The 7 Best-Looking PCs to Buy in 2018

Computers with inspiring style

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The Rundown

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: HP ENVY 34-b135se

HP ENVY 34-b135se

 HP

Take one look at the ENVY 34-b135se, and you’re bound to be smitten. Part of HP’s signature ENVY line-up of computing products, it’s not just a PC, it’s also a style statement. If you want a machine that’ll make you the envy (no pun intended!) of everyone, look no further. 

HP ENVY 34-b135se features a curved 34-inch QHD display that looks downright gorgeous. With a resolution of 3440x1440 pixels and a 21.5:9 aspect ratio, the expansive, ultra-wide panel is ideal for everything from immersive gaming to side-by-side multitasking. The display is mounted using an aluminum stand on an elongated rectangular pedestal, which houses all the essential hardware of the all-in-one PC. Speaking of hardware, the ENVY 34-b135se is powered by Intel’s eighth-generation Core i7-8700T CPU, paired with 16GB RAM, a 256GB SSD, and a 2TB HDD. There’s also NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1050 GPU with 4GB of dedicated graphics memory as well as integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth thrown into the mix. For I/O, you get USB (Type-A and Type-C), HDMI, Ethernet, 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo, DVI, DisplayPort, and even a 3-in-1 memory card reader. Other goodies include a ‘pop-up’ webcam integrated into the display and audio tuned by Bang & Olufsen. Oh, and did we mention that the ENVY 34-b135se’s pedestal can wirelessly charge your smartphone too?

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Apple iMac (21.5-inch)

Apple iMac (21.5-inch)

 Best Buy

 If there’s one thing that Apple does extremely well, it’s hardware design. The company’s products are (and have always been) renowned for their exceptional build quality, and the 21.5-inch iMac is no exception. Even in the face of stiff competition, it remains one of the best-looking PCs you can buy today.

Designed with a unibody chassis made from anodized aluminum, the Apple iMac (21.5-inch) looks every bit as premium as it is. The all-in-one sports a stunning Retina 4K display, with a resolution of 4096x2304 pixels and a 16:9 aspect ratio. As far as the internals go, our recommended configuration has a seventh-generation Intel Core i5 processor, combined with 16GB RAM, a 1TB Fusion Drive, and AMD’s Radeon Pro 555 GPU with 2GB of discrete graphics memory. The PC also features stereo speakers, a 720p FaceTime camera, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, and Bluetooth 4.2. The back is where you’ll find all the I/O ports, including USB-A, Thunderbolt 3, Gigabit Ethernet, 3.5mm audio, and even a memory card slot. All this hardware is housed in a curved enclosure, mounted on an articulating stand that allows you to adjust the display’s angle easily. Apple iMac (21.5-inch) comes with Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse 2, both of which are rechargeable and feature wireless connectivity.

Best Budget: Acer Aspire C24-865

Just because you can’t (or don’t want to) spend thousands of dollars, doesn’t mean you have to settle for a bland-looking computer. There are numerous stylish yet affordable PCs on the market today, and one of them is Acer’s Aspire C24-865.

With a minimal and thoughtful design, the Aspire C24-865 looks much more expensive than its modest price tag would have you believe. Gracing the façade of Acer’s all-in-one is a splendid 24-inch Full-HD panel, with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels and a 16:9 aspect ratio. The display has almost nonexistent bezels on three of its four edges and features Acer’s ‘Flickerless’ and ‘BlueLightShield’ technologies for an enhanced viewing experience. Inside its slim, brushed silver chassis, the Aspire C24-865 houses an eighth-generation Intel Core i5-8250U processor, 12GB RAM, and a 1TB HDD. There are also built-in stereo speakers, as well as integrated high-speed Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. As far as I/O ports are concerned, the all-in-one includes USB Type-A, HDMI, Ethernet, and 3.5mm audio on the back. It even has a detachable webcam mounted on the top edge of the display. Running Windows 10, Acer Aspire C24-865 comes bundled with a wireless keyboard and mouse.

Still can't decide on what you want? Our round-up of the best budget desktop PCs​ can help you find what you're looking for.

Best for Multimedia: Dell XPS 7760

Perhaps the best thing about modern-day PCs is that they're great for both work and play. If you're the kind of person who watches a lot of movies and TV shows, you need a PC that can do all of them justice. Say hello to the Dell XPS 7760.

Even though the XPS 7760 is a great-looking PC, what really sets it apart from the crowd is the unparalleled audio-visual experience it provides. This all-in-one sports a ten-speaker setup (That’s right, ten!), designed in collaboration with Grammy-winning audio engineer and record producer Jack Joseph Puig. With two tweeters, four full-range drivers, two passive radiators, and two down-firing speakers working together, Dell XPS 7760 provides a sound output comparable to that of a home entertainment system’s soundbar. Complementing that impressive audio hardware is a spectacular 4K Ultra-HD display, which renders everything from Blu-ray movies to high-end games with lifelike realism. The touch-enabled panel has a resolution of 3840x2160 pixels, a 16:9 aspect ratio, and is mounted on an easily-adjustable articulating stand. Our recommended hardware configuration includes Intel’s seventh-generation Core i7-7700 CPU, paired with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage. For handling graphics-intensive tasks and gaming, there’s AMD’s RX 570 GPU with 8GB of GDDR5 memory as well. Most of the I/O ports are located on the XPS 7760’s back, and these include USB-A, Thunderbolt 3, Ethernet, 3.5mm audio, and HDMI.

Best Splurge: Microsoft Surface Studio 2

When Microsoft introduced the Surface Studio back in 2016, it made everyone’s jaws drop. Now in its second generation, the standard bearer of the Surface lineup is better than ever. Classy and powerful in equal measure, Microsoft Surface Studio 2 is a PC that’s every bit worth its (high) asking price. 

Aimed primarily at digital artists and creative professionals, the Surface Studio 2 features a 28-inch ‘PixelSense’ display that’s an absolute sight to behold. It has a resolution of 4500x3000 pixels and a 3:2 aspect ratio, thus allowing more content to be viewed at a time. The multi-touch (10-point) panel is also color-calibrated individually, with support for sRGB and DCI-P3 color spaces. It’s mounted on the base using a ‘Zero Gravity’ hinge, which allows you to adjust the screen at any angle. Of course, there’s support for both Surface Pen (with tilt activation) and Surface Dial (on-screen interaction). Under the hood, Microsoft Surface Studio 2 packs Intel’s seventh-generation Core i7 processor, as well as an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 CPU with 8GB of dedicated graphics memory. Our recommended configuration also includes 32GB of RAM and 2TB of SSD storage. Microsoft’s flagship all-in-one has all the I/O ports you could ask for, including USB-A, USB-C, Gigabit Ethernet, and 3.5mm audio. For wireless connectivity, there’s Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.0 as well. You also get dual microphones, Windows Hello facial recognition, and stereo speakers with Dolby Audio.

Best Compact: Apple Mac Mini

Apple Mac Mini

 Best Buy

All-in-one PCs are great due to their small footprint, but you're essentially stuck with the built-in display. If you want to be able to connect any external display (like a curved monitor) to your computer without losing out on the space savings, get a small form factor PC. There quite a few of them available in the market, but we recommend Apple's Mac Mini.

Having recently gotten a long-overdue hardware upgrade, the Mac Mini is now better than ever. Even with the entry-level configuration, it’s ideal for home and office usage, and even light gaming. Made from 100% recycled aluminum, the stylish and compact PC features Intel’s eighth-generation Core i3 CPU, along with 8GB of DDR4 RAM and 128GB of PCIe-based SSD storage. There’s also UHD Graphics 630, as well as integrated Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 5.0. For connecting peripherals, Apple Mac Mini has Gigabit Ethernet, USB-A, HDMI, and 3.5mm audio. Apart from that, there are four USB-C ports that support everything from Thunderbolt 3 to DVI. This diminutive PC can drive up to three 4K resolution displays at the same time, allowing you to multitask like a pro. Available in a cool Space Gray color and weighing a mere 2.9 pounds, Apple Mac Mini comes preloaded with macOS Mojave. The latest version of Apple’s desktop operating system offers features like system-wide dark mode, file stacks, and more.

Best Gaming: Dell Alienware Area-51

Dell Alienware Area-51

Dell 

They may be all about powerful hardware, but what truly sets gaming PCs apart from ‘regular’ computers are their quirky (and at times, over-the-top) designs. While most gaming-centric PCs look great, Dell’s Alienware Area-51 is definitely the most unique of the lot.

With its distinctive ‘triad’ chassis, the Area-51 looks like a prop straight out of a sci-fi movie. The case is made from carbon-fiber-coated metal and features a swinging cage that enables expansion cards to be added without any tools. On the outside, the PC’s access panels and front have cable-free RGB light strips, which can be customized in up to 16.8 million colors using the ‘Alienware Command Center’ software.

Our recommended configuration of Dell Alienware Area-51 comes with a seventh-generation Intel Core i7-7800X CPU, 16GB of RAM, a 2TB HDD, and NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1070 GPU with 8GB of dedicated graphics memory. Connecting other devices isn’t an issue since the gaming PC features a multitude of ports, including everything from USB Type-C to SPDIF digital output. Of course, there’s Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2 included in the mix too.