The Desktop PC is NOT Dead. Here’s Proof.

The Desktop PC is NOT Dead. Here’s Proof.

Microsoft’s Surface Studio, announced last October, established a strong consumer appetite for a well-designed, art-focused all-in-one PC that could combine Apple aesthetics with the freedom of Windows.

It put Windows, and the desktop especially, on the map for creatives.

Now here at Las Vegas, we’re seeing other PC makers follow suit, with all-in-one and other desktop experiments that prove the category is still capable of breaking new ground.

At CES, PC makers have built on the idea of the Surface Studio to iterate further. Dell’s new Canvas, which it showed off at its press event yesterday, is not a desktop.

Instead, it’s a peripheral system that combines a drawing tablet and a color dial called Totem.

It’s essentially a Surface Studio without the PC innards — or a Wacom Cintiq if you’re looking at it from an accessory perspective. It combines with an existing PC to create a multi-display work station.

Photo by Jake Kastrenakes

Dell is positioning the Canvas not as an accessory you’d plug in when you need it, but as a way to permanently augment an existing PC setup with the best parts of the Microsoft’s new all-in-one. “The future is where multiple panes of glass surround you in the workplace,” Dell’s Sam Burd, the company’s executive vice president of its client product group, said at a CES press conference yesterday.

We’re also seeing PC makers tackle a the same challenge as Dell’s Canvas from the traditional all-in-one angle.

Dell’s new XPS 23 is catering to musicians and music lovers with a built-in 10-speaker system that the company claims is two times louder than an iMac.

But the device’s more interesting, understated feature is a 4K touchscreen option. When combined with a display stand, the XPS 23 can lie almost flat on a desk surface.

A capacitive 23-inch 4K screen that can shift below 90 degrees offers all sorts of interesting possibilities, both for digital artists and anyone who’s interested in fast, two-handed touchscreen computing.

Photo by Jake Kastrenakes

HP is focusing less on the art crowd and more on the gaming, entertainment, and productivity sectors with its latest Envy all-in-one. The desktop now features a 34-inch 3440 x 1440 curved display for what might be the most immersive consumer all-in-one out there.

The screen doesn’t come with a 4K option — that would likely have increased its price tag to an unreasonable level. But for $1,799, the new Envy marries all the best concepts and luxuries of the desktop in a relatively affordable package.

These machines don’t yet have the clout of Apple’s iMac