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Flat Screen Computers - The Pros And Cons Of Flat Screen Computers

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Depending who you talk to, there are really two definitions for what flat screen computers really are. Many people think this refers only to the actual monitor that is attached to the larger tower or CPU. However, the term flat screen computer can also indicate a single self contained unit where all of the computers components are wrapped into the screen. The latter is the definition that that I will address.

Both Apple and Dell pioneered the design of the first flat screen computers. Initially, these were a flat panel screen with speakers on the front, most of the input and output jacks underneath, and the actual computer boards in the rear of the casing. The original iMac was a non-flat screen version of this idea.

The units were very heavy when they first came out, difficult to lift, and sometimes appeared a little awkward because the cables that came out of the bottom of the units really had no place to sit comfortably.

When the next wave of flat screen computers hit the market, they were much more aesthetically pleasing. Businesses, libraries and other institutions who had a need for compact, accessible computers began to use these systems. They were easy to bolt down in order to prevent theft or damage, they were easy to replace and were relatively inexpensive.

They also took up very little space, so these units could be pushed back unobtrusively into the corner of a work station.

Unfortunately, there were also drawbacks to this design. One problem was heat. The heat generated by all of the components, which were all encased with one another, became hard to manage. Fans and heat sinks helped, but ultimately the units had to remain in cool areas to work effectively for long periods of time.

There was also an issue for more experienced computer users- the flat screen computers were very hard, if not impossible, to upgrade. Because of the limited space inside the monitor casing, it was impossible to install a graphics card (if the expansion slot was even present). It was also difficult on some models to upgrade the RAM since the chips were covered by plating or other components.

Businesses who used these units as dumb terminals did not care much about these issues, but it was a sticking point that relegated most flat screen computers to acting as upright netbooks as time marched on.

Computer technology has advanced considerably since the first flat screen computers came out. They are, for the most part, an idea that has been largely abandoned. The modern incarnation of these computers inside of flat screens is the tablet computer.

They are flat, mobile, and appear as little more than a flat panel display that you can hold like a book. Some of them even have keyboards that will fold out of the body. These are the natural successors to the legacy of flat screen computers, though the same problems with upgrading and internal space still apply.

The flat screen computer was the first step towards the goal of making computers an almost unnoticeable, ubiquitous device that integrates seamlessly into the home environment.

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