Best all-in-one desktops for creative work

While svelte laptops and desktop towers still dominate the home computing space, those in various other shapes and sizes are becoming increasingly common. Aimed at a number of different consumers, but often with the “creative professional” in mind, these computers eschew standard dimensions to find their place in a wide range of home offices and studios. We’ve picked out some of the most compelling offerings on the market, whether you’re looking for something tiny that blends into the background or an all-in-one machine that acts as the centerpiece of your creative workspace.

mac studio

All-in-one desktop computer for creative work, the Mac Studio

The Mac Studio is a compact, square computer designed to live on your desk; for reference, this is the size of two Mac Minis stacked on top of each other. It’s heavy, and not really designed to be carried around, but in a pinch, it can be. Above all, the Studio is powerful: running on Apple’s latest M1 Max or M1 Ultra chips (depending on which model you choose), it’s essentially a beefy desktop PC that would normally live in a massive, scaled-down case. to something that sits neatly in the corner of your desk. It has plenty of ports, including six USB-C ports, two of which are on the front, and is quiet, even with the fans blasting. Prices start at $1,999 for the base model, while the top model goes all the way up to $7,999.

Lenovo Yoga All-in-One 7

All-in-one desktop computer for creative work, the Lenovo Yoga
All-in-one desktop computer for creative work, the Lenovo Yoga

The Yoga AIO 7 is probably Lenovo’s most exciting PC design to date. Something of a response to Apple’s iMac, this all-in-one desk takes it one step further by incorporating a rotating hinge, meaning the touchscreen can be rotated from horizontal to vertical, which allows users to easily read web pages, PDFs, Word Documents and vertical videos in their native format. The display itself even supports built-in wireless streaming, allowing users to send video from their smartphone or tablet directly to the display, without having to touch the computer. The screen can be tilted from flat up to 20 degrees for viewing comfort; JBL Harman-certified stereo speakers are positioned below the rotating screen, ensuring sound is always directed towards the user, regardless of screen orientation. The AIO is powered by the AMD Ryzen 7 4800H processor and uses an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 for graphics, making it well suited for content creation and gaming. Available for $1999.

iMac

All-in-one desktop computer for creative work, the iMac

With its latest version of the iMac, Apple has once again redefined the design possibilities of all-in-one computers. The entry-level iMac comes with Apple’s own M1 chip, along with 256GB of SSD storage, two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports, 8GB of Unified Memory, and a seven-core GPU for $1,299; it scales from there, both in price and performance. Then, of course, there’s the best-in-class 4.5K Retina display, an improvement over its predecessor’s much-celebrated display, and complete with Apple’s True Tone technology, which automatically adjusts colors and the intensity according to your environment. Oh, and it’s available in seven colors: blue, green, pink, orange, purple, yellow, and silver, for all your styling needs.

iMac desktops available in different colors

Microsoft Surface Studio 2

All-in-one desktop computer for creative work, the Microsoft Surface Studio 2

For visual artists looking to draw and design digitally using a stylus, the Microsoft Surface Studio 2 is probably the best creative all-in-one computer around. The 28-inch touchscreen is mounted on what Microsoft calls a “zero-gravity hinge” – a spring-loaded dual-hinge bracket that allows the screen to face up for traditional desktop use, or down (similar to that of a drafting table) for comfortable drawing and designing. Surface Studio 2 comes with Surface Pen, an excellent stylus that can reach 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt support, enabling an on-screen drawing and writing experience very natural. Available with an Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD, and an Nvidia RTX A2000 GPU for $2200.

Raspberry Pi 4B

All-in-one desktop computer for creative work, the Raspberry Pi 4B

Raspberry Pi has been the de facto cheap single board computer for over a decade now, and the latest Model 4B is the most powerful yet. Starting at just $35 for the 2GB model, the Pi can function as a web server, dedicated gaming emulation device, educational PC for kids, media center hub, and more. It uses a 1.5GHz Broadcom processor/GPU combo and features four USB 3 ports, two micro HDMI ports (with support for 4K displays), a Gigabit Ethernet port, and a microSD card slot. Beyond traditional computing or media hub functions, the beauty of the Pi has always been its flexibility: if you’re looking for a small computer to power your DIY robot or custom Internet of Things (IoT) device, it’s hard to find a best fit. . More recently, the 8GB model was released, with enough RAM for serious computing and productivity work.

Chuwi Herobox

All-in-one desktop computer for creative work, theChuwi Herobox

Something of a compromise between the deep flexibility of the Raspberry Pi and the plug-and-play ease of use of a traditional desktop PC, the Chuwi HeroBox Pro maintains a low profile (7.36″ x 5.43″ x 1.46″; 3.1 lbs), letting it slide onto even the smallest of desks (or easily mount via VESA brackets). It’s built with low-power components, capable of “Run Windows 10 while keeping overall power consumption below 10 watts. It’s not designed for gaming or heavy creative work, but it can run basic productivity apps or be used as a home entertainment system. Plus, it can be oriented horizontally or vertically, and given its small size and VESA compliance, it’s a great PC to use for running a digital signage or gallery setup.