You’d think that the rise in home working in the past two years would have sparked a new wave of all-in-one PCs. After all, what other form factor offers you a compact footprint and all-in-one convenience while maintaining desktop ergonomics? You can have a whopping 21- to 27-inch screen that actually sits at eye level, along with a proper desktop keyboard and mouse. And you don’t need to hide the system tower, because everything is already built in.
But while the new iMac shows that things are moving forward for macOS, new Windows all-in-ones remain surprisingly thin. The new Modern AM241P-11M from MSI is one of the few new models and skillfully demonstrates many of the most important strengths of the all-in-one.
MSI Modern AM241P-11M Reviewed: What You Need to Know
This is a high quality all-in-one PC with an integrated 24-inch full HD display. It is based on Intel’s 11th generation (Tiger Lake) Core i7-1165G7 processor, usually considered a mobile CPU, with four cores that run up to eight threads between 1.2 GHz and a maximum of 4.7 GHz. The Core i7-1165G7 also includes Intel’s Iris Xe graphics, which gives you more GPU performance than you previously expected from an Intel CPU without dedicated graphics chips. MSI supports this with 16 GB DDR4 RAM and a 512 GB Western Digital 512 GB NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD. All in all, a pretty powerful spec.
MSI Modern AM241P-11M: price and competition
The all-in-one market is still dominated by Apple’s iMac. In its new M1 form, it’s incredibly stylish, has a fantastic 4.5K screen, and the class-leading performance we’ve come to expect from an M1 processor.
The MSI Modern can’t match the performance and style of the iMac, but it is cheaper at £ 1,047 compared to the base iMac at £ 1,249, and it comes with twice the RAM and twice the storage. However, we found that the M1 doesn’t seem to struggle much, even with an 8GB RAM deficit.
Other alternatives come from HP, Dell, Acer, and Lenovo. Acer’s C24-963 has an older specification based on a 10th generation Core i5, but is also almost half the price of the MSI. The situation is similar with the HP 24-df0022na with its 10th generation Core i3 specification. The Dell Inspiron 24 5000 is a closer point of comparison and you can have a version with the same Core i7-1165G7 and 512GB hard drive but only 8GB of RAM for £ 949. Lenovo also has some strong business-class ThinkCentre all-in-ones on offer, although its IdeaCentre consumer models are also suffering from outdated specs, with the exception of the upscale high-performance AIO 7 27 for £ 1,700.
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MSI Modern AM241P-11M: design and main features
At first glance, you might not even recognize the MSI AM241P-11M as an all-in-one. From the front, it looks more like an average business monitor, right down to its square, height-adjustable and tilt-adjustable stand. However, behind the screen is a bulge about an inch thick that takes up most of the bottom half and contains all of the core components, with a multitude of ports on the left and back.
This includes two USB Type-C ports and two more USB 3.1 Type-A ports on the left, as well as a 3.5 mm audio jack. There is a USB 2.0 port on the top of the bulge, ready for the included webcam, while two more USB 2.0 ports and both an HDMI input and an HDMI output are located on the back. The HDMI input may sound strange, but it’s a handy feature for an all-in-one that could also be used as a screen for a game console or streaming stick. Plus, when the stick or console is turned on and plugged in, the screen turns on without turning on the rest of the PC.
As expected, the expansion potential is low. The RAM is pre-installed at the factory and there is no upgrade path, although the CPU and motherboard support up to 64 GB. It’s the same story with NVMe SSD. However, under a bezel on the right-hand side there is a slim drive cage in which you can install a 2.5-inch SATA drive, SATA-6 SSD.
Too many all-in-ones sacrifice the adjustability of the screen. They are often stuck at a certain height with only a slight inclination to work. With the AM241P-11M, however, you can adjust the screen height between 80 mm and 220 mm (from the desk to the bottom of the screen) and tilt it up to 4 ° forwards or 20 ° backwards, which makes working comfortably much easier.
MSI Modern AM241P-11M: Peripherals
MSI includes a wireless keyboard and mouse that connect via a 2.4 GHz dongle that you plug into one of the available USB 2.0 ports. The keyboard is good. It’s a chiclet-like attempt with a shallow hub, but the layout is convenient, there isn’t too much bounce in the base, and I got to my normal typing speed pretty quickly.
But it’s a shame about the mouse. It’s a small, ambidextrous model and feels light and thin. Replace it with something better when you buy it.
MSI Modern AM241P-11M: display and speakers
While MSI makes some excellent PC and gaming monitors, the screen here isn’t at the top with best efforts. It’s perfectly fine for document editing, browsing, email, and the occasional streaming, and the color depth and accuracy are pretty good. It covers 97% of the indubitable sRGB color space and 81.2% of DCI P3, with an average Delta-E color accuracy of 1.63 (the lower the better). The resolution of 1080p is absolutely standard, but perfectly acceptable with a screen size of 24 inches.
The problem is the brightness. In user mode, where I got the best results for color accuracy, I was only able to get a brightness of up to 192 cd / m2, with a contrast ratio of only 834: 1. We got 200cd / m2 in designer mode, but this resulted in a terrible crushing of whites and light grays.
The speakers aren’t exactly brilliant for an all-in-one either. It’s surprisingly calm and there isn’t a lot of weight or body there. Again, they’re good for work and surfing, but I don’t want to rely on them for watching a movie or playing games.
There’s no built-in webcam, but MSI bundles a separate 1080p webcam that attaches to the top of the screen. Tilting (albeit slightly) and panning gives you a little more headroom to get a decent picture, and the Full HD picture quality is extremely good, so you get crisp, well-lit video that is perfect for online viewing. Meetings and video chats are suitable. With this in mind, the built-in microphone is also very effective.
MSI Modern AM241P-11M: performance
With the Core i7 CPU and 16 GB of RAM, there is very little besides professional graphics and high-end 4K video editing that the AM241P-11M cannot easily handle. The laptop-grade components mean you’re not getting the desktop Core i7 performance equivalent – you’re seeing fewer cores and fewer threads than a desktop Core i5, let alone the mighty Core i7-11700, but the overall score of 185 in our 4K media benchmarks are absolutely credible, as is the multi-core score of 5000 in Geekbench 5. However, it is no competition for the M1 iMac with its score of 7667.
It’s also possible to make a little bit of an easy game, as long as you either reduce the resolution to 720p or set the detail settings to low. In fact, our favorite oldie-but-goldie, Metro Redux, achieved frame rates of 36 fps at 1080p at low settings or 66.6 fps at 720p at high. Its successor, Metro Exodus, was playable at 33fps at 1080p / low and 43fps at 720p / low. Those who stick with older action games or less demanding RPG and strategy titles should find them playable, even if you have to turn down one or the other setting.
READ MORE: The Best 1080p, 1440p, 4K, and Ultrawide Monitors to Buy
MSI Modern AM241P-11M: Conclusion
The Modern AM241P-11M is not the idea of a perfect all-in-one. The design plays it safe, the screen is reasonably good but dark, while the laptop-grade components mean you won’t get quite true desktop performance.
What it saves, however, is that everything is very useful, practical, and most importantly, inexpensive. You get enough speed for most users and applications, as well as ample RAM and storage, for a reasonable price. Add the adjustable screen, great connectivity, and HDMI input and you have everything you need for home work, study, and casual entertainment. Sure, there isn’t much of Razzle-Dazzle, but it’s a thoroughly sensible all-in-one.