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 1920×1080 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.

Comments closed
    • ronch
    • 1 year ago

    This thing doesn’t look too bad. Not eyeball-popping but not headache-inducing either.

    MSI is learning. Good boy.

    • Chrispy_
    • 1 year ago

    I always downvote AIOs.

    The reasons are even more obvious now that NUCs and compute sticks exist with near-identical performance.

      • DPete27
      • 1 year ago

      Agreed. More than likely the cost of custom-mounting the NUC to the back of this AIO exceeds the cost of buying the two parts separately. And with this solution, once the CPU is EOL, the monitor has to be scrapped also.

      I will say that this solution looks well thought out though, and it’s a visually attractive product with good specs. Certainly worth a slight premium to have the power button and ports more readily accessible than a NUC+monitor setup (if you NEED the NUC mounted to the monitor)

        • Chrispy_
        • 1 year ago

        My experience with Intel NUC and Asus VIVO equivalents has taught me that you just have to look for a good monitor where the desk stand doesn’t use the VESA holes. Since many NUCs/equivalents include VESA mounting in the box, the only downsides are button/port access and the degraded aesthetics at the rear of the screen.

        For port/power access the obvious solution is a keyboard with USB pass through, combined with wake on keyboard BIOS settings, but I’ve also had someone who wanted a weighty card reader on their desk, most of which include extra USB ports.

        As for aesthetics at the rear, it’s never going to be quite as nice as the AIOs, but 99% of users put their AIO against a wall anyway, and for those 1% who care, you can bundle the NUC’s power cord into the same cable routing as the monitor’s power cord, and then a 12″, colour-matched HDMI cable with one right-angle connector minimises the visual disruption at the back of the monitor.

      • Kretschmer
      • 1 year ago

      I totally agree. Why buy a great monitor and then scrap it every time you want to upgrade?

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