Death to the Space Hogs!

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Admit it, that gray tower with the superfast chip, the 10-gig hard drive and the DVD-ROM is an eyesore. Desktop computers don't even fit on desktops anymore, partly because your old-school monitor is a serious space hog. Well, death to the space hogs! Long live all-in-one flat-screen computers: systems that really will fit on your desktop — and might even dress it up a little.

Of course, the current market for these combined CPU-monitor units isn't exactly enormous. The few models available — sleek and far from cheap — are aimed mostly at fat-walleted corporations with serious space concerns. But since flat-screen LCD technology is coming down in price and aesthetics are becoming a core home-computing consideration, it’s likely there will soon be a lot more of them. I took a look at a trio of early birds — machines that take two minutes to set up and take up less space than your current monitor.