All-in-One PCs - History of the Desktop
All-in-One (AiO) computer designs evolved into alternative computer industrial designs with the intent to reduce the space required by typical desktop or tower computers. In some way, AiOs represented a bridge product between desktop and notebook PCs, as they could be easily packed up and transported from A to B. An early example was the Commodore PET from 1977. These devices followed the idea of space consolidation where the computer hardware was either integrated into the monitor or keyboard housing. Apple's iMac, released in 1998, has been the most disruptive product in this segment with updated designs still being available today and no end in sight. All major PC makers have offered AiO PC designs, but frequently abandoned them again as one major downside of AiOs has been their proprietary design and, as a result, lack of upgradeability, even if more recent computers started using off-the-shelf hardware to address this problem. The growing significance of touchscreens indicates that we could be seeing more AiO designs with such screens in the near future again.