Visit our Business Solutions website >>

Desktop Reviews

Updated: Jun 30, 2015 10:18
Brand
alaScore
Price
Type
CPU
Graphics Card
#1
alaScore 100

Apple iMac (27-inch, Retina 5K, Late 2014) MF886 / Z0QX

Let us set aside the question of whether the 5K display is an advantage for the average users...

40 expert reviews | 314 user reviews

Usability  
Design  
Price  
Reliability  
#2
alaScore 99

Apple Mac Mini (Late 2014) MGEM2 / MGEN2 / MGEQ2

Fantastic design with small footprint Good connectivity Inexpensive

17 expert reviews | 612 user reviews

Usability  
Price  
Size  
Reliability  
#3
alaScore 99

Acer Revo One RL85

Mini-form-factor PCs are becoming more and more popular. Thanks to the latest mobile technology...

13 expert reviews

Design  
Price  
#4
alaScore 98

Apple iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, Mid 2015, MF885)

The 2015 Apple iMac ($1,999 as tested) features a brilliant 5K Retina In-Plane Switching (IPS)...

2 expert reviews | 3 user reviews

Price  
Usability  
Size  
Design  
#5
alaScore 98

Velocity Micro Raptor

The Velocity Micro Raptor Z40 ($2,699 as tested) is a small form-factor (SFF) gaming desktop that...

2 expert reviews

Design  
Price  
Usability  
Size  
#6
alaScore 98

Intel Compute Stick

When Intel announced the Compute Stick earlier this year at CES, we were excited. There are a...

16 expert reviews | 15 user reviews

Price  
Size  
Usability  
Design  
#7
alaScore 97

Apple iMac 27-Inch (Late 2013) (ME088 / ME089)

The iMac remains our favorite all-in-one desktop, and returns this year with beefier graphics...

27 expert reviews | 1305 user reviews

Usability  
Design  
Price  
Size  
#8
alaScore 97

Apple iMac (21.5-inch, Mid 2014) MF883 / ME086 / ME087

Apple has always demanded a premium for its hardware, and even after a $200 price drop, that...

23 expert reviews | 4025 user reviews

Usability  
Design  
Price  
Size  
#9
alaScore 97

Lenovo Horizon 2e

The Lenovo Horizon 2e ($749.99 as tested) is one of the less-expensive portable all-in-one...

7 expert reviews | 3 user reviews

Size  
Price  
Usability  
Design  
#10
alaScore 97

Acer Chromebox CXI

The Acer Chromebox CXI-i38GKM ($399.99) beefs up the basic Chromebox—a desktop running Google's...

3 expert reviews | 11 user reviews

Price  
Usability  
Design  
Size  
#11
alaScore 96

Asus ET2321IUTH

The Asus Eee Top ET2321IUTH is a stylish and affordable all-in-one PC with a unique Freeview TV...

8 expert reviews | 192 user reviews

Usability  
Size  
Reliability  
Design  
ADVERTISEMENT
#12
alaScore 96

Dell XPS 18

On paper, the Dell XPS 18 all-in-one/tablet hybrid shouldn't work, with its massive 18.4-inch...

27 expert reviews | 122 user reviews

Usability  
Price  
Design  
Size  
#13
alaScore 96

Asus VivoPC VM62N

Just a question. How many other people first read ViVo == Video in, Video out? That term has been...

5 expert reviews | 1 user reviews

#14
alaScore 96

Intel NUC D54250WYK

When we reviewed the first iteration of Intel's NUC (Next Unit of Computing) do-it-yourself kit...

17 expert reviews | 205 user reviews

Usability  
Price  
Size  
Reliability  
#15
alaScore 96

MSI Nightblade

Kitguru says: Its an incredible concept and well worth buying, but we would recommend some...

7 expert reviews | 20 user reviews

Size  
Usability  
Price  
Design  
#16
alaScore 96

Acer Aspire U5-620

The Acer Aspire AU5-620 is a great entertainment PC, pairing an attractive display and strong...

6 expert reviews

Price  
Design  
Size  
Reliability  
#17
alaScore 95

Raspberry Pi

Aimed at the adventurous or the learning oriented, the Raspberry Pi provides an outstanding...

30 expert reviews | 208 user reviews

Price  
Usability  
Size  
Design  
#18
alaScore 95

Acer Aspire Z3-615

The Acer Aspire Z (AZ3-615-UR15) ($949.99) is a well-equipped, midrange all-in-one PC that gives...

4 expert reviews | 132 user reviews

Usability  
Price  
Design  
Size  
#19
alaScore 95

Dell XPS 27

OK, our first look at the Dell XPS One 's gorgeous display didn't leave us quite as flabbergasted...

47 expert reviews | 169 user reviews

Usability  
Design  
Price  
Reliability  
#20
alaScore 95

Digital Storm Eclipse

The Digital Storm Eclipse ($1,299 as tested) is a midrange gaming PC with a high-end Nvidia...

2 expert reviews

Usability  
Price  
Size  
#21
alaScore 95

Lenovo Horizon 2s

The Horizon 2s is Lenovo's newest 2-in-1 system and as such it certainly delivers. We like the...

10 expert reviews | 29 user reviews

Usability  
Design  
Price  
Size  
#22
alaScore 95

Dell Alienware AREA 51

The Dell Alienware Area-51 with its hot off the wafer fab Core i7-980 X six-core processor, put...

4 expert reviews | 2 user reviews

Usability  
Price  
Design  
Size  
#23
alaScore 95

HP Pavilion Mini

The HP Pavilion Mini ($449) is a budget desktop PC that fits neatly behind a HDTV or monitor. One...

3 expert reviews

Design  
Price  
#24
alaScore 94

Asus ROG G20AJ

I don't need to upgrade video since I can run 1080p without troubles in all the new games I've...

2 expert reviews | 212 user reviews

Usability  
Price  
Reliability  
Design  
#25
alaScore 94

Origin Millennium

The Origin Millennium ($7,399 as tested) is a high-end gaming desktop with a high-powered Intel...

2 expert reviews

Price  
Size  
Reliability  

Compare

    Buying Guide

    Buying Guide - Desktops

    Although other formats are gaining, desktop computers remain a popular choice for many consumers. Desktops still offer a slight advantage in price when compared to laptops, and this is an important consideration for any consumer. When it comes to the ultimate in performance, memory, and screen size for your personal computer, there is no substitute for a desktop model, and these computers will remain the biggest kids on the block for the foreseeable future.



    Contents

    Desktop Advantages

    Performance: Higher end desktops offer advantages over laptops in all areas of performance. Desktops can handle larger processors, more RAM for faster computing, expanded hard disk size for storage of a huge amount of files, and unrivaled ability to accommodate larger screen size.

    Upgrades: Desktop PCs offer the most flexibility to accommodate upgrades in hardware and software. This extends the life of the computer, and reduces the need to buy an entirely new computer to substantially enhance performance.

    Connectivity: If you have a number of different accessories, hardware add-ons, memory managers, or gaming devices, the plethora of connectivity options provided by desktops will be essential to give you an optimized computing experience.

    What to Look for in a Desktop

    PC vs. Mac – PCs are still the market leaders, but Macs have a core of enthusiastic followers that continues to grow. PCs have a huge selection of hardware and software add-ons to choose from, but the bulky operating system may require a more powerful computer in order to run smoothly. Macs are efficient and easy to use, but your choices for hardware and software are constrained to a handful of providers. Ultimately, the difference is increasingly becoming one simply of personal preference, rather than performance.

    CPU/Processor – The processor is the powerhouse of a computer, and affects all aspects of your computing experience. As the power goes up (measured in GHz), so does performance – if you anticipate needing to run a lot of high-end applications, you will need a more powerful processor, and most new mainstream and high-end PCs come with dual-core or quad-core chips in them, with six-core chips just hitting the market recent years.

    RAM – This will provide the speed of your desktop. The amount and type of memory you choose goes a long way toward dictating your system's level of overall performance. 4GB of RAM is becoming standard recently, replacing 2GB of RAM, which matches a much quicker machine. Desktops are not constrained by issues of portability, and thus have an advantage versus laptops with the ability to allow 4GB of RAM and beyond. When buying RAM, try to buy as few DIMMs (Dual Inline Memory Module) as possible to allow for future RAM upgrades if needed.

    Graphics Card – For basic computing tasks, such as emailing, browsing and watching video from the Web, and giving the occasional photo slideshow, you can get away with integrated graphics. If your video application go beyond the basics, however, you'll be best served by choosing a dedicated graphics card with its own graphics memory. Gamers, digital media makers, and anyone who wants to use more than two monitors will all benefit from adding a discrete graphics card. You should consider performance, the amount of memory on the card, output connectors and the version of Direct X supported. Those looking to play games a lot should really consider a Direct X 10 card with at least 512MB of memory onboard. The vast majority of new 3D graphics cards require a PCI Express slot. PCI Express 2.0 doubles the bandwidth, and PC Express 2.0 cards are backward compatible with PCI Express 1.0 slots. Make sure you get a card that suits your expansion slot type.

    Hard Drive – The hard drive stores all of the information on your computer. Mainstream users should aim 500GB hard drives at minimum, and will likely find a system with 640GB, 750GB, or even 1TB that fits comfortably in their price range. Desktops offer the most robust storage available, with hard drive sizes of 1TB+ becoming increasingly common for professional music, graphics, and video applications. If you demand much higher, you'll find single drives with capacities up to 2TB. In terms of speed, they are pretty much all running at 7200rpm now. A few high performance 10,000rpm drives are available. Most drives use the Serial ATA interface now for ease of installation.

    Screen Size – Desktops have a huge advantage in screen size, allowing for sizes far in excess of other formats. Based on performance and price, 22” LCD screens offer the best value, but consumers interested in the best display characteristics are upgrading to 24” and beyond. Desktops even allow for multiple screens to be used, a convenience for users who require multiple windows to be accessible at all times.

    Popular Desktop Brands

    Dell has a huge number of available desktops, and their business model allows consumers the convenience of selecting components to 'build' their computer. Lenovo, HP and Gateway are familiar names with a legacy of outstanding value, and they offer desktops at all levels of price and performance. Asus and Acer have established themselves as the place to go for entry-level models at bargain prices.

    Apple has a wide range of models in its iMac line and has something for all levels of users, from casual computer enthusiasts to dedicated media professionals who require a media design, editing, and storage machine.

    Back to top

    Desktops on alaTest

    alaTest.com has collected and analyzed millions of reviews from 2934 sources to help you choose the best Desktop from top brands like Hewlett-packard, Dell, Acer, Lenovo, Ibuypower and more.

    Buying Tips Read our Buying Guide
    before you make your purchase
    ADVERTISEMENT

    Blog Articles

    Best Wireless Printers

    Gone are the days when printers were large, bulky and covered in wires. Now, printers have shed the extra weight and the wires to make way for sleeker, lighter and multi-functional wireless...

    Gift Ideas for Recent Graduates

    It’s that time of the year when students walk down the aisle in their black graduation caps and parents can’t stop grinning with pride. Graduation is a special occasion, a once-in-a-lifetime event...

    Get These Cool Accessories For Your iPad

    So, you just bought yourself a brand new Apple iPad and now you are on the lookout for some exciting accessories. The good news is that you won’t be disappointed at all since there is a wide range...

    ADVERTISEMENT