A monoblock is a device that combines a monitor and a system unit in one housing. It allows you to get rid of unnecessary wires, free up space on your desk and is ideal for both office and home use. Today there are dozens of different offerings available on the market, so it is difficult for a beginner to decide which computer monoblock to choose. To simplify this task for you, we have compiled 10 tips to help you find the best model. Within the framework of the article we discussed the key features and functionalities that are worth paying close attention to when choosing a monoblock for study or when searching for the optimal gaming modification.
Pros and cons of a monoblock
What is a monoblock better than other devices
Monoblocks have won their place under the “market sun” and are gradually replacing conventional computers on the desks of users. And it’s not surprising. This type of equipment has a lot of advantages:
- You can do without a lot of wires – you only plug one plug into the network, not 2-3, as usual. And peripherals are easy to connect wirelessly.
- It’s compact. It fits on any desk. And the huge box will not get in the way.
- The device usually has a large screen diagonal. In fact, it is a television with computer stuffing. Therefore, the monoblock is characterized by a good image.
At the same time, it is worth remembering one important disadvantage of the monoblock – the difficulty of upgrading the configuration. As a rule, the manufacturers deprive the warranty, if the user decides to change something in the device. And the layout is as compact as possible, so it will be difficult to find new accessories and to insert them into the case. In this respect, the monoblock is strongly inferior to conventional computers.
An important nuance: if you compare an ordinary PC and a monoblock, then with the same power the latter will be much more expensive.
It is worth understanding that initially monoblocks were created primarily for professionals – designers, programmers and other people associated with working with a computer. Therefore, the devices were designed to be quite productive. But their narrow specificity made them not very convenient for other tasks. However, with time, the monoblock became almost 100% universal.
Choosing the type of monoblock
How to choose the best monoblock for your needs
Like any other device on the market, a monoblock has many variations. Before you buy, you need to decide what purpose you need the new gadget for. Otherwise, there is a risk of either overpaying for a machine, 70% of the functionality of which will not be needed at all, or getting a weak computer.
So, what types can be distinguished:
For work and study. When the device is supposed to be used as an office horse, then you should not worry – the technical characteristics will not be a problem. Any modern monoblock can hold office work: it will digest mail, Word, tables – anything.
For home use (multimedia). An average monoblock in terms of configuration. It should be able to run a video player with a good quality movie or YouTube with the same video without any problems. So it is worth to choose rather productive, but not maximal variant.
For games and “heavy” programs. The configuration should be powerful to pull the maximum number of modern games and programs. It is suitable for professional designers and gamers. Remember that the “hardware” in a monoblock and an ordinary PC is different – it is weaker, despite the name.
In general, we recommend doing the following:
- Determine the list of necessary programs that should work on the monoblock, and the maximum possible purchase price.
- Study their system requirements (preferably “recommended”).
- Write down the system requirements for the most productive and “heavy” software. Or make a list of the requirements if several computers need maximum characteristics at the same time.
According to the received data, you need to choose a monoblock, choosing the model with a little “extra” if your finances allow it. If not, it’s enough to buy a gadget with “just enough” characteristics.
What are the manufacturers of monoblocks to pay attention to?
The next step is the choice of the manufacturer. It is worth to understand that each firm creates a product for its own target audience. And the technical characteristics of the device will depend on this. There are quite a lot of options:
Apple – produces iMac monoblocks, created specifically for designers, layout artists and other people working with graphics. Has the best monitor of all. The price corresponds to the quality and even exceeds it.
Microsoft – the company makes a small number of models and almost all of them are also designed specifically for designers.
MSI – A gaming company decided to go for monoblocks too, but they created several lines at once – super configurations for gamers (MSI Gaming), less powerful for office workers (MSI Pro) and some models of excellent quality for everyday use.
Lenovo – the company focuses on the budget segment, filling it with quite productive and high-quality models for work and study. But without the extra frills. The products are suitable for undemanding users at home or in the office.
Acer – the company has covered all segments of the market: there are both weak office monoblocks and modern gaming models. The quality is quite decent and prices are affordable. With the right skills you can find a very great monoblock.
HP – under this American brand is also available good models in all segments, but they are a little more expensive than competitors from Asia.
Of course, this is not all firms that make monoblocks. But they create the most high-quality and successful models that are worth their money.
Remember: a designer’s monoblock is not always suitable for gaming. An “office” gadget with mediocre stuffing is not able to cope with design programs. And a gaming gadget will be too powerful for work and not quite comfortable for working with photos/videos.
How to choose the diagonal, type, and capabilities of the display
Monoblocks usually have high quality screens. The diagonal of the display depends on the functions entrusted to the device. As a rule, you can divide monoblocks into two large groups:
Everyday (up to 24 inches). Suitable for users who do not want something grand from the monoblock – well, just watch a movie, study or work. The recommended resolution for these models is Full HD, a higher resolution is not necessary.
Professional (24 inches and higher). Typically these models have a much better configuration and are geared for a specific task – for example, for creating graphic content or for computer games. Resolution also depends on the task: it is better to buy the highest possible resolution for designers, and enough 2K for gamers (otherwise lags are possible in games).
As for the matrix, the most common now is IPS – it is a well-balanced option, because it provides high-quality color and excellent viewing angles, plus it is cheaper. Besides, the designers recommend buying a monoblock with at least 100% sRGB color gamut – this will allow you to see the picture exactly as it was created. If the value is lower, the colors may be distorted.
There are monoblocks with a glossy and matte screen. The latter is handy if the gadget stands in a place where the sun’s rays will fall on it. But these models have a slightly lower brightness and changed color rendering due to the type of coating. Glossy ones are more versatile, but they fade in the light.
An important feature of some monoblocks is a touch screen. Whether it is necessary – you decide. But you should know that for everyday use the touch screen does not carry any important function. It is not very comfortable to drive your finger on a 30-inch monitor. Why do you need it? For designers and artists! With pen input, you can draw or edit an image right on the screen.
What is the best processor for a monoblock?
It’s not profitable and very difficult to change the processor in a monoblock, that’s why you have to look for the best variant right away. But to choose the right one, you have to understand that the processor performance depends not only on the number of cores. As a rule, it is influenced by three factors:
- Processor generation
- Clock speed
- The core .
These are the indicators that are important when choosing. It is worth understanding: the newer the processor and the better the combination of these characteristics, the more expensive it is, but the better and more productive it is. So, for a gaming or professional monoblock, you should choose expensive, efficient processors with the maximum GHz and cores, and for the working one, a more budget variant will be enough.
There are only two variants of processors – AMD and Intel. Both are roughly equal in technology and reliability, but AMD chips are cheaper, if only a little. Each manufacturer creates several lines of processors. And how to understand the marking?
What video card is better to choose when buying a monoblock
The graphics card is the component which is responsible for displaying images on the screen. It is logical that the better it is, the more complex image can be simulated, for example, when working with 3D-graphics or during leisure time with computer games. But this is an expensive component and its modernity will seriously affect the final price of the monoblock.
Video card options can easily be divided into three standard categories:
- For a study or work computer that does not involve frequent work with graphics or watching movies, an integrated Intel HD Graphics card, which is found in almost all models of Intel processors, is sufficient.
- Monoblocks for home use (e.g. multimedia) must have at least a medium-powered graphics card. An integrated one will not do – it is better to go for discrete variants of the middle price category.
- Gaming and professional monoblocks are better to buy if they have a video card of the latest (or at least the penultimate) generation. In this case there will definitely be no problems with graphics. But the price will be considerably higher. For games, it is worth buying top-level graphics cards.
An important nuance: monoblocks use so-called mobile graphics cards. Therefore their performance is somewhat lower than that of similar “full-size” units. And you should take this into account when choosing.
How much RAM should there be in a monoblock?
RAM is an important component that is responsible for the speed of your computer. If it is not enough – the device begins to slow down, unable to run several programs at once, and so on. That is why it is important to have a lot of RAM. It is desirable to have enough RAM.
The minimum values of RAM for monoblocks depending on the type:
- work: 4-6 GB;
- Home (multimedia): 8 GB;
- professional and gaming: 16 GB.
The values are given with some reserve, so that in a couple of years you won’t have to buy a new device or try to upgrade it (remember that in case of monoblocks it is difficult). Ideally, it is better not to be stingy with RAM, because the excess will not have a negative impact (except on the wallet).
Also take into account that the speed of the monoblock depends not only on the number of gigabytes, but also on the generation of RAM. It is recommended to buy RAM of the fourth generation (DDR4).
HDD or SSD
What is the best type of drive to choose for your all-in-one PC?
The hard disk drive (HDD) is the familiar computer storage device for many people, which works thanks to the hard (hence the name) magnetic disks inside. It is a bit slow, but inexpensive. It is gradually being replaced by a solid state drive (SSD), a new generation variant which has no moving parts inside and is powered by flash memory.
Ideally, a monoblock should combine HDD and SSD. The first type of memory is quite cheap and common – it is ideal for storing large amounts of data that do not need to be constantly accessed during work. For example, to store work files, games and programs on it. SSD, on the other hand, allows you to get a response from a file several times faster than a hard drive. But such a drive is expensive, and the volume is not too large.
Why do we need two types of drives? It’s simple, to separate the system:
- On the SSD to install the operating system and a few programs that are needed most often. This will speed up the work with them, because SSD has a higher response speed.
- Use the HDD as file storage (movies, music, games and other programs).
The size of each drive should be estimated individually. If you are going to work at your computer or take it for home use, and not to store a lot of files on it, a few hundred gigabytes on both drives is enough. If you are a designer-professional or a gamer with experience, it is better to buy a HDD for at least 1 TB (or better 2 or more), and an SSD for at least 256 GB.
Set of interfaces
How many and what kind of connectors a monoblock should have
Since a monoblock has to connect somehow to the outside world, it has slots for different peripherals (and not only). And to make it as convenient to use as possible, it is worth choosing a monoblock with a convenient number and composition of interfaces.
Most monoblocks have standard connectors. They allow you to connect the main peripherals and additional devices. Which outputs you must have:
USB 2.0 or 3.0. Standard outputs for most devices. There must be enough connectors to connect all peripherals (at least 3-4).
HDMI – monoblocks often have more than one of these ports.
3.5 mm audio output – combined or preferably separate. The latter allows access to professional headphones and headsets without using an adapter, which will please gamers.
Card reader – allows you to use memory cards from smartphones, cameras, camcorders and more without a USB adapter.
Ethernet – without this interface you can’t connect a wired internet connection to the monoblock.
It will be very convenient if you have at least 1-2 USB outputs on the front or on the side panel. This will allow you to connect flash drives without getting behind the “back” of the monoblock. Additionally, you can look for monoblocks with USB Type-C outputs. This is a faster variant of the usual USB, but has a different plug – small and compact, so older devices will not be able to connect to it without an adapter. Monoblocks with an analog VGA output are already quite few. But if you have a peripheral that works with this plug, it is worth looking at the model with a corresponding connector. By the way, it is very desirable that the model has built-in adapters for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. This will make it possible to use wireless connection of peripherals.
What is the best way to complement the monoblock
We have figured out how to choose a mono-block computer according to the main parameters and features. But without peripherals it is useless – it’s just a beautiful TV on the table. So it is important to choose the right keyboard, headphones, mouse and other devices.
If you want to minimize the number of wires on the desktop, the best option is to buy a wireless keyboard, mouse and headphones. In this case, there will only be one network cable left. On the other hand, wireless devices are quite unstable compared to wired ones. Therefore they are not always suitable for gamers.
As for the webcam: many monoblocks have a built-in camera. But not all of them do. So when buying you need to clarify this question separately. The same applies to the built-in microphone. By the way – having a camera does not mean having a microphone! So check everything separately.
The selection of office equipment (printers, scanners, etc.) for the home, as well as professional options like a graphics tablet – the buyer’s choice. These devices work the same with all gadgets, so there is no difference.
I am an expert in household appliances and electronics. I prepare and publish reviews, ratings, consumer reports, and instructions for choosing the best models and brands. I have a higher education- IT engineer (IT).
I can help you decide what product to buy for your home or office by providing my honest opinion after testing different products from various manufacturers. The goal of my work is to provide thorough information that will allow consumers to make informed decisions when purchasing a new appliance or electronic device.