Though time has proven that people are becoming more and more interested in buying portable machines that can do it all as opposed to traditional desktop PCs, even . Plus, nowadays the best computers are frankly just as versatile.
All-in-ones, for instance, are now thinner and lighter than ever while traditional desktop towers are becoming increasingly more powerful solutions – to the point where a version of Windows specifically created with these high performers in mind.
Though the top computers aren’t all as upgradeable as they once were, certain models can still be augmented with better parts down the line. However, others are limited to what you get out of the box. Either way, these are the top 10 computers you can buy today.
1. Dell XPS Tower Special Edition
Don’t be fooled, this machine is a gaming PC at heart
CPU: Intel Core i5 – Core i7 | Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 580 – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Storage: 256GB SSD; 1TB HDD – 512GB SSD; 2TB HDD | Communication: Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2 | Dimensions (W x D x H): 7.09 x 14.02 x 15.22 inches
For lack of a better description, the Dell XPS Tower Special Edition is a master of disguise. Appearing as subtle as the PC your parents probably hide behind a cabinet, don’t be deceived by this hardy rig’s exterior. Inside you’ll find your choice of one of the latest high-end graphics card solutions from AMD and Nvidia in addition to a powerful Kaby Lake processor paired with plenty of hard drive – and/or SSD – storage.
Read the full review: Dell XPS Tower Special Edition
- This product is only available in the US. UK and Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Alienware Aurora R5.
2. Surface Studio
The art kid’s dream computer in a metallic nutshell
CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M – 980M | RAM: 8GB – 32GB | Storage: 64GB SSD; 1TB HDD – 128GB SSD; 2TB HDD | Communication: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 | Dimensions: 25.09x 17.27 x 0.44 inches (63.7 x 43.9 x 1.14cm W x D x H)
Microsoft doesn’t seem to have a care in the world for what other hardware makers are doing, making the Surface Studio all the more glamorous as a result. Featuring Surface Pen support, it’s more than a basic productivity and entertainment machine. The PixelSense Display puts even most 4K screens to shame, while the fully-articulating stand makes it a versatile tool for work and play. All in all, the Surface Studio is an exceptional work of, and for, art.
Read the full review: Surface Studio
3. Apple iMac with 5K Retina display (2015)
A stylish all-in-one with a stunning screen
CPU: Intel Dual-Core i5 - Quad-Core i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Graphics 6000 | RAM: 8GB - 32GB | Storage: 1TB HDD - 3TB SSD | Communication: Wireless: 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0 | Dimensions (W x D x H): 196 x 196 x 36mm
The iMac keeps it classy and, better yet, simple. Easy-to-use hardware combined with the famed accessibility of macOS makes for a nigh-perfect computing experience. A built-in screen, speakers and 802.11ac wireless networking are complemented by the fantastic Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse 2. Of course, trumpeting that gorgeous 5K screen, the iMac is sleek and, best of all, only requires a single cable to get up and running.
Read the full review: Apple iMac with 5K Retina display
4. Apple iMac with 4K Retina display (21.5-inch, Late 2015)
Still stylish, still stunning, but compact too
CPU: Intel Quad-Core i5 | Graphics: Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200 | RAM: 8GB 1867MHz LPDDR3 | Storage: 1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400RPM | Communication: Wireless: 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0 | Dimensions (W x D x H): 45cm x 52.8cm x 17.5cm
When it comes to 21-inch screens, Apple knows that 4K is more than enough. That’s why the smaller rendition of the iMac sticks to a resolution of 4,096 x 2,304. Housed by a classic aluminum finish Mac lovers can’t live without, this all-in-one leaves plenty of room for trinkets and accessories. Like the 5K iMac, the Magic Mouse 2 (or Magic Trackpad 2 if you’re so inclined) is included along with the newest Magic Keyboard.
Read the full review: Apple iMac with 4K Retina display (21.5-inch, Late 2015)
5. Apple Mac mini
The cheapest way you can go Mac
CPU: Intel Dual-Core i5 | Graphics: Intel Iris Graphics 5100 | RAM: 4GB - 8GB | Storage: 500GB HDD | Communication: Wireless: 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0 | Dimensions (W x D x H): 196 x 196 x 36mm
The Mac mini exhibits the luxury of an Apple desktop without the extravagant price tag to match. Featuring an aluminum shell that’s both compact and simple, the Mac Mini is Apple at its most quintessential. And, while it hasn't been updated in quite some time on the hardware front, the Mac Mini's Haswell-based i5 processor still chugs along nicely. Combined with Iris Graphics onboard, the Mac Mini is arguably the best starting point for macOS newcomers.
Read the full review: Apple Mac mini
6. HP Pavilion Wave
It's a prettier, if less-beefy, Mac Pro
CPU: Intel Core i3 – Intel Core i5 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 530 – AMD Radeon R9 M470 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 1TB HDD | Communication: 802.11ac, Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.2 | Dimensions (W x D x H): 6.81 x 6.62 x 9.25 inches
Developed in conjunction with Bang & Olufsen, the HP Pavilion Wave is one of the few PCs defined by its speaker system. Thanks to its quality-woven fabric chassis and Bluetooth audio output capabilities, the HP Pavilion Wave delivers high-fidelity sound in a form factor that resembles the Mac Pro, even if the specs are way off. The HP Pavilion Wave future-proofs itself with three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, DisplayPort and even a single USB Type-C port.
Read the first look: HP Pavilion Wave
7. Dell XPS 27 AIO
A well-rounded jab at Apple’s ageing iMac
CPU: Intel Core i5 – Core i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 530 | RAM: 8GB – 32GB | Storage: 1TB HDD – 2TB HDD; 32GB SSD | Communication: 802.11ac; Ethernet; Bluetooth 4.0 | Dimensions (W x D x H): 17.1 x 24.6 x 3.16 inches
Resting atop an articulating stand, the Dell XPS 27 AIO comprises a massive 4K Ultra HD touchscreen display with a whopping sextet of ear-numbing speakers. Not only is it attractive, but it’s also top-notch when it comes to delivering powerful specs. Whether you’re making your own beats or vibing out to someone else’s; watching films or editing them yourself, the Dell XPS 27 should be at the top of your list when shopping around for a new PC.
Read the full review: Dell XPS 27 AIO
8. Intel Compute Stick (Core M)
The tiny computer that can
CPU: Intel Core m3 – Core m5 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB eMMC | Communication: 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2 | Dimensions (W x D x H): 38mm x 12mm x 125mm
You wouldn’t assume a PC that’s the size of a flash drive to run Windows 10 almost seamlessly. This little computer does that and more, however, without wasting space in your living room or in a cabinet beneath your desk. Though we were admittedly disappointed by the initial run of Atom-equipped Intel Compute Sticks, now that you can choose between an Intel Core m3 or Core m5 chip, our qualms have been (mostly) assuaged.
9. Asus VivoMini UN65U
A compact desktop for everyday computing
CPU: Intel Core i3 – i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Integrated Graphics 620 | RAM: 4GB – 32GB | Storage: 32GB – 256GB SSD; HDD up to 1TB | Communication: 802.11ac, Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.0 | Dimensions (W x D x H): 5.16 x 5.16 x 2.05 inches
Asus is a unique hardware maker in that it offers a wide range of computers for every type of user. The Asus VivoMini UN65 specifically is designed for those yearning to keep their desktop in the living room. Although it doesn’t include an SSD, RAM or an operating system (you’ll have to install Windows 10 by yourself), once you do get it up and running, it’s dead silent and just as capable as some desktop towers multiple times its size.
Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article