Back to School 2013 - All in One PC

The following post is sponsored by Best Buy. Head over to Best Buy for your back to school needs.

Yeah, I know for some lucky readers, school isn’t in session for yet another couple of months. Regardless of whether you start next month, in two months or are already in school, it helps to plan ahead to and keep an eye on great back-to-school offers. So we’re doing our best here to narrow down the selection choices. We’ve already covered mini-tablets, high-end laptopsbudget all-in-one PCs (under $600) and we will have much more through the next couple months.

We’ve selected our favorite “mid-range” all-in-one desktop PCs, in the $600-$900 price range. While the budget all-in-ones do not offer much in terms of touch-screen options, the mid-range market is flooded with many choices with 1TB hard drives, at least 4GB RAM, plenty of USB ports, DVD burners and much more.

Toshiba 21.5-inch (LX815D1310): 4GB RAM, 1TB HD

MSRP: $688.99

The LX815D1310 is not the most highly spec’d unit in this class, but it is one of the least expensive. Priced below $700 bucks, you still get 4 GB of RAM, 1TB HD space, and a 21.5-inch LED display (1920×1080 resolution). The only thing this unit lacks that all the others in our selection is touch-screen functionality. If you want your Windows 8 device to sport touch-screen capability you will have to look at shelling out an extra hundred bucks or so or consider pairing down some other specs (RAM, hard drive, processor) for a model that includes it. Despite the lack of touch-screen abilities, the LX815D1310 is a pretty sweet device, the all black design is really sharp and it also includes wireless keyboard and mouse. all for under $700.

Height 15.5 inches
Width 20.25 inches
Depth 2 inches
Weight 13.4 lbs
Processor 2.4 GHz Intel® Pentium® processor B980
System Memory (RAM) 4GB DDR3 RAM, expandable up to 16GB
Hard Drive Type 1TB SATA (7200 rpm)
Graphics Intel® HD Graphics 2500
Screen Size 21.5-inch LED-Backlit (1920 x1080)
Webcam Yes
Network Card Built-in 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet LAN
Wireless Networking Built-in 802.11b/g/n wireless LAN
Recordable DVD Drive DL DVD±RW/CD-RW
Media Card Reader 6-in-1 media reader: SD, SDHC, MMC
USB Ports 2 USB 3.0 (2 side); 2 USB 2.0 (rear)
Operating System Windows 8 64-Bit
HDMI Output No, even though the stock images show an HDMI port
Touch-screen No
Tilt Yes

Lenovo C540 Touch 23-inch (C540 Touch – 57317003): 4GB of RAM, 1TB HD

MSRP: $719.99

I don’t know what it is, but I’m a big fan of the Lenovo all-in-one design. I’m guessing it’s the stand/feet. It reminds me of some 1920′s era, world of tomorrow, Jetsons-like detailing.  At any rate, this unit is the larger screen, higher spec’d, touch-screen version of similar models we choose in the budget (under $600) class. This unit does not include a wireless keyboard or mouse, so, sorry you’ll have to live tethered, but it does sport a larger display, 23-inches at 1920 x 1080 resolution, 6 USB 2.0 ports, wowzers, and i3 3.4GHz Intel processor. Not bad for a unit with a price tag just a tad north of $700.

Height 18.9 inches
Width 23.1 inches
Depth 4.2 inches
Weight 13.4 lbs
Processor 3.4 GHz Intel® Pentium® processor B980
System Memory (RAM) 4GB DDR3 RAM, expandable up to 16GB
Hard Drive Type 1TB SATA (7200 rpm)
Graphics Intel® HD Graphics 2500
Screen Size 21.5-inch LED-Backlit (1920 x1080)
Webcam Yes
Network Card Built-in 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet LAN
Wireless Networking Built-in 802.11b/g/n wireless LAN
Recordable DVD Drive Yes
Media Card Reader 6-in-1 media reader
USB Ports 6 USB 2.0 (2 side, 4 rear)
Operating System Windows 8 64-Bit
HDMI Output No, even though the stock images show an HDMI port
Touch-screen Yes
Tilt Yes

 

Dell Inspiron One 23-inch (IO2330-2746BK): 6GB of RAM and 1TB HD 

MSRP: $899.99

The Dell Inspiron One 23-inch touch-screen all-in-one desktop PC sits at the top of the moderate price range units. The retail price sneaks in under $900, but it is definitely worthy of the price point.  The Inspiron touts a 23-inch touch-screen display, includes wireless keyboard and mouse, 6 USB ports (including 4 USB 3.0), and 6GB of RAM, while most in this category sport just 4GB. One drawback though is the RAM is only upgradable up to 8GB, but for most users this will not be an issue. If you’re looking for more RAM you’d likely select a different model or may be more inclined to build your own desktop.  The Inspiron One most replicates the look of the Apple iMac, especially with the silver stand/brace in the back. While the Inspiron does not come with an HDMI port it does come with a VGA port, so you could add on an additional monitor for some dual screen action.

Height 15.2 inches
Width 22.6 inches
Depth 2.p inches
Weight 16.2 lbs
Processor 3.4 GHz 3rd Gen i3-3240 Intel® Core processor
System Memory (RAM) 6GB DDR3 RAM, expandable up to 8GB
Hard Drive Type 1TB SATA (7200 rpm)
Graphics Intel® HD Graphics
Screen Size 23-inch LED-Backlit (1920 x1080)
Webcam Yes
Network Card Built-in 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet LAN
Wireless Networking Built-in 802.11b/g/n wireless LAN
Recordable DVD Drive DVD±RW/CD-RW
Media Card Reader 8-in-1 media reader: Supports Secure Digital, Secure Digital High Capacity, SDXC, microSD, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, MultiMediaCard and xD-Picture
USB Ports 4 USB 3.0 (2 side, 2 rear); 2 USB 2.0 (rear)
Operating System Windows 8 64-Bit
HDMI Output No
Touch-screen Yes
Tilt Yes

 Acer Aspire 23-inch (A5600U-UB12): 4GB RAM and 1TB Hard Drive

MSRP: $899.99

The Acer Aspire arguably sports one of the more intriguing designs in all-in-one desktops. The design reminds me of the UHDTV sets we saw at CES earlier this year, with glass panes that surround the bezel of the display. Though the manufacturer’s price starts at just under $900 the discounted price brings the total price just around $800. The Acer Aspire fits in line with the rest of the models in this price range, you’ll get the standard 4GB RAM, expandable up to 16 GB, 1TB of storage capacity, and 2.5 GHz i3 Intel Core processor, touch-screen, and all the bells and whistles.

Height 16.4 inches
Width 22.6 inches
Depth 1.4 inches
Weight 15.8 lbs
Processor 2.5 GHz 3rd Gen Intel® Core processor
System Memory (RAM) 4GB DDR3 RAM, expandable up to 16GB
Hard Drive Type 1TB SATA (7200 rpm)
Graphics Intel® HD
Screen Size 23-inch LED-Backlit (1920 x1080)
Webcam Yes, 2.0 MP
Network Card Built-in 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet LAN
Wireless Networking Built-in 802.11b/g/n wireless LAN
Recordable DVD Drive DL DVD±RW/CD-RW
Media Card Reader Multi-in-1 media reader: Secure Digital, Secure Digital High Capacity, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO Duo, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo and MultiMediaCard
USB Ports 2 USB 3.0 (2 side); 2 USB 2.0 (rear)
Operating System Windows 8 64-Bit
HDMI Output No, even though the stock images show an HDMI port
Touch-screen Yes
Tilt Yes