Can we use an all-in-one computer as a client?
Yes, you definitely can as long as it meets the minimum specifications given herein and if you already have existing hardware that you want to reuse.
However, if you are purchasing new hardware then we would advise you against investing in an all-in-one for an educational setup. The cons of investing in an all-in-one are generally as follows:
- Cost - The MSS setup doesn't need the client systems to have a hard disk. But all-in-one systems have in-built hard disks which mean extra capital expenditure for something you are never going to use. Secondly it may also mean higher power consumption depending on the design of the system.
- Maintenance - If an all-in-one stops functioning, the entire unit needs to be replaced and spare parts are rarely available for most branded ones beyond 3 years. For example, one critical spare part is the internal power supply which is not generic and if damaged, it is hard to replace.
- Warranty - Most of the all-in-one systems in the market come with a standard 1-year warranty as the warranty is base-lined to the least covered part. For example, if the power supply fitted into it has a one year warranty then the entire unit is matched to the same. However, mini-PCs are generally covered with a 3 year comprehensive carry-in warranty.
- Up-gradability - All-in-one's don't generally allow any upgradation. You get and stay with what you have bought.
Hence, as you may see that choosing a mini PC as a client PC has multiple benefits over an all-in-one. And yet the Mini PC gives the same compact setup
experience without any of the downsides of an all-in-one.