MSI Pro 24X AIOs cram Core power into a slim shell

We love to put new hardware through its paces by playing AAA games and other graphically-intense workloads, but lots of systems run for years without ever stressing out their GPU. MSI's Pro 24X all-in-one desktops don't have any discrete graphics options, but they do stuff Kaby Lake-U processors into a svelte package that also includes a 23.8" "IPS-grade" display.

MSI is quick to point out that a large section of the Pro 24X's body is just over a quarter-inch thick, though the lower part of the chassis where the hardware resides is a good bit bulkier. The bezels are extremely thin, measuring under a tenth of an inch (2.2 mm) along three sides of the screen. The manufacturer said the 1920x1080 display has wide 178° viewing angles, but didn't elaborate on brightness, contrast ratio, or color space coverage. We'll go ahead and assume this is not the top AIO choice for the Photoshop crowd, though the display's probably more than capable for general use.

The Pro 24X's top chip choice is a Core i3-7200U, but frugal shoppers might be satisfied with the more affordable Celeron or Pentium offerings. The machine has a pair of SO-DIMM slots that can support up to 32 GB of DDR4 memory, plus an M.2 slot that can hold an NVMe SSD or an Intel Optane cache drive. Intel's product segmentation engineers do require a Core CPU to use the company's petite Optane offerings as a cache. MSI didn't expound on the level of difficulty of getting access to those memory and M.2 slots, but the company did say that accessing the 2.5" drive bay on the side of the machine is quite easy.

Multi-monitor addicts like me can attach a second display using the Pro 24X's HDMI output. MSI says that connector supports 4K monitors, though there's no word on HDMI version number or maximum refresh rate. The back of the machine has four USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, a pair of old-school USB 2.0 jacks, audio connectors, and puzzlingly, two Gigabit Ethernet ports. If the two Ethernet jacks aren't enough networking, buyers can also pony up for an Intel 3168AC 802.11ac Wi-Fi-and-Bluetooth combo card.

MSI didn't offer pricing or availability information for the Pro 24X AIO desktop. Given the Kaby Lake internals, we'd imagine it will be on store shelves pretty soon for a fairly affordable amount.

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