, when we operated entirely on MS operating systems. They complained the standard issue Dell was also too heavy. They were a contractor,.... they didn't last long.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: My boss will hate it

      From talking to people in the second-user space, it would seem that more companies are only doing a system unit refresh, which also works against the AiO.

      However, if you want to reduce the desk clutter (monitor, system unit, webcam, loudspeakers, microphone, etc.) the AiO is a hard format to beat.

  2. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    Or buy an Intel NUC.

    You can VESA mount it to the back of your own monitor, connect it via standard video ports (no proprietary adapters needed), & get the exact same "style" as an AIO at about half the cost.

    You have to supply your own RAM, HDD/SSD, & it only gives you integrated Intel graphics, but you get to supply your own OS & it's fully Linux compatible.

    Sure HP may give you a "works out of the box" solution, but when the solution involves Windows 10 you've got some serious problems.

    1. Solarflare

      Re: Or buy an Intel NUC.

      I can run most flavours of Linux off of a good sized potato (and do, I love how easy it is to repurpose a machine for Linux), why would I want to spend that much on an Intel NUC?

      1. m0rt Silver badge

        Re: Or buy an Intel NUC.

        Yeah. But which flavour? The king Edward camp hate the sweet potato camp and don't let the clustered baby potato crowd start their ego driven wail...

        Then you have the superior sounding grow your own group who have beards and don't say much but you can just tell they look down on the rest of them.

      2. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Or buy an Intel NUC.

        why would I want to spend that much on an Intel NUC?

        We all know 'Linux will pretty much run on any ancient old kit...

        There's expensive pretty (i.e. HP's new shiney) , then there's moderately priced make-do for those who would like the tidy, but can't justify the price....

        What you are suggesting is recycling yer' MA's drawers...

      3. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: a good sized potato

        Luxury!

        We 'ave ter mek do wi' sliced carrot since management decided we were goin' totally thin-client.

    2. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

      Or buy a Raspberry

      One of my 2 office computers is just a Raspberry Pi 2 (not even 3 !) hanging behind the monitor. Works well enough for office work and command-line data analysis. A bit on the slow side for video editing though...

  3. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Or buy the HP-Z1...

    ... which is one of the few all-in-one PCs where people where actually trying.

    https://de.ifixit.com/Teardown/HP+Z1+Teardown/8840

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Or buy the HP-Z1...

      The Lenovo M series AIO used to be designed for ease of repair.

      Alternatively, for the DIY'ers there are various AIO enclosures available - including one from Mono that allows the use of traditional desktop components (ie. ones that get hot and require cooling).

  4. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    Mac Mini

    I rather like the form factor of Apple's Mac Mini and its PC equivalents. Small enough to not take up too much space on your desk, powerful enough for everyday work and not terribly expensive.

    1. Lord Schwindratzheim

      Re: Mac Mini

      Except the current Mac Minis - predidcatably - cannot be upgraded of course. Unless you are particularly brave with a soldering iron.

      I would say "Apple take note" but they are busy studying sales figures.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mac Mini

        @ Lord Schwindratzheim: You can upgrade the relatively slow-as-molasses 5400 RPM HDD to an SSD w/o soldering (and there's a YouTube video that showed me how). The RAM etc. is soldered on, so I would venture that even considering upgrading those in a business environment would be pointless unless there was a special need. Besides, the thing already has an i5 and 4GB RAM, sufficient for many tasks, including reading from and posting to The Register.

  5. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Coat

    " built-in B&O speakers "

    You're in PHB territory if those are what I think they are.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's HP...

    ...so it'll be stuffed full of bloatware, buggy drivers and anything else HP's code sweatshops can stash on it. And it'll be slow. And finally, it'll look reasonable in the photos but up close the shadiness will shine out.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's HP...

      so it'll be stuffed full of bloatware, buggy drivers and anything else HP's code sweatshops can stash on it.

      Imagining (against the odds) that this were a business device, your comment only applies to smaller SMEs without proper IT support. Large SME and enterprise will just build an image from scratch, and write that to the HDD over the top of HP's crap. Although there's a question - are HP REALLY shipping this with a crappy old slow HDD? This is a premium product, its 2017, and surely every single one should have an SSD.

      1. Domquark

        Re: It's HP...

        I support SME's and supply HP's. Yes they are full of crap, but we only supply boxes with SSD's now they are cheap enough (and because the SSD's are smaller it stops the end user filling up the HDD with their iTunes etc). The first thing that we do is reinstall Win10. USB3 stick + SSD = rebuild in less than 15 mins. Problem solved.

  7. 0laf Silver badge
    WTF?

    Propitiatory mount. Might as well be an irreplaceable all-in-one. In 3yr you won't be able to buy a monitor that fits or if you can it'll cost 4x the price of a standard one.

  8. Banksy

    Upgradeable

    I like this idea about being able to upgrade parts of a computer. Imagine a world where instead of being in the monitor stand the PC gubbins were in a separate box to make upgrading even easier. I think it may be some years off but imagine the possibilities!

    1. Mike Richards

      Re: Upgradeable

      I like the sound of this utopia - perhaps if I could be so bold to offer my own modest proposal that perhaps internal components could be standardised so that different suppliers could compete to make the most cost-effective and powerful parts for this 'personal computer'.

      But I fear such a thing must remain a fantasy.

      1. JamesPond

        Re: Upgradeable

        How many workplace PC's are actually ever upgraded? Having worked in the NHS and corporate environments, the only upgrades I have seen on a reasonable scale have been addition of an odd extra RAM module or two at year 2 or 3. Once a PC gets 3-4 years old, will anyone really bother upgrading RAM, disk and processor? The main board then becomes the limiting factor. In the NHS world the depreciation writes off the capital cost at year 4 so it's cheaper and quicker to just replace the whole base unit at year 4 or 5 and keep the monitor.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Up

          Re: Upgradeable

          @ JamesPond

          That's what I thought! Any decent PC, especially something like a pricey all-in-one is going to have sufficient CPU, RAM and graphics capabilities that it would be unlikely that it would ever be upgraded. The only area I could think that would require an upgradeable setup would be in some video rendering studio where bleeding edge speed translates into profit. Most everywhere else, there's no need, there's not even any want, as the user experience on most of these new PCs is already clip.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wouldn't it be easier and cheaper just to buy a laptop and chain it to the desk?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    we've just done a refresh of some kit (50 PC's) and like last year went for a mix of AiO and microFF. so DELL 7050 AiO and DELL 7450 MicroFF. performance wise there is pretty much nothing between the AiO and the micro both have the same cpu, memory and SSD. The AiO works out around £150 more expensive but if you factor in a 24" TFT to add to the cost of the micro there is just a few quid in it. So what we tend to do is give micros to people who have 2 displays and everyone else gets an AiO we can the reuse any spare TFTs

    1. Banksy

      How do the 7050s perform? I'd like to get one for work but will wait to see if there is a Coffee Lake refresh.

  11. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    I hope they haven't attempted to patent this monitor bolted to a pc thingy. There's prior art.

    See: Commodore Pet.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vendor profiteering

    Would be a lot more practical if they'd used a collapsible standard monitor mount. Verging on a good idea infact.

  13. Grease Monkey

    Upgradable? For as long as I've worked in IT (30 years) K've heard the cry that every PC bought must be upgradable. The word usually comes somewhere close to the phrase "future proof" but with the exception of adding more memory I've never come across any of the companies or departments I've worked in upgrading their PC estate.

    Usually there is a planned replacement cycle and if somebody can prove they need a more powerful machine before they are due a new one, they get a new machine and some poor sap further down the food chain gets their old one. Either as a "new" machine or it's used to replace a failed unit.

  14. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "All-in-one PCs look pretty and make for tidy desks"

    If an AiO makes any measurable difference to the tidiness of your desk than you're a raw amateur.

    Forget "a clear desk is the sign of a clear mind"; an empty desk is the sign of an empty head.

  15. PeterM42
    Facepalm

    Another fancy item....

    ....headed for the junk heap of incompatibility/

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