Apple pioneered the all-in-one, single box computer, but today PCs have begun making more of the one piece wonders in an effort to compete for market share.
Apple’s first computer that combined a monitor and processing unit came out in 1984. Apple then moved the product up a notch with the popular and colorful iMac in 1998. Today, Apple has one computer which fits into a 7.4-inch aluminum flat-panel monitor case.
PCs evolved along the monitor-and-tower configuration. Their parts generated a lot of heat and required big cases and fans. With new, cooler parts, PCs can now be made in the all-in-one design.
The Gateway One has all of its parts put into its 3.6-inch-thick flat-panel monitor case. It comes with a wireless mouse, keyboard, and remote for $1,300 to $1,800. (Business Week’s Stephen Wildstrom, says he likes the iMac much better.)
Sony has launched its Vaio LT PC/TV, which has its parts tucked into a flat-panel monitor that can be hung on the wall.
Hewlett-Packard is updating its TouchSmart PC which has touch-activated screen.
Quoted in USA Today, tech analyst Roger Kay at Endpoint Technologies Associates says all-in-ones make up only about 2 percent of the worldwide PC market. Wireless technologies make them look nice in a room since they need no cords on the keyboard, mouse, or printer.
Because there’s little difference between a flat-panel computer monitor and a flat-panel TV, an all-in-one could serve both purposes in a kitchen or living room.