Looking for a new All-in-One PC.

Currently have an HP 21" all in one that having issues. So shopping around it seems today’s units no longer incorporate a DVD RW drive. Is that now standard, or maybe non-standard these days.

Or maybe I’m overlooking it in the write ups. I know they make external DVD drives and maybe that’s the expectation today.

A little additional research indicates that some have dvd drives and some don’t. I see almost identical model with that being the only noticeable difference.


Built in optical drives are an endangered species. If you decide on a machine without, external optical drives can be had for under $20. They’re pretty handy. Blu ray is still pricey though.

I haven’t used an optical drive in a long while. I don’t like AIO PCs because you can’t mix and match and if they fail you have to replace everything. If you don’t game, get yourself an Intel NUC and a decent monitor.

In the back my cupboard I have a box with a large quantity of DVDs containing data, backups, software, movies, etc. and blank DVD RWs.

It’s been at least 3 years since I’ve put a disk into the drive on my computer. Probably in another couple of years I’ll throw the box out.

Optical drives have had their day, like floppy disks, video tapes, and audio cassettes. External USB drives with terabytes of capacity are cheap, convenient, fast, and reliable.

The reason for the All in One is location. It sits on what would normally be a breakfast shelf on the back of the kitchen island.

We have an open Floorplan and this is adjacent to the family room.

My wife likes to sit there and play mahjong etc while I watch TV.

I use it for email, light duty photo work website updates, and of course the Straight Dope.

I have a much more powerful tower downstairs for Adobe CC etc.

Considering switching to Mac, but the cost is considerably higher of course.

Would an iPad suit your needs there, perhaps? Or one of the Surface tablets?

My wife would not like that at all.

I did make a purchase today. A Dell all in one. 23" touch screen, 1TB drive, 12 gig ram, and i7 processor.

Now I’ll spend a few days installing Adobe creative cloud, office 365 etc and making it look like the old one. I had 11K photos on the old PC.

I ordered a similar Dell AIO a week ago; it’s on the FedEx truck for delivery today. :slight_smile:

I went with an Inspiron with a 27" touch screen*, a 256GB solid state boot drive and 1TB storage drive, 16GB of RAM, and the i7 processor. I do still rip/burn CDs from time to time, but I already had an external drive and decided I won’t mind connecting that when I have to.

An “HDMI In” port was harder to find than I expected: nearly all of the models have “HDMI Out,” for multiple screens, but I want to be able to connect my work laptop to the display when I’m working from home.

In my case, I decided that’s an acceptable risk. I expect the hard drive to fail before the display fails, but I don’t expect the hard drive to fail for 8-10 years (based on my current laptop’s age) – at which point I figure I won’t really mind replacing the whole thing. For me, the pros of the form factor outweigh that con.

*I don’t think I’ll ever use the “touch” part, but non-touch wasn’t an option. Who knows, though: I plan/hope to keep this system for a long time, and maybe some features will emerge that make me glad I have a touch screen.

I advise against a Surface. I got one and it had to be replaced under warranty less than a year later (charger stopped charging). So reinstall everything, a half day’s work. TeX, the main program I use, took about 2 1/2 hours to install. Then less than a year ago it suddenly froze and simply could not be rescued despite repeated attempts. Finally had to reinstall the OS from the cloud, losing everything. It was backed up but it still took a several hours to install and then another few for TeX. Not a well-engineered machine. And extremely awkward to use on a lap.

As I mentioned, an all in one is mostly for the form factor. It sits on a counter with no space for a tower. I did add an additional 4 gig of memory for a total of 12 gig. Photoshop and lightroom are pretty fast so I’m happy. And the wife is happy as well. And that’s important.

I’ve been using Dropbox on old PC, phone and tablet. Playing with One Drive now. If you’ve used both which do you like best. It’s still uploading files. Takes a long time.

Unless that’s a solid state drive, you’ve made a big mistake. Mechanical drives are totally obsolete.

I’m 72, it’s likely to outlast me.

No they aren’t. I can get a 1TB mechanical HD for under $40. The same size in a SSD will run me $200. I’ll happily deal with the shiny spinning platters, to save myself that much. Especially since it’s been a coon’s age since I’ve had a mechanical hard drive actually fail. GaryM got a system to sit on a shelf in his kitchen. In a stationary system, there isn’t a good reason to pay the extra for an SSD.

I did buy a portable SSD that will be delivered tomorrow. I use Lightroom/Photoshop on two computers and moving/keeping all my photo files on an external drive seems to be a good way to go. Lightroom does not like it if files are moved or deleted. From what I’ve been reading the external drive solves that problem.

Liking the new all in one just fine so far. Thanks for everyone’s replies.

That was going to be my response, too. SSDs are still far from the default, and mechanical drives are far from obsolete. Of the AIOs I recently researched, only the most expensive configurations offered an SSD at all – and even then it was only as the boot drive.

Alright, perhaps totally obsolete goes a bit too far for the time being but I do think OP made a mistake. Upgrading the boot drive to solid state is the easiest and cheapest way to get noticeably better performance. He bought a RAM upgrade and went with the i7 processor so performance is on his mind. He also doesn’t seem very price sensitive. Use a large spinning disk for content and media files but SSD is the way to go for the primary drive.

There were people arguing how much better/cheaper their horse was over automobiles or lanterns over electric lighting in 1910. We’ve reached a point where mechatronic drives are horses and lanterns. Some may have been justified in choosing the older stuff at the time but it won’t be long before HDDs aren’t even available any more. There are plenty of other more mundane things like this. Tube televisions/monitors, carburetors, floppy disks, analog devices of many types from cameras to radios with tuning knobs to calculators.

My newest computer has an SSD drive. It is crazy faster than my most recent previous computer, which had the same amount of RAM, and a fairly good processor; the newer one has a better processor, so I was expecting more speed, but not this much more. Everything is instantaneous.

My tower has a SSD for boot and it is pretty fast. It’s 2 years old. And if I were replacing a tower I’d go the same way again.

But for my location I needed an all in one or a notebook. And to me the notebook has no advantage over the all in one with its 23" touch screen.

I’m the past I’d had a Toshiba notebook in this location and it’s footprint was huge with a smaller screen than even my older all in one PC.

I wanted the additional RAM so I can have multiple image files open for editing.

Working fine so far. Tomorrow I transfer all my image files to the incoming portable SSD so I can edit on either PC.