Larger, traditional PC towers can also run and keep cooler for longer, even with intense workloads, so you don’t have to worry about your desktop overheating. If you’re looking to upgrade to the best computer, you need to make sure it checks all your boxes and that it won’t be upstaged by even the most powerful of laptops. Check out the full feed of all of our latest desktop reviews, as well as our narrower-focused guides to our favorite all-in-one PCs, business desktops, and gaming desktops. With a few exceptions for business-oriented models, you will give up a lot of room for expansion in an AIO versus traditional desktop tower. Cracking open an AIO for an upgrade or fix, while not impossible, is a bigger deal than opening the side of a desktop tower.

But mini PCs and desktop towers need the right selection of ports. At a minimum, they’ll have to connect to a display, speakers or headphones, and a power source. There are also pre-built desktops retailing under $500 that still deliver great power and storage space, as well as high-end desktops that will future-proof your office from needing to swap out individual components. From options for creative professionals to compact models, here are the best desktop computers for every need. If you’re going Alienware, and you want a proper gaming spec, the R12 with an i9 processor, 32GB of 3200MHz RAM, a 1TB SSD and 1TB HDD, and an Nvidia 3080 graphics card is enough to crush any game at 4K.

best buy computer

However, if you’re willing to buy into the AMD brand of processors, which are actually equal to and better than Intel’s chips in some respects, you can shave a few hundred dollars off the price of your gaming PC. The very highest-end desktop chips may require liquid cooling systems, which limits their use to high-end towers with lots of interior space. The powerful gaming desktop computers we review have plenty of fans to keep things cool and usually a handful of LED lights. While investigating desktop computers, we have found that one of the reasons people prefer them to laptops is the full-size keyboard, especially if said keyboard uses mechanical switches. The first thing to know before you buy a desktop computer is which operating system — the interface that controls how you interact with programs and features — you want to use.


Smartly, the webcam of the laptop is hidden in the keyboard allowing Honor to save space on the top bezel. The screen itself is well lit and colours looked good to my eye. You can have the best of both worlds with an all-in-one PC that boots from a SSD but has an additional spinning hard drive for storage. In that case, look for at least a 256GB SSD boot drive and 1TB of supplemental hard drive storage if you’re a power user. You’ll need more storage if you plan on keeping your entire video, music, and photo collection on your AIO.

All 13-inch models have the same great display with 2256×1504 resolution, touch and inking support, and excellent color. The keyboard is great for all-day typing, the Precision touchpad tracks flawlessly, and the premium design fits in whether you’re at a cafe or in the boardroom. The screen sizes are the obvious differences but internally there are a few chipsets on offer. You can go for the 11th Generation Intel chipsets or AMD Ryzen chips.

Some manufacturers and resellers offer wide ranges of extended warranties; expect to spend $100 to $300 for one of these options. Many AIOs and mini PCs, conversely, use the same efficient, cooler-running types of CPUs that you’ll find in laptops. Intel typically labels these mobile-first chip designs with a CPU name containing “U,” “Y,” or “H”, or “P”; most desktop chips instead have a “T” or a “K,” or just a zero at the end. A mobile CPU might have the same number of processor cores as its desktop counterpart (four- and six-core chips are common in both), but its maximum power consumption will often be far lower. Also, the typical base and boost clock speeds may be lower, and the chip may not support multithreading.

  • We tested the 2019 version, which was updated in late 2020 with a more powerful processor but has an almost identical exterior design.
  • The Surface Studio 2 doesn’t just feature the same gorgeous display and unique functionality, but it also ups the power significantly, making it a much more future-proof device.
  • With multithreading, each CPU core can run two sets of software instructions simultaneously, instead of just one.
  • But where many other hybrids offer tablet-grade performance in a laptop chassis, this Dell model is a powerful device by any measure.
  • To help your computer sound as good as it can, pick up a pair of computer speakers or headphones.
  • The 27-inch iMac boasts Intel 10th-generation processors, AMD Radeon Pro 5000 series graphics, and perhaps most importantly, a 1080p webcam – a big step up from the 720p cameras used in older iMacs.

HDR has been creeping into more and more PC gaming and content creation monitors over the past few years. While we’ve found that many of them would be better off not including it at all , the HDR adoption rate in monitors resembles that of HDR televisions starting in 2017. Theoretically, once similar panel-scale economics kick in, monitors with higher HDR ratings could also come down in price. Thanks to its easy portability, high-quality panel, and USB-C connectivity, Lenovo’s ThinkVision M14 is a winning choice as a portable monitor for business or personal use.

Microsoft Laptop Surface Go

While some less-expensive AIO PCs will come with panels smaller than 23 inches, those are better suited to exceedingly cramped spaces such as classroom labs or dorm rooms. (Go much smaller than that, and you might as well just buy a big-screen laptop.) What you really want is a display at least 23 inches on the diagonal—and larger is better if you can do it. The biggest all-in-ones we’ve seen to date have curved 34-inch screens. Alex Wawro is a lifelong tech and games enthusiast with more than a decade of experience covering both for outlets like Game Developer, Black Hat, and PC World magazine. He currently serves as a senior editor at Tom’s Guide covering all things computing, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice.

Aio Basics, Part One: The Core Components

It’s one of the best all-in-one computers we’ve seen, and our top pick for media creators and artists. The Azulle Access3 takes our favorite tiny stick PC and makes it even better. The zippy performance even supports 4K video output, making it great for streaming. The minimum amount of storage space most laptop shoppers should consider is 256GB. This will accommodate the considerable requirements of operating system updates and large apps like Microsoft Office with room left over.