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MSI Pro Ap241 All-in-One PC Review: Perfect for the Office

Rating: 8/10 ?
  • 1 - Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 - Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 - Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 - Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 - Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 - Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 - Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 - Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 - Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 - Absolute Design Nirvana
Price: $1,068

An upward shot of an all-in-one computer
Dave McQuilling / Review Geek

If you want a full-power PC, but dislike the idea of wire management or want to save on space, an All-in-One PC is your best option. So how does MSI’s recent effort, the Pro AP241, rate as an All-in-One unit and an office PC?

The Pro AP241 is designed as a work-focused PC and does that job very well. However, the device isn’t flawless and doesn’t perform well outside its comfort zone.

We received the high-end version of the Pro AP241, sporting 16GB of RAM, an M.2 SSD, and an Intel Core i7 processor. All of this sits behind a 24″ 1080p full HD screen. The unit also comes with a keyboard, mouse, and full HD webcam.

We received a high-end version of the Pro, listed for $1,099 on Amazon. Several other versions are available, some of which come with i3 or i5 processors and varying degrees of RAM.

Here's What We Like

  • Excellent at handling multiple tasks
  • The slim profile looks very good
  • Quick and easy to set up

And What We Don't

  • Cheaper options may handle the same tasks just as well
  • Quality issues with some of the accessories
  • Limited to work functions

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The Specs as Reviewed

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-11700
  • GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 750
  • SSD: 500GB NVMe M.2
  • RAM: 16 GB (8GB x 2)
  • Network: Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201
  • OS: Windows 11 Home Advanced
  • USB: 4x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 2x USB 2.0 Type-A
  • Display: 24″ IPS Grade Panel LED Backlight (1920×1080 FHD) with MSI Anti-Flicker technology
  • Bluetooth: 5.1 (with Intel AC 9462) / 5.2 (with Intel AX201)
  • Audio: Realtek® ALC897
  • MSI Full HD webcam

Assembly is Easy and Only Takes a Few Minutes

Part of the AP241's assembly
Dave McQuilling / Review Geek

I’m not exaggerating when I say the AP241 took about two minutes to assemble. If your reasoning for choosing an All-in-One PC over a small desktop is an aversion to wires and complex setups, then the AP241 may be the office computer for you.

The stand consists of two parts that either pop or rotate into place; instructions are available, but it has a level of simplicity on par with putting a square block through a square hole. You can connect the included keyboard and mouse with a USB dongle, and you have six USB ports to choose from when placing it, two of which are on the side for easy access. The included “full HD” webcam takes up another USB port if you choose to connect it. Then you have the power cable to connect, and you’re good to go.

The AP241 is Good at What it is Designed for, Office Work

Pro AP241 with an additional monitor
Dual-monitor setup with the Pro AP241 on the left Dave McQuilling / Review Geek

For office-based tasks, the AP241 has everything you need. Over the two or so weeks I had it at my disposal, I wrote a couple of articles, messed around with a spreadsheet, used some free online image editing software, and opened as many tabs as humanly possible in my browser.

The tabs eventually caused some issues, but that’s like saying a scale stopped working when you ultimately put too many bricks on it. Hand on heart, I do not see this computer having an issue with any general business task you throw at it.

The i7 processor and 16 GB of RAM are ideal for handling high workloads; couple this with a dual-monitor setup, you have a unit that can multitask without breaking a sweat. The M.2 SSD means the initial boot, restarts, and transferring or opening files is lightning fast. The USB 3.2 ports on the back are also ideal for large file transfers, though those transfers could be bottlenecked by other things like the type of cable you are using or the storage device sending/receiving the files.

One thing worth noting is the lack of USB C ports, which is not the end of the world but certainly a noticeable omission. If your network is using Wi-Fi 6, choosing an MSI AP241 means you will be able to make the most of the new standard.

If your workday consists of writing, browsing the internet, and administrative work, it has more than enough power to get you through. You can even stream some music in the background or Netflix on a second monitor.

The Minimalist Desktop Is Very Aesthetically Pleasing

The Pro AP241's Screen showing a decent 1080p resolution
Dave McQuilling / Review Geek

The minimalist, razor-thin design is very pleasing to look at. The entire unit essentially consists of its 24″ screen; aside from the power cable, there are no trailing wires—so routing cables through a desk isn’t an issue. If an office wanted to look clean, modern, and uniform, I could see the Pro AP241 fitting in.

Although there are some minor issues which we’ll touch on later, the included keyboard and mouse also match with the main computer perfectly. They follow the same slim, clean design philosophy. The 24″ anti-glare screen is also pleasing to look at, and if 24″ is not enough, you can add a second monitor with relative ease via the included HDMI port.

The MSI AP241 is All Work and No Play

GPU doesn't meet the minimum requirements for Don't Starve
Can You Run It

The Pro AP241 is designed to operate as a work PC, not a gaming PC. MSI made no claims that people could use it as a gaming PC. But if you’re thinking of buying one for your home, you may want to know if you and the family can use it for some gaming outside of office hours?

The Intel UHD 750 integrated graphics system the MSI Pro AP241 uses isn’t powerful enough to run most recent games. Although Don’t Starve isn’t a particularly demanding game graphically; the integrated graphics system won’t meet the minimum requirements you need to run it.

You could mess around in the BIOS and donate some of your 16GB of available RAM to the graphics card, which would increase your gaming capability—but it is far from an ideal solution. The Intel 750UHD can also run some games at 720p and 30fps and some older titles at higher resolutions. Intel’s website has a comprehensive list—while MSI also has a breakdown of the Intel 750UHD chip’s gaming capabilities available.

The limited graphical capability is bad news for anyone whose work involves powerful photo or video editing software; the lack of a dedicated GPU will make anything beyond simple image edits impossible.

So you won’t be playing Elden Ring or editing hours of 4K video on your All-in-One PC, but if either of those things were deal breakers the chances are you’re looking for a different system entirely.

The Speakers are Awful

The MSI Pro's speakers
Dave McQuilling / Review Geek

You can, of course, buy better speakers and plug them in or connect them via Bluetooth. But I’m reviewing this as an All-in-One unit, and the built-in speakers are terrible. The sound is very tinny, and the fact the speakers are pointing out from the back of the computer doesn’t help. Having the speakers on the back is a relatively common design choice, but on a basic level, it’s nice to have sound pointing in the direction of the person who wants to hear it.

Sound quality is better if you set your PC up close to a wall; the sound waves then have less distance to travel before bouncing back at you. 90% of the time, the MSI Pro was on a desk with four feet of clearance and an open door behind it. Resulting in an awful audio experience for me and plenty of shouts of “turn that down” from my wife in the other room.

The Accessories Can be Hit and Miss

Keyboard with suspect build quality
Dave McQuilling / Review Geek

The keyboard is very light and not brilliant for long writing sessions. On the face of it, it seems to fit with the rest of the PC—it’s sleek, white, and minimalist. But on close inspection, there are some very minor quality control issues. The keys seem to bow a little instead of sitting flat. The mouse is perfectly fine.

On the other hand, the included webcam has good image and audio quality and a physical privacy shield. It’s not top of the line; it lacks features like its own lighting. In terms of functionality, it is more than enough for office-based activities like Zoom meetings—but not what you would want if your profession revolves around appearing in front of a webcam.

Upgradability is a Key Feature, but it Isn’t as Easy as MSI Claim

The inside of the MSI Pro AP241 seen from the back
Dave McQuilling / Review Geek

One of the key selling points MSI has listed is the easy upgradability of the Pro AP241. According to the manufacturer, swapping out the RAM, storage, and CPU is far more accessible in their machine than in other companies’ All-in-One efforts. They even bundle a SATA cable in with the Pro AP241, so if you want to expand the unit’s 500GB of internal storage, you only need to purchase a new SSD or HDD.

After opening up the unit myself, I’ve discovered “easy” is a relative term. Is it easier than upgrading most other All-in-One PCs? Possibly. I can certainly say this is far harder to get into than a desktop. You need to remove ten screws and slide the plastic back panel down. There another panel stands between you and the good stuff, so you need to carefully unscrew and remove that. As opposed to a desktop PC where you open the case, and it’s all just there.

Changing out most components is no easier than it is on a standard desktop or laptop. While some components, like storage drives and RAM, will just clip in or swap out—but, changing the CPU requires a steady hand and thermal paste. There is nothing about this unit that makes installing or upgrading any of these parts easier than it would be on a normal PC. MSI only claimed it was simpler to upgrade this All-in-One than another company’s All-in-One, but while that seems true, that doesn’t make the process “easy.”

You May Get Something Equally Functional for Far Less Money

A mini-PC mounted to a monitor

The MSI Pro AP241 is a very capable All-in-One business desktop; I can’t find fault with it when it comes to its intended use. But the question you need to ask is, why are you buying an All-in-One? With a price point of over $1,000, the Pro AP has a lot of competition. If you want a functional business PC, small units with similar specifications are available for around half of the price. Most everyday tasks don’t even require an i7 processor and 16GB of RAM. Some mini-computers are even small enough to attach to the back of a monitor. If you’re looking for something easy to set up, there are plenty of laptops in the same price bracket. Everything is about some type of compromise though. A desktop requires more room, a laptop comes with a smaller monitor, and an All-in-One requires a premium.

If you’re genuinely set on an All-in-One work PC and have the budget available, you won’t be disappointed with an MSI Pro AP241. None of the faults I’ve picked impact its functionality as a work PC. You can easily replace a lackluster Soundsystem or sub-par keyboard.

This unit is great if you want something stylish and functional that saves plenty of space. If you need an All-in-One PC, this might be the All-in-One for you, though if you have extra room available you should weigh up the alternatives.

Rating: 8/10
Price: $1,068

Here’s What We Like

  • Excellent at handling multiple tasks
  • The slim profile looks very good
  • Quick and easy to set up

And What We Don't

  • Cheaper options may handle the same tasks just as well
  • Quality issues with some of the accessories
  • Limited to work functions

Dave McQuilling Dave McQuilling
Dave McQuilling has spent over 10 years writing about almost everything, but technology has always been one of his main interests. He has previously worked for newspapers, magazines, radio stations, websites, and television stations in both the US and Europe. Read Full Bio »