The 8 Best Desktop PCs to Buy in 2018

Shop for the top desktop PCs for your home

Shopping for the right desktop depends heavily on what you need to accomplish on a daily basis. But no matter what your needs are, there’s something for everyone. If looking at specs is your thing, you probably already know the type of configuration you want, from monitor size to processor to amount of RAM. But for the average person, the revolving door of new desktop PCs requires a little help. We’re making things a little easier by offering up our picks for the best desktops of 2018.

Best Overall: Dell i3265-A643WHT-PUS Inspiron 3265 AIO Desktop

Looking for a well-rounded desktop PC that performs strong across the board? Look no further than the Dell i3265-A643. It houses an AMD A6-7310 APU with Radeon R4 Graphics, plus a 1TB 5400 rpm hard drive, which delivers impressive performance given its highly affordable price tag. Its 22-inch 1,920-by-1080 IPS display may not be as jaw-dropping as Apple’s 4K Retina display, but assuming you’re not a professional designer or videographer, it’s more than satisfactory for your home office setup.

The white chassis is a refreshing departure from many of the other dark and drab designs on the market. Not to mention, its compact footprint leaves ample deskspace for other peripherals. On top of it all, this computer comes packaged with a one-year subscription of Office 365 for up to 5 users, and 60 minutes of Skype calls per month.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Corsair CS-9000011-NA ONE PRO

Corsair is one of the best-known gaming equipment manufacturers out there with a reputation for building powerful and stylish machines. The One Pro is Corsair’s first PC and, true-to-form, Corsair has created a beautiful machine that packs a lot of power into a small space. This computer comes fully loaded with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card, an ​INTEL Core i7-7700K processor and CORSAIR's award-winning DDR4 memory. Even if you’re not a gamer, this PC provides stunning power and graphics presentation all while running extra-quietly – when idle, the One Pro operates at just 20 dBa. Custom liquid-cooling technology keeps this computer running fast even when using a demanding VR program. 

Best Budget: Acer Aspire ATC-780-UR61

If you’re looking for great performance on a budget, Acer’s Aspire desktop ATC-780-UR61 is ready to answer the call. Featuring a 2.7GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, a 1TB hard drive and Windows 10, the budget-level pricing looks incredibly attractive. Unfortunately, you’ll had to add your own monitor, but you shouldn't have a problem finding a cheap, high-quality one.

The Intel Graphics 530 won’t shine on the gaming front, but video editing, compiling photo albums and multitasking will be handled with ease. There’s onboard Wi-Fi with 802.11ac as well Bluetooth 4.0 and a slew of USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports. The high-definition 5.1 audio will be good enough for most basic tasks, but movie viewers might want to invest in external speakers for good measure. Expanding the RAM for even better performance is welcomed, with a maximum of 32GB allowed for the single RAM slot that the Acer ships with.

Need some more help finding what you're looking for? Read through our best budget desktop PCs​ article.

Runner-Up, Best Budget: HP Pavilion Desktop Computer

Stylish, space-saving and affordable? The HP Pavilion desktop computer might not be the most cutting-edge machine on the market, but it checks all the boxes you need for a versatile, functional and good-looking home computer. With a 7th Generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-7700 Processor and Quad-Core, 3.60GHz, this computer can keep up with you even when multitasking and can stream 4K video. With 12 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM, the HP Pavilion is made for dependability.  With a 1 TB hard drive you’ll have all the room you need for your favorite songs, pictures, videos and files with room to spare. The Pavilion is peppered with ports, including a headphone/microphone combo, three USB 3.0, one USB 3.0 Type-C, HDMI, VGA, as well as an HP 3-in-1 media card reader. Windows 10 comes standard and a built-in DVD writer, wired keyboard and mouse are included with purchase, too. 

Best for Home Office: Acer Aspire AIO

Do you work from home a lot and need a dependable desktop? Good news: the 23.8” display Acer Aspire AIO is probably exactly what you’re looking for. Powered by Windows 10, the Acer is priced just right, not too expensive and not budget to the point of feeling underpowered. The 6th generation 2.2GHz Intel Core i5 is paired with 8GB of RAM, a 1TB hard drive and a NVIDIA GeForce 940M graphic card with its own 2GB of dedicated video memory.

The 23.8” Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) display is beautiful, with clear and crisp colors at a 16:9 aspect ratio. The all-in-one body is just 1.4-inches slim which offers a low footprint space in the home office. Connectivity is assisted by 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 alongside four USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port and two HDMI-in ports. The included keyboard and mouse are fairly generic, so if you’re already using a pair you enjoy, we’d see no reason to unpack these out of the box.

Making movies, playing games and editing photos are a snap with the discrete NVIDIA memory card, which is an extremely nice addition for the Acer’s mid-range price tag. Acer’s built-in TrueHarmony high-performance sound won’t win any awards, but you’re not going to complain if you pop a DVD into the included drive, kick your feet up and watch a movie.

Best Design: Acer Revo One

The Acer Revo One, our choice for the best desktop design, is immediately going to catch your eye. The small, white box is unlike anything you’re used to seeing when it comes to a desktop computer. All too often we associate clunkiness with the desktop world and that’s definitely not the case with the Revo One.

The Revo One is the perfect union between affordability, design and functionality. Paired with an Intel Core i3, 4GB of RAM and Windows 10, there’s a media machine hidden beneath the glossy white casing. Unfortunately, you can’t upgrade the RAM which is slightly disappointing and you might want to replace the plastic keyboard.

But the wallet-friendly price tag is surprisingly offered with a host of connectivity options, including an SD card reader, two USB 2.0 ports, and a Mini DisplayPort that can be connected to a 4K monitor. PC users looking for an attractive mini desktop that is perfect for media, browsing and the rest of the desktop basics will fall in love with the Revo One.

Best for Creatives: Microsoft Surface Studio Computer - Intel Core i7 (6th Gen)

When you close your eyes and imagine a designer, you probably picture someone hunched over behind a sleek white Mac computer. But don’t discount Microsoft’s Surface Studio just yet. Its beautiful 28-inch touchscreen is 4,500 by 3,000 pixels and has a near-perfect color gamut and contrast. Combine that with a 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-6820HQ, a Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M chip plus 32GB DDR4 and 2TB of storage, and you get a very worthy desktop.

Perhaps its most defining feature, though, is the Zero Gravity Hinge that lets you easily lower the screen to the angle of a drafting table so you can naturally sketch, using Microsoft’s Surface Pen, of course. Another feature unique to the Studio is the Surface Dial, which lets creatives scroll through a menu of options to adjust volume, screen brightness, zoom. It’s also compatible with a host of third-party apps like Photoshop, Illustrator and even Spotify. It takes some getting used to, but in no time, graphic designers will get the hang of using the Dial to tweak brush settings, adjusting for size, opacity, hardness, flow and smoothing, making them drastically more efficient.

Best for Gaming: HP Omen X Desktop, Intel Core Core i7-7700K

The HP Omen X checks all the boxes a hardcore gamer could ask for: Impressive power, smart ergonomics, and an eye-catching design. The cube-shaped machine sits boldly on one corner, which brilliantly gives you access to its ports, drive bays and interior. Its accessible design alone justifies the price tag. But never fear; it’s supported by two fins so it’s extremely stable. Its cube design also allows for all-around edge vents, two 120mm fans, and liquid cooling to prevent overheating. It’s hefty, no doubt, but works just as well on the floor as it does on a desk.

As with all gaming computers, performance will depend largely on your configuration. This build comes with an Intel Core i7-7700K quad-core processor, 16GB memory, a 2TB hard drive, a 512GB solid state drive, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Graphics, which is more than adequate to handle today’s top games.

 

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