Technology aficionados across the world spent much of this week engrossed by the news from the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the annual tech consortium held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Among the most popular new models and designs included what's known as "all-in-one" computers.

An all-in-one computer is pretty much what it sounds like: a desktop computer that combines all of its hardware into the monitor, as opposed to having a separate tower. All-in-ones have actually been around since the 1980s, when Apple launched the first Macintosh computer. But, that version and many of the company's following versions were still large, box-shaped computers. Since then, all-in-one computers have gotten progressively thinner and more compact (think of the iMac), but most importantly, the latest all-in-ones bring new meaning to their title.

"In 2011, all-in-one desktops went from being a novelty to becoming a palatable product category that served up a strong value and great performance in a compact case," said Nate Ralph, a technology columnist for PC World, in a January 13 article.

Many all-in-one computers these days include such features as an incredibly thin and sleek monitor, wireless capabilities (so that dealing with unsightly cords is no longer an issue), a built-in webcam and speakers, massive high-definition LCD monitors that can double as media center TVs, touch screens and even built-in Blu-ray drives. In this way, your computer doubles as an entertainment center for TV, music and video, all of which can be streamed directly from the internet.

In the past, one issue with all-in-ones was that upgrading and servicing the hardware could pose a challenge to some computer repair services, because of its compact design. If you're experiencing problems with your all-in-one computer, you may want to contact a your local Virginia computer repair or Mac repair service.