All-in-one computers are a hybrid between laptops and traditional stationary PCs. Laptops are useful because you can bring them along on business trips, on vacation and virtually anywhere, while stationary PCs have a more powerful performance and can be upgraded easily. With all-in-one desktops, you get the best of both worlds at your fingertips. The computer components are stored neatly in the widescreen monitor, or sometimes at the base, which saves space and looks aesthetically pleasing. However, even these elegant PCs have a few shortcomings, mainly that you can't upgrade most parts after purchase. This is why it's important to research exactly what you're looking for before handing over your credit card. Below are the five must-haves for all-in-one PCs.

Display Resolution
One of the top things on your list when deciding on an all-in-one desktop PC is the display resolution. Remember, you can't upgrade most of the components after you buy, so make sure that the resolution is at least 1920 x 1080 pixels. This way, even when the other parts of the home PC become obsolete, you can still use it to watch movies and play video games. It's also important to keep in mind that the larger, the monitor the more the pixels will show because they'll be spread out. This means if the monitor measures 27 inches and your display resolution is 1920 x 1080, the pixels will show more than they would if the screen was smaller.

Another important thing to consider when deciding on an all-in-one PC is the graphics. If you do a lot of photo editing and graphic design then you'll need high-end graphics hardware. This will also be useful if you're a big gamer. In general, look for a PC with a discrete graphics processor. This means there’s a separate processor dedicated to graphics, freeing the central processing unit from needing to power graphic work as well.

I/O ports
Ports are important for connecting external devices to your PC. A PC with an HDMI-in and out port lets you connect your TV, Blu-ray, cable, game console, monitor and more, so you can enjoy your PC in more ways. It can also extend the life of your PC for years to come. For example, once the components of your PC are outdated you can still enjoy using the widescreen monitor to watch movies, stream videos and listen to music.

You'll also want to make sure that the home PC you choose has plenty of USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports for data transfer. The USB 3.0 ports are best used for connecting high-end devices like an extra hard drive, while the USB 2.0 ports are more commonly used to connect peripherals such as your keyboard and mouse.

Optical Drive
The optical drive is an important feature to have because with most all-in-one PCs you can't upgrade. Most higher-end models will include a Blu-ray drive, which is a great feature if you're a movie lover. Some, mid-range to lower-end models come with a DVD drive, so you can still watch movies and listen to CDs. However, if you decide on an all-in-one PC that doesn’t include an optical drive, you'll have to settle for connecting external devices for multimedia purposes, unless you keep your movies and other media on the cloud.

If you're like most people, chances are you use your PC to store movies, music, projects, photos and much, much more. So, needless to say, storage should be an important factor in your decision-making process when choosing the right all-in-one PC. When shopping around, stick to a PC that has at least 1TB of hard drive space. With this amount of space, you'll be able to get a lot of use out of your PC without growing out of it right away.

Finding the right all-in-one desktop can be hard. There are a lot of options out there, and companies are producing more of them every year. No matter what company you decide to go with, it's important to keep these five must-haves at the top of your list in order to get the most use and enjoyment out of the computer. Remember, chances are you won't be able to upgrade most of the components within the computer, so it's better to buy big upfront.

More Top Stories