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Looking for opinions/advice on "all in one" computer
Thread poster: Rosa Maria Duenas Rios
Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:48
Jul 12, 2005

I am a fan of "all in one" computers. I started with an IBM Netvista x40; I now have a Gateway Profile 4 whose video card just blew for the second time in four years. I do not trust Gateway anymore, and I am thus on the look for something else. I have been browsing, and came across some old Sony VAIOs (pcv vxxxg series), which apparently are now only sold refurbished. The new PC-TV Sony models look great, but do not have floppy slots anymore, and thi is something is still need/want. There is an MPC Client PRO 414 of which I had never heard of. If you have experience with any "all in one" PCs, I would love to hear your comments. I am looking for a 17 inches monitor or larger...

I already know all about their downsides (no possibility for expansion, only being able to get service through manufacturer, etc.) I have had long discussions about this with friends, and I have not changed my mind. I am looking for the best "all in one" in the market, one that I will not have to send back to the manufacturer every two years... if such thing exists...

Why? I relocate frequently, and I find laptops hard on my eyes, so I pack the "all in one" in its box, and take it with me as lugagge wherever I go.

I am also open to suggestions on laptops that have large, excellent quality screens, but that do not cost more than $2K.

Thanks in advance for your assistance!

[Edited at 2005-07-12 20:42]

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Stefanie Sendelbach  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:48
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
Floppy Drive Jul 12, 2005

Hello Rosa Maria,

If the only reason why you do not want to go for a Sony VAIO would be that it does not come with a floppy drive, you can simply get an external floppy drive that you plug into the VAIO's USB slot. I think external floppy drives are quite small and not too expensive.

I do not use floppy disks anymore, but save everything on a memory stick (if I want to take my data somewhere) or on an external hard drive. Using a USB memory stick/hard drive is usually much faster than a floppy disk. And I think it is also more reliable.

In my opinion, a floppy drive only uses up unnecessary space in the computer. Without it, your computer can be lighter and smaller, which is especially important if you travel a lot.

Well, just an idea.

Good luck,

[Edited at 2005-07-12 21:46]

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German Services
Local time: 04:48
English to German
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Why not a laptop Jul 12, 2005

Rosa Maria Duenas Rios wrote:

I am also open to suggestions on laptops that have large, excellent quality screens, but that do not cost more than $2K.

Why don't you get yourself the laptop of your liking and buy a high quality monitor for it (a flat panel is easily transported).
If you move around a lot, nothing beats a laptop. Buy a screen (dual screen setup is very nice!), an external keyboard and mouse (to protect the laptop itself) and you are all set. For 2000 US$, you can get a great system.

In my opinion, the so-called all-in-one computer you want is a thing of the past.

I have had very good experiences with Compaq laptops (others hate them ).
When buying a laptop, go for a big brand name and get a good warranty plan: You should be able to get a replacement anytime to not interrupt your work flow.

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Rosa Maria Duenas Rios  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:48
Floppy versus sticks Jul 12, 2005

Hi Stefanie,
Thanks for your advice. A few clients of mine send floppys from time to time and that is why I wanted to keep the option. I was not sure if the new VAIOs would support it, but apparently the floppy drive can be inserted into one of their ports. Do you havea a VAIO? Are you satisfied with it? Thanks again!

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Valentina Pecchiar  Identity Verified
English to Italian
+ ...
Acer Aspire 1700 Jul 13, 2005

Rosa Maria Duenas Rios wrote:

I am a fan of "all in one" computers.
am looking for a 17 inches monitor or larger...
I am also open to suggestions on laptops that have large, excellent quality screens, but that do not cost more than $2K.


Faced with the same issues as you (used at "all in one" solutions, needing a big clear screen, frequent relocation etc.) that's what I got 2 yrs ago.

Not really a laptop, with its 7 kg (cables not included), it still has the portability of a laptop. My model (Aspire 1703SC) came with a huge (for a laptop) 80GB HD, 4 USB ports, 2 firewire ports, one PS/2 port (I attach my language keyboard to it and have a mouse connected to one of the USB ports), Ethernet, etc., floppy and DVD/CD-RW - all the bells and frills you get on an average desktop, even the numeric pad!

Of course the battery of such a monster does not last very long but then it seats on my desk and close to the wall outlets all the time, so it doesn't really bother me.

Back then it cost about 1600 euro.

[Edited at 2005-07-13 02:38]

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Nazim Aziz Gokdemir  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:48
English to Turkish
+ ...
Laptop solutions Jul 13, 2005

Hello, Rosi.

I don't have any all-in-one recommendations, but I'd suggest a 16" screeen laptop; a custom, foldable stand to bring the display to eye level; and external keyboard/mouse. It would seem to me that this would still give you good portability during moves -- and you'd end up with a laptop in the bargain. Normally I'd suggest an external LCD display as well, but that would probably be too cumbersome for frequent moves, even though those things are very light.

Here are some illustrated options for the kind of stand I'm talking about:

The Oysterdock:

The Airtech holder:

The iCurve is a much cheaper alternative, and probably the most famous (though in my opinion it's not in the same category):


I haven't used any of these products, so caveat emptor. But I can say I'm a fan of using laptops as desktops. You can even add a cheap 17" monitor (the regular bulky kind) when you get to your destination and sell it when you're about to move. The lack of a floppy drive should not be a concern; as someone pointed out, external ones can be purchased easily -- for under $50 (or even lower on ebay). I'd make sure the laptop has Firewire and USB 2.0 connectors, though (or a PC Card slot where you can add a Firewire/USB 2.0 combined port card). Then you can buy a cheap enclosure to attach an external hard drive for backups. Also, if your built-in CD-burner dies, like mine did, you can add a fast one externally instead of sending your laptop for repair. My enclosures (one for a hard disk, one for a CD burner) cost $55 on sale, and the 52x CD burner (you just buy one designed to go into a regular computer, and put it in the enclosure, which is then attached to the laptop via a firewire or USB cable, same with hard disks) cost $10 (ten) after rebates.

Finally, feedback on the VAIO in general: I've had it since Dec. 2001. Battery life started out terrible and is now nonexistent (probably a consequence of leaving it plugged in all the time on my desk); the CD burner died after two years; and Sony has an annoying habit of making things difficult for customers, like not giving you a Windows XP CD (you get reinstallation CDs instead, which are designed to be used after some sort of catastrophe), and pushing proprietary junk. Other than that, it's been working fine all these years. It's heavy, but I don't mind since it's my desktop and I hardly ever move it.

Do get the external keyboard/mouse (or trackball) if you go with a laptop; otherwise you'll kill your wrists with long-term use.

Hope this helps.


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Andrzej Mierzejewski  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:48
Polish to English
+ ...
Apple iMac G5 Jul 16, 2005

Hello Rosa,
Have a look at this one. I saw it at a store and probably this will be my choice in a year or so as a replacement to my floor-standing Celeron 2 GHz with 17 inch CRT.
Pros (from my point of view):
1. large 20 inch TFT and wide-format (9:16?) display accommodates two pages side by side,
2. really flat design: all is hidden behind the display, total depth is approx. 2 inches. No more large box at my feet or on the desk. Just connect a keyboard, mouse and supply cable. So much more room for a mess on my desk!
3. no fans (or very quiet fans, not sure) = quiet operation.
1. Weight: dom't know details, but heavier than any laptop (that's the obstacle, if you travel frequently)
1. Price: equivalent to approx. USD 1,500 - 2,000 ). Windows-based computers with Intel or AMD are much, much cheaper.

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