What do you call an all-in-one PC that isn't? 'Upgradeable', says HP

Screens-on-a-stalk and replaceable HDD and RAM may not a revolution make

All-in-one PCs look pretty and make for tidy desks but don't often feature in business settings because bonding a monitor and a computer reduces maintenance options.

HP Inc's therefore had a crack at what it's calling an “upgradeable” all-in-one that – erm – isn't really an all-in-one at all.

The company last week gave the world the “HP EliteOne 1000 AiO G1”, a PC with the CPU and storage in a “base” that also features buttons dedicated to firing up voice and video communications apps and takes advantage of the built-in B&O speakers and noise-cancelling microphone. The base is a slim, wedge-shaped affair designed to allow tool-free replacement of the disk and RAM. They're the two easiest items to replace in any PC, so this is helpful, rather than revolutionary.

The EliteOne's other trick is replaceable monitors. There's four to choose from: a 23.8 incher with or without touch-sensitivity, a 27-inch model or a 34-inch with curves. The 34-incher even offers a pop-up webcam.

The monitors sit atop a stalk that connects to the base with a pair of screws and a couple of proprietary cable connectors that only work with the EliteOne 1000 product. A non-PC base would need to be purchased to use the monitor head as a standalone unit. There's no sign of any third party monitor vendors rushing to adopt HP's connectors.

HP's also offering an optional “non-PC base” that lets you stand up a second monitor, which connects to the PC base over good old DisplayPort.

The EliteOne is otherwise a vanilla PC that offers 7th-gen Intel CPU options, and therefore the chance to use Optane, Windows 10 Pro.

The machines go on sale later this month, starting at US$1,259 with monitors from US$164. At that price you're paying a premium for looks: HP's own EliteDesk 800 Small Form Factor PC starts at $841.52 and offers a choice of HDMI, VGA and DisplayPort, which means more choice of monitors. It's also small enough that it could probably match the EliteOne for looks if installed thoughtfully. ®

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