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Desktop Reviews

Updated: Jul 27, 2015 23:54
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#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...

36 expert reviews | 402 user reviews

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#2
alaScore 99

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

Fantastic design with small footprint Good connectivity Inexpensive

16 expert reviews | 844 user reviews

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#3
alaScore 99

Acer Revo One RL85

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

12 expert reviews | 29 user reviews

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#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 | 35 user reviews

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#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

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#6
alaScore 98

Intel Compute Stick

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

19 expert reviews | 25 user reviews

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#7
alaScore 97

RASPBERRY PI Raspberry PI 2 Model B

The original Raspberry Pi Model B was a surprising success story when it was released in 2012...

4 expert reviews | 338 user reviews

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#8
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...

26 expert reviews | 1437 user reviews

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#9
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 | 4398 user reviews

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#10
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 | 12 user reviews

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#11
alaScore 97

Asus Vivomini UN62

VivoMini UN62 is ideal for a wide range of business applications and home needs. It can be used...

3 expert reviews | 8 user reviews

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#12
alaScore 96

Asus ROG G20AJ

Asus ROG G20 is ultimate gaming PC that looks great and performs well. The machine enhances your...

3 expert reviews | 335 user reviews

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#13
alaScore 96

Dell XPS 18

A step in the right direction

28 expert reviews | 313 user reviews

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#14
alaScore 96

Zotac ZBOX PI320 PICO

The Zotac Zbox Pico PI320 ($199.99 as tested) is really, really tiny. It's one of the many so...

4 expert reviews | 31 user reviews

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#15
alaScore 96

Ecs LIVA

The ECS Liva X is priced at Rs 17,550 and is available in the market for around Rs 15,500. This...

3 expert reviews

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#16
alaScore 95

Mass Effect 3

A fitting conclusion to one of gaming’s finest trilogies; improved combat and character...

109 expert reviews

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#17
alaScore 95

Asus ET2321IUTH

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

8 expert reviews | 197 user reviews

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#18
alaScore 95

Intel NUC D54250WYK

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

17 expert reviews | 231 user reviews

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#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...

46 expert reviews | 216 user reviews

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#20
alaScore 95

Asus VivoPC VM62N

very powerful and easy to change out memory and hard drives. I added a 250GB SSD and its really...

5 expert reviews | 20 user reviews

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#21
alaScore 94

Dell Inspiron One 2350

A handful of worthwhile unique features help the Dell Inspiron 23 all-in-one stand out among 23...

7 expert reviews | 46 user reviews

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#22
alaScore 94

Raspberry Pi

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

30 expert reviews | 199 user reviews

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#23
alaScore 94

Acer Chromebox CXI

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

2 expert reviews | 64 user reviews

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#24
alaScore 94

Intel NUC5i3RYH

If you take a look at our review of Gigabyte BRIX S you will pretty much have the low-down on the...

2 expert reviews | 28 user reviews

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#25
alaScore 94

MSI Nightblade

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

7 expert reviews | 20 user reviews

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    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.

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    Desktops on alaTest

    alaTest.com has collected and analyzed millions of reviews from 2965 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
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