All-in-One PC

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The iMac is an example of a modern-day all-in-one computer.

An All-in-One computer (or AIO) is a personal computer that houses every internal and external hardware component, excluding the keyboard and mouse, inside of the monitor's case. However, AIOs have commonly included built-in keyboards as a main component in the past. Many personal computers from the 1980's, such as the Atari 800, Commodore 64, and the Macintosh 128 and Macintosh 512, were AIOs. The form factor was continued by Apple's Mac Classic and Mac Color Classic computers and later re-popularized by the iMac, which was first released in 1998.

[edit] History

The first all-in-one desktop computer was the HP 9830, introduced by Hewlett Packard in 1972.[1] The computer's small display resembled that of a calculator's, and a keyboard was included as the unit's main source of input. The 9830 was marketed primarily to scientists and engineers, leading to its obscurity. The first successful mainstream AIO came in the form of the Commodore PET in 1977.[2] The original PET model came stock with a small keyboard and 9" blue and white monitor, both integrated directly into the computer.

[edit] Design

All-in-one computers are often designed to contain the same components and features as regular desktop computers, including floppy drives, CD-ROM drives, and USB ports. However, many AIOs do not include audio amplification circuitry. An external device is usually required if one wishes to use standard unpowered speakers to achieve louder, or higher quality, audio reproduction.

Presently, AIOs share many design considerations with laptops. Apple's iMac, for instance, uses a laptop CPU, which limits its front side bus.[3] Because of the limited amount of space in an AIO's case, they often cannot accommodate hotter processors or other heat-intensive components, such as high-end graphics cards. Additionally, they tend to offer fewer expandibility options, such as extra internal hard drive bays or expansion slots, due to size limitations.

[edit] References

  1. Personal Computer Milestones Blinkenlights Archaeological Institute. [1]
  2. The Amazing Commodore PET by Ian Matthews (Feb 22, 2003) [2]
  3. iMac Technical Specifications (Late 2006) [3]
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