All-in-One PCs: Desktops are becoming an extension of the virtual world

For decades now, classic tower PCs have been an ever-present feature on our desks, with their design remaining largely unchanged. The real evolution has been seen in hardware components and software. However, in the last few years there has been an important change in the industry, with particular attention being paid to the design and creation of more compact PCs. Design has been at the forefront of these ideas. All-in-One PCs are the result of this continuing development — some of them already offer a glimpse of the future, a future where our desks are an extension of the virtual world, where hardware and software are combined to create a revolutionary user experience.

The birth of All-in-One (AIO) computers can be traced back to the mid-1970s, when manufacturers such as Olivetti, HP and IBM decided to create PCs that were considered innovative at the time due to the fact that their display and central unit were contained within a single assembly. Although these computers were cumbersome, this historic moment represented an important step forward.

Technological evolution has of course aided this transformation process. Smaller and more powerful hardware components, new production methods and ultra-thin displays constitute the key driving force behind this continued evolution. It’s no coincidence that many people now consider tower PCs, with their numerous cables and connected devices, to be nothing more than a distant memory.

The desk as a creative digital space

All-in-One PCs are the main subject of a new chapter in the story of IT. In fact, by introducing brand-new technology, certain companies have discovered unique solutions that are revolutionizing interactions between people and machines. Examples of this evolution include the Microsoft Surface Studio and HP Sprout Pro, All-in-One PCs, which currently contain sixth-generation Intel Core processors. The launch of the HP Sprout G2 has already been announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, based directly on a seventh-generation Intel Core i7 processor that will be available soon.

In terms of details, the Microsoft Surface Studio sets itself apart thanks to its 28-inch touchscreen display—just 12.5 millimeters thick—and its Zero Gravity Hinge, which allows you to transform your desk into a studio from which you can express your creativity with the aid of Surface Dial — a particularly ingenious accessory.

Surface Dial is a wireless device that allows the user to take advantage of an advanced control system while providing haptic feedback through its built-in vibration system. For example, rotating Surface Dial allows you to quickly scroll through articles and web pages, change the volume in third-party apps, access links quickly and much more. Compared to the classic combination of keyboard and mouse, the cohesion between pen, finger and Surface Dial shows signs of being the next evolutionary step in the interactions between people and machines. In this field, Surface Dial has unlimited potential.

HP Sprout Pro also includes a unique function called HP Illuminator. This product is the result of the integration of multiple technologies. It has an extension above the screen, which includes a high-resolution 14-megapixel camera, an Intel RealSense 3D camera, an LED light and a built-in projector with 20-point Touch Mat. This Touch Mat is a natural extension of the digital world, as it is not simply a mouse pad, but creates a multifunction surface as well.

All of these elements combine to transform the HP Sprout Pro into a PC that you can use to scan everyday objects in 3D. Alternatively, the built-in projector can transform your desktop into a second screen that you can interact with, using either the pen provided or your finger. 

Minimal clutter, great functionality and no more cables 

Microsoft Surface Studio and HP Sprout Pro are two state-of-the-art computers. Their main strengths lie in their ability to provide the means for more natural interaction as well as the possibility of extending virtual spaces into the physical world.

Combining modern design and hardware with greater performance in a much smaller space, alongside new methods and tools for interaction, represents an important shift in perspective when compared to the past. Regardless of whether you are looking for a low- or high-spec AIO, there is a wide choice of models with Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 processors available. There are also real workstations with Intel Xeon E3 v5, in which hardware is encased in a very small space and powered with a single cable. 

All-in-One: A new way of interacting with technology

The evolution of the classic PC tower to All-in-Ones is a natural process emerging from the combination of mobile devices and the world of the desktop. This evolution does not come as a surprise, as many people use a touchscreen more often than a mouse on a daily basis. As a result, the methods of interaction between people and technology have changed over the past few years. This progress has been adapted to the world of the desktop PC, with Microsoft Surface Studio and HP Sprout Pro being the main exponents of the revolution.

In the not-too-distant future, All-in-Ones will turn our computing areas into places where we can work in perfect harmony with the real and virtual worlds. Considering these developments, the future of computing is likely to be rich in innovation, with Intel Inside All-in-Ones forming a vital part of this industry.

by Alberto Marini

Photo Credits:

All-in-One PC

Microsoft Surface Studio All-in-One PC

Microsoft Surface Dial

HP Sprout Pro

HP Sprout Pro interaction

Microsoft Surface Studio design

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