For most people working with a stationary computer amounts to tied down in a very small space. Even if you in the office, a laptop (nowadays called a desktop device) enables you to move about around the office or office space with your work. While a desktop PC ties you down to your desk. Let’s not forget, they are lacking in the design department, therefore, have nothing to offer in terms of inspirations and motivation to work.
Well, that is mostly true up to until recently, and you will agree with me if you have been paying attention at the recently launched PCs. Especially the ones we saw at the CES Las Vegas last year and the one launched by Microsoft.
Microsoft Surface Studio
For all its worth, it is Microsoft that made the first major design and functionality shift in PCs that made them start looking cool again. I am talking about the Microsoft Surface Studio PCs; they are not your typical boring black box sitting at your desk. No, they are the centerpiece art on top of a modern desk; and they are as functional as they are beautiful.
The Surface Studio comes in a 28-inch all-in-one PC that transforms into a drafting table complete with a stylus for the digital artists. It has changed our perception of a PC; what it looks like and what it can do. While they seem to be targeting the digital artists, the Surface Studio without a doubt impresses anyone that has come close to it or used it.
However, the Surface Studio comes at a hefty price for most people. Luckily, Microsoft as a pace setter has sparked innovation among other OEMs, and the likes of HP and Dell have come up with invigorating PC designs and functionality.
HP Envy Curved All-in-One 34
The naming is not that creative, but the features are pretty impressive. It is an update to an earlier 2015 edition. The Envy Curved All-in-One 34, comes with a 34-inch ultra-wide 21:9 curved display mounted on top a sleek looking pedestal housing all the computing units, all the ports, and even the speakers.
The design makes the display seem like it is floating in front of you. Being a curved display, if you are seated at the sweet spot, you will get an immersive experience into all the windows, videos, and gaming you will be doing on the PC. This PC also comes with a wireless charging spot for your smartphone located on the left side. It also has a nifty hideaway Windows Hello-compatible webcam, which pops up out at the top of the monitor.
Dell XPS 27
Its design might strike you like the traditional iMac-type of design, given all the computing units, ports, and speakers jammed behind the display. But that is as far as the iMac resemblance goes. The Dell XPS 27 features a 4K touchscreen, a 10-speaker sound system that will give you a near home theater experience an iMac could only dream about.
The display measures 27-inches diagonally and gives off incredibly bright, vibrant, and sharp images. Dell boasts that the XPS 27 covers all the Adobe RGB color space, something users using it for photography or graphics will highly appreciate.
So are they Cool Enough to make a Comeback?
There is no denying Microsoft Surface Studio PCs can knock off the sock on the staunchest laptop user, but that is as far as the design and intended functionality goes. In reality, however, they prove to be lacking some few things to fulfill the fantasy they promise from afar.
For instance, none of the PCs mentioned above can be said to be a powerful gaming machine; though the HP stands out above the rest. The Dell’s 4K resolutions in practice appear wimpy and weak for a 4K display. The HP and Dell PC also suffer from too loud fan noise even while running minimal tasks. But HP got a firmware update to reduce the noise somewhat. The sound system (even the 10-speaker system) lacks bass, and it feels like some subwoofer needs to be added.
The bottom line is, desktop PCs are also catching up to their laptop counterparts, but they could need more speed to impress a huge mass of people; enough to jump ship.