- HP all-in-one computers combine the desktop and monitor into one piece of equipment, saving space and reducing cable clutter.
- All-in-one computers have limited display options and cannot be easily swapped out for a different screen size or resolution.
- HP all-in-one computers are generally less powerful than desktops or laptops all while being the more expensive option.
If you have started to look for a new HP computer, you are basically choosing between 3 different options.
The first and arguably the most popular computer is a laptop, while the second most popular is a desktop, which requires you to add your own monitor, keyboard, and mouse. The third option, the HP all-in-one solution, is something of a combination of the second choice where the desktop and monitor are combined to make one complete system. You still have to add a mouse and keyboard, but an all-in-one can take up significantly less space overall.
However, even though the attractive design of an all-in-one might look like the right choice for you, there are definitely some considerations and some compromises you need to consider.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at 7 reasons why you might want to avoid an HP all-in-one today.
What is an All-in-One Computer?
As indicated above, an all-in-one computer is a piece of equipment where PC manufacturers can save space on your desk by combining the desktop and monitor into one piece of equipment. This is very attractive to many people, especially those working with limited desk space who want to maximize what they have for greater productivity.
The other highlight is that an all-in-one also can limit the number of cables necessary since you don’t have separate cables between a monitor and desktop hardware, so cable organization can also get a boost from this type of machine.
However, all-in-one computers are not perfect and it’s important to know their disadvantages so you can make an educated decision on whether they are right for you.
The Top 7 Reasons to Avoid an HP All-in-One Computer
#1: Harder to Upgrade
One of the primary reasons why a desktop computer is so popular is because they are easily upgradeable, especially in the case of gaming computers. For many people, having the opportunity to upgrade their desktop computer over time allows them to add more RAM or storage space at a fraction of the cost of a new computer.
In the case of HP all-in-one computers, the internal components are likely soldered down, so even basic upgrades like adding more RAM may not even be possible. What’s more is that by attempting to do these upgrades, you may also be voiding the warranty, which can put your wallet at risk in the event anything goes wrong.
Even if you buy a top-of-the-line all-in-one today, there is a good chance it will be somewhat outdated in a few years leaving you wanting more power, which means it’s a new computer altogether or sticking with the same hardware you received initially.
#2: One Display for All Time
In the case of an all-in-one, you get one monitor included as part of the package and that is the monitor you must use for all time. While you can add additional monitors for extra workspace and productivity opportunities, you are never going to be able to swap out the initial screen your HP all-in-one comes with.
Because of this, you have to make absolutely sure the screen or display you are purchasing initially is the exact screen size you are okay with using 12, 24, and potentially even 36 months down the road.
As you cannot replace this screen with a higher resolution or even a larger size at all, it should be emphasized again you have to be absolutely certain you have enough screen real estate to last you at least a few years of ownership.
#3: Less Powerful Overall
When you purchase an all-in-one HP computer, you are doing so with the notion that it is likely less powerful than a comparably priced desktop or even a laptop. In order to create an all-in-one PC, there must be some compromises with space to accommodate all of the components within a smaller chassis than you would have with a desktop. However, you are still using desktop-class components and therefore need to find ways to make ideal use of limited space.
The compromise here is that you sometimes have less powerful processors and graphics cards because they need to be sized just right to fit in a tight space. The side effect of this is that you also have to factor in heat dissipation as there is less room inside an all-in-one computer for total airflow.
For any PC manufacturer, HP included, streamlining the design of an all-in-one might seem attractive on the surface, but the nature of the limited space may also require leaving out better components. This is one of the reasons why all-in-one machines are generally never considered good for gaming. You will rarely see a quality GPU inside of an all-in-one machine.
#4: More Costly
Another big reason for skipping the HP all-in-one is the cost associated with these machines compared to a laptop or desktop. For a desktop, in particular, you are almost assuredly getting more for your money with either an off-the-shelf model or a build-it-yourself approach with a desktop PC.
Not only can building a PC or buying one from manufacturers like HP be more cost-effective, but you will also get a more powerful piece of equipment, which speaks directly to the #3 reason around all-in-ones being less powerful overall.
Ideally, you can put together a desktop and monitor combination for less money overall than you would with an all-in-one. Sure, you sacrifice some cord management benefits but the reality is that you’ll have more money in your pocket to pick up a better mechanical keyboard and a wireless mouse.
#5: Bad for Gaming
With the exception of a machine like the HP Envy, there are very few HP all-in-one models that are powerful enough to handle a true gaming experience. The reality is that you’re more likely to get an Intel Iris or Intel UHD graphics card with an all-in-one computer instead of an NVIDIA GeForce GTX/RTX model.
What this means is that you can only expect to play very minimal “A” rated games and even they might be pushing what your HP all-in-one can handle. At the very least, to properly play AA games and above, you need a discrete GPU, which the HP ENVY all-in-one supports with the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650. The thing is, the HP ENVY is the exception and not the rule for HP all-in-one computers.
Even with the potential to play some games on the HP ENVY, the overall argument is that all-in-one computers are not designed with gaming in mind. This again goes back to the idea of poor airflow in the confined space of an all-in-one chassis and PC gamers know that airflow is not something that can be ignored.
#6: Difficult Repairs
In the same line of thinking that you have difficulty upgrading HP all-in-one components, the same goes for repairs. If something inside your all-in-one breaks, there is a good chance that you will be unable to replace any single individual part. Instead, you likely need to replace a combination of parts, which means DIY fixes are likely off the table for all but the most knowledgeable computer engineers.
Instead, you are likely now forced to send your PC in for repair or take it somewhere like a Best Buy Geek Squad and pay whatever fees they are charging for repairs. Even if you are under warranty or have an extended warranty from a retailer like Best Buy, you are still without your computer the whole time even a minimal repair will take.
Desktop and laptop repairs are often easier because the components are individualized, which means they are not attached to other components within a computer chassis. This means repair timing can be longer than normal with an all-in-one, which means lost productivity and potential revenue for you.
#7: Shorter Lifespan
As the culmination of a lot of the reasons that come before this one, the reality is that an HP all-in-one likely has a shorter lifespan than a traditional desktop or laptop. One of the biggest reasons is limited airflow as there is not enough heat dissipation around all-in-one computer components, which could lead to more wear and tear over time than you would find with a desktop or laptop.
Because of this concern, there is a stronger likelihood that you may end up needing to buy a new computer after 3-4 years, which is likely 1-2 years shorter than a laptop or traditional desktop would last. This means your overall cost of ownership with an HP all-in-one can be higher than with a regular desktop, and this is before you even factor in the higher potential cost of any repairs that take place during ownership.
Although HP all-in-one computers may be sleek and refined and take up less overall desk space, the shorter lifespan is an absolute consideration that must be factored in before purchase.
Best Alternatives to HP All-in-One Computers
#1 Best Overall: Lenovo IdeaCentre 5 Gaming Desktop
Providing you with the best of both worlds around productivity and entertainment, the Lenovo IdeaCentre 5 Gaming Desktop is the best desktop available today.
Available with 16GB of RAM, 3TB of storage in total, and a 12th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, you shouldn’t have any issues powering through your daily tasks with this computer. Best of all, everything around the Lenovo IdeaCentre 5 is upgradeable, so you can easily make updates on your own down the road to keep the Lenovo as up-to-date as you and your wallet desire.
For gaming, the inclusion of an NVIDIA GeForce RTX3060 ensures that you can play the latest AA and AAA games, with plenty of storage for installation. While you’ll likely want to upgrade the included keyboard and mouse, they are included, which is one more reason why the Lenovo IdeaCentre 5 is a standout alternative to the world of HP all-in-one computers.
Check out the Lenovo IdeaCentre 5 Gaming Desktop on Amazon.
Best Laptop: Dell XPS 13
For laptop fans out there who don’t want to go down the HP all-in-one road, the Dell XPS 13 is the best alternative available with Windows today.
The Dell XPS 13 9310 laptop is an outstanding choice for anyone who wants the best combination of portability and performance on the Windows side. Paired with an 11th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage, you have everything you need to be productive and then some.
Best of all, the Dell XPS 13 offers one of the best laptop screens around with a 3456 x 2160p resolution, which is essentially 3.5K. Plus, it’s a touchscreen. The end result is that not only does the Dell XPS 13 perform well, but it looks great while you are performing even the most trivial tasks like updating software.
Take a look at the Dell XPS 13 on Amazon.
Reasons to Avoid an HP All-in-One Computer: Summary
|#1: Harder to upgrade
|Unfortunately, because of the way these computers are put together, upgrades are very difficult.
|#2: Only one display
|While you can add more monitors, you can’t swap out the included option.
|#3: Less power
|Any HP all-in-one is likely to be less powerful than a comparably priced desktop or laptop.
|#4: More expensive
|Similarly, an HP all-in-one is more expensive than a comparably priced desktop or laptop.
|#5: Not good for gaming
|If you want a gaming computer, an HP all-in-one is not for you.
|#6: Difficult to repair
|Along with being more difficult to upgrade, HP all-in-one computers are equally difficult to repair.
|#7: Short lifespan
|Because they are both hard to upgrade and difficult to repair, HP all-in-one computers have a shorter overall lifespan.
There is no question that HP all-in-one computers are sleek and can work great for many professional and personal use cases. These are also great computers for taking up as small an amount of space as possible on your desk, which is great for people who value organization. The same goes for limiting the number of cords lying around.
Unfortunately, the HP all-in-one benefits may very well be outweighed by the above 7 reasons it is not worth being your next computer.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Ken Wolter/Shutterstock.com.