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Desktop Reviews

Updated: Jun 24, 2017 22:17
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#1
alaScore 100

Lenovo Ideacentre Y900

Lenovo is treading on deeper ground with its new Y900 and the $2000+ USD price tag proves it...

29 expert reviews | 17 user reviews

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#2
alaScore 99

Apple iMac 27-inch Retina 5K, Mid & Late 2015 (MK462, MK472, MK482, MF885, Z0QW)

Once again, the second iteration of Apple's Retina 5 K all-rounder leaves a very good impression...

43 expert reviews | 1155 user reviews

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#3
alaScore 99

HP Envy 34 CURVED-A090NG P4P99EA

The new HP Envy 34 Curved All-in-One (2017) eclipses last year's model with twice the SSD storage...

4 expert reviews

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#4
alaScore 98

Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO Y910

If you're short on desktop space, the AIO Y910 offers the same performance as a desktop and is...

7 expert reviews

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#5
alaScore 98

Lenovo IdeaCentre Y710 Cube

The Lenovo IdeaCentre Y710 Cube is ready to put you in whatever gaming world you desire...

14 expert reviews | 10 user reviews

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#6
alaScore 98

MSI Aegis 3

The MSI Aegis 3 stretches the definition of an SFF desktop. Its futuristic exterior is a visual...

2 expert reviews | 2 user reviews

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#7
alaScore 97

Nvidia Shield Android TV

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33 expert reviews | 187 user reviews

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#8
alaScore 97

Acer Predator G6 (G6-710 / AG6-710)

Conclusions The Acer Predator AG6-710 (70002) is a unique-looking yet cumbersome gaming desktop...

16 expert reviews | 17 user reviews

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#9
alaScore 97

Asus Zen AiO Pro Z240IC

The Zen AiO rivals an iMac, but you definitely get more bang for the buck. Where a similarly...

18 expert reviews | 40 user reviews

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#10
alaScore 96

Lenovo Ideacentre AIO 700

If you're looking for an all-in-one computer system that performs well and handles most tasks...

5 expert reviews | 3 user reviews

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#11
alaScore 96

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

Every once in a while, a gadget completely resets the curve. Once I started wearing good...

43 expert reviews | 732 user reviews

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#12
alaScore 96

Intel Skull Canyon NUC6i7KYK

With marketing words like "Mini PC. Full-sized performance" used for the Skull Canyon NUC, buyers...

10 expert reviews | 3 user reviews

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#13
alaScore 96

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

While its sealed-case limitations will turn off power users, Apple's least expensive Mac delivers...

36 expert reviews | 1775 user reviews

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#14
alaScore 96

Lenovo Ideacentre AIO 910

There’s a lot to like about the Lenovo AIO 910: its sleek metal design, its massive display, and...

5 expert reviews | 7 user reviews

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#15
alaScore 96

Dell OptiPlex 7440

Conclusions The Dell OptiPlex 24 Series All-In-One (7440) is a fine business all-in-one, and the...

5 expert reviews

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#16
alaScore 96

Acer Predator G1

The Acer Predator G1 isn't the fastest or even smallest VR-ready desktop, but it's powerful...

8 expert reviews

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#17
alaScore 96

Intel Compute Stick

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

57 expert reviews | 187 user reviews

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#18
alaScore 95

Falcon Northwest Tiki

Size doesn’t matter. At least that’s what Falcon Northwest is saying with its latest entry into...

18 expert reviews | 1 user reviews

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#19
alaScore 95

Apple iMac 21.5-inch Retina 4K, Late 2015 (MK452)

The 4K display might be something of a luxury for business users who simply want to run Microsoft...

9 expert reviews | 324 user reviews

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#20
alaScore 95

MSI Cubi

The MSI Cubi is a well-conceived kit PC, with good documentation and a complete raft of...

19 expert reviews | 214 user reviews

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#21
alaScore 95

Lenovo IdeaCentre Y700-34ISH

Conclusion It's hard to pass up a good deal—and the Lenovo Ideacentre Y700 is a good deal. There...

4 expert reviews | 20 user reviews

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#22
alaScore 95

Dell XPS 8910

Dell's XPS Tower Special Edition packs power into a small tower, but it makes an unfortunate error.

2 expert reviews | 1 user reviews

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#23
alaScore 95

Acer Revo One RL85

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

32 expert reviews | 140 user reviews

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#24
alaScore 95

HP Workstation Z240

Conclusion The HP Z240 SFF is a fine choice if you need ISV-certified computing power for a small...

4 expert reviews

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#25
alaScore 95

Asus ROG G20CB

The Asus ROG G20CB has a stunningly compact design with tons of fun lighting options, and it's...

9 expert reviews | 95 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 3036 sources to help you choose the best Desktop from top brands like Lenovo, Acer, Apple, Dell, Asus and more.

    Buying Tips Read our Buying Guide
    before you make your purchase

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