Nowadays, post processing images is becoming an entirely new discipline on its own. Every photographer needs a reliable machine to work on. The Asus Zen AIO (all-in-one) 24 PC is said to be quite the performer. Packing rather flashy specs, it's expected to bring amazing capabilities to the table (literally). As an all-in-one PC, it offers to be a suitable workstation not just for basic home office use but also for heavy processes. So today we look at how the Asus Zen AIO 24 can benefit a photographer's workflow.
Build and Design
The Asus Zen AIO 24 is quite sleek for an all-in-one PC. Compared to a much smaller iMac, the Zen AIO 24 can be mistaken as a simple monitor for the almost inexistent bezel that they call the "Nano Edge" display and very thin panel. It packs a 23.8 inch Full HD display with a matte finish to avoid fingerprint smudges on the screen. The thin bezel up top also hides a pop-up camera that also packs Window Hello biometric recognition capabilities.
On the lower left portion of the backplate are three USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports, one USB 2.0 port, a microphone jack, headphone jack, a LAN port, and an HDMI 2.0 port. On the bottom part is an additional USB 3.1 Gen 2 port and an SD card reader for easier access.
Wirelessly, it packs a Dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0
Resolution and Performance
The Asus Zen AIO 24 packs an Intel Core i7-8750H processor running on Windows 10 Home with 16 gigabytes of RAM DDR4 2400MZ and graphics powered by an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 with 4GB DDR5 VRAM. It offers dual storage with a 1 terabyte HDD and a 128GB M.2 SATA3 Solid State Drive. All this behind a 23.8 inch Full HD touch panel with 100% sRGB color rendition that enables a more ergonomic but precise workflow experience.
The question of course is whether the computer can perform what a photographer needs their computer to perform, and can it do it smoothly? First and foremost, the minimalist design with such buff hardware inside, the Zen AIO 24 is quite a delight to have in terms of keeping a tidy desk. The 3-piece assembly (with the included wireless keyboard and mouse) keeps the clutter to a minimum.
Testing the performance of the computer, I maxed out on all possible apps that a photographer may be using simultaneously. That means Adobe Lightroom Classic, Photoshop, and even an additional Skylum Luminar running in the background. In addition of course, an open web browser (obviously I used windows explorer to download Google Chrome) with Facebook, Gmail, and a couple of YouTube videos loading. The performance of the PC barely showed any struggle in doing all the said tasks at the same time. This gives plus point for enabling photographers to multitask while working on various things whether related or unrelated to photography.
To further test the performance, I timed the how long it would take to perform what I would call the heaviest processing task on my workflow which is stitching together panoramas. I do my panoramas on Adobe Lightroom Classic and I have to admit that Adobe has made the process of creating Panoramas really easy for photographers but obviously with that efficiency comes a heavy requirement on the hardware. Ever since I started shooting with my 50.2 Megapixel Canon EOS 5Ds, I've always felt like I'm expecting too much from the computer that I use (Macbook Pro 13-inch 2017). Admittedly, what I have is under-qualified for some of the things I do on it. A panorama of 5 vertical images at 50.2 megapixels each usually takes at least about 10 to 20 minutes on my laptop. I've always used those minutes as time to brew a cup of coffee or answer some emails on my phone. On the Zen AIO 24 , the longest time it took to merge the panorama was 1.5 minutes for 5 vertical images and a brief 20 seconds for simpler processes (2 or 3 images). That obviously saves time on rush projects and quick editing tasks.
What I liked most about working on this machine was the touch screen. At first, I thought that the touch screen was a bit unnecessary and that a graphic tablet would be a better choice. Of course a graphic tablet adds precision to what a mouse offers but being able to pinch to zoom in on smaller details, as well as actually use the sliders as actual sliders on Lightroom and Photoshop was quite a good tactile experience.
Does It Fit Your Workflow?
While the Zen AIO 24 is quite a capable machine, it would of course be too much to call in the perfect post processing machine. Asus even makes that obvious with their development of extremely powerful setups such as those present in the Pro Art PA90 Mini Workstation and their Pro Art Studiobook. Such computers can perform heavy task for any kind of content creator. A digital creative who works on very heavy graphics or tedious video editing might need a little bit more processing power than the Zen AIO. This All-in-One PC however, can definitely fit the standards of a casual photographer or even a professional who does light to moderate processes in their editing workflow.
What I Liked:
- Speed and performance
- Minimalist design
- Touch Screen
What I Didn't Like:
- No USB Type-C port
- No wireless charger on the base