Power, good looks, and cool touch screens — we’re talking the next step in PC management here with more versatile kiosks! And it’s not just for the lab environment anymore.
Many colleges and universities use all-in-one PC units in their lab, others are experimenting with them as kiosk replacements. The technology in all-in-one PCs began with Apple’s iMac — but PCs have matured to the point where they offer the same types of features as standard PCs in a smaller form. All-in-one PCs eliminate all the wires hanging everywhere, and have fewer parts. Fewer parts mean there is less that can go wrong and they’re easier to troubleshoot. Most units feature touch displays, built-in wireless connectivity, integrated webcams, and built-in microphones.
All-in-one PCs lend themselves to a student union where people can access information, find out what’s happening around campus, and get information related to college (admissions, enrollment, etc…) in an open area kiosk set-up. However, unlike traditional kiosk solutions that cost thousands of dollars, you can get all-in-one PCs for under $1,000.
Another potential use for All-in-one PCs is the library. Here, students can find books, access pay-per-use Internet research sources, use units as a job-search tool, online testing during proctored exams, and access campus-related links to events and resources.
All-in-one PCs are more efficient, easier-to-manage devices. They’re more compact and have fewer moving parts — making for easier maintenance and troubleshooting. Although most have standard features, there are some differences among products. Over time, standardization (components and features) is expected to drive prices down even further.
There are limitations, though. All-in-one PCs place more of an emphasis on looks and lifestyle than they do on raw processor power which doesn’t lend itself to record-breaking score on the latest 3D games–they’re just not powerful enough. (see Pionneau, 2011 at http://www.digitalversus.com/computer/reviews-all-in-one-computers-a475.html)
For more reviews on all-in-one PCs, see some of the following links:
- Top Ten Reviews: All-in-One PCs at http://all-in-one-pc-review.toptenreviews.com/
- About.com Best All-in-One at http://compreviews.about.com/od/allinonepcs/tp/AllInOnePCs.htm
- a slightly old (2009) but still very informative article from PCWorld at http://www.pcworld.com/article/168576/allinone_pcs_with_a_touch_of_style.html