the workhorse of the PC world still has a place. The desktop continues to evolve with stunning new designs, extremely affordable prices, and a range of uses that extends far beyond the home office. Whether you’re looking for a standard tower PC or a sleek All-in-One, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re looking for a crazy fast gaming rig or a computer for streaming movies and TV shows, you’ll find something here.
The standard desktop tower still reigns as the basic PC, ranging from smaller budget-priced systems to powerful towers that can double as workstations or gaming rigs. You’ll get a lot of performance and plenty of features even at budget prices, but perhaps the biggest draw for desktop buyers is the fact that, unlike slim laptops that won’t even let you swap the battery, the tower still allows the user to maintain and upgrade their system. Even the simple tasks of upgrading RAM or swapping out an old hard drive with a newer, faster solid-state drive will extend the life of a PC for months, or even years.
The PC is making headway in the living room, as well, with home theater PCs (HTPC) gaining ground. These PCs connect easily to an HDTV and tout smaller, sleeker designs that will will fit into a home theater set-up without looking too out of place. Whether it’s a tiny HTPC for streaming Netflix movies to your TV, or a heavy duty gaming PC that blends in next to stereo equipment, the desktop PC has moved from the office to the den, and the trend looks to continue in future months.
But the biggest shift in the desktop PC is the move from tower-based designs to all-in-one systems which pack the PC components into the chassis or base of the monitor. The result is less cluttered, with fewer cables and without the tower providing extra space stealing bulk on your desk. Since the release of Windows 8, the all-in-one shift has added touch to the mix, providing large screens that can be tapped, swiped, and poked for a more intuitive navigation experience.
But with so many different options, which should you choose? We’ve sifted through the dozens of desktops on the market and selected the ten choicest systems to pick from.
By Brian Westover