As many people prefer desktops over laptops for high-performance requirements, which is why we’ve included picks for heavy tasks like gaming or video editing. We also included the best choices for ultra-compact desktops, or all-in-ones, perfect for those with space constraints. Lets look at some of the best laptop offers we’ve spotted for some savings ahead of Cyber Monday.
Not everybody is interested in creating their own gaming PC from scratch. HP Omen Obelisk gives you much of the advantages of designing your own device without the trouble. Upgrading is extremely fast, provides almost unlimited configurations, and still gives you a glimpse of your glowing gaming behemoth through the tempered glass.
You can save some money by choosing less powerful parts without sacrificing too much performance. Our review unit, which comes with an older 9th-generation processor and an Nvidia RTX 2070 Super for as low as $1,700 on sale.
We still love HP Omen Obelisk, but buying one right now can be hard. 10th-gen models haven’t arrived yet and configurations are limited. That’ll likely change in the future, however, and you can still find some great discounts on the older ones.
Apple iMac 5K
After announcing the Mac’s transition to Apple Silicon, buying the new iMac is a risky decision. But given how efficient the iMac has become in 2020, waiting around for a redesigned model isn’t feasible for most people.
Fortunately, what you’re getting in the new K 27-inch iMac is a significant upgrade. It might not look different, but Apple has made several quality-of-life tweaks, including an upgraded 1080p camera, enhanced speakers, and an option for glorious anti-reflective nano-texture glass.
Most notably, however, the Apple iMac 5K (2020) has compatibility for the latest 10th-gen, 10-core Intel processors and the powerful new AMD Radeon 5000-series graphics cards. It all adds up to a heck of power for home video editing and other content production.
Dell XPS 8940
The perfect overall desktop fits for most people. It’s not flashy on the outside but it’s a moderate desktop that can suit as easily in a cubicle as in a home office or dorm room.
Whatever specification you choose, you’ll find something that suits your requirements, particularly because Dell builds them custom ordered. The choices are almost endless, but you can easily customize a powerful computer under $1,000 that will satisfy you. Either the Nvidia RTX 2060 Super or the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT GPU as well as the Intel Core i9 10-core evens the device. That’s a lot of potential performance, but lower-end choices will give you the best bang for your buck.
Anything you pick, despite being small and compact, is modular and upgradable for future expansions.
You can look for a monster gaming rig elsewhere but Dell XPS 8940 has something for everyone.
Apple Mac Mini
With a starting price of $699, Apple’s Mac Mini just got a big refresh with a massive brain transplant to give the bundle even more strength. Apple replaces the Intel processor inside with its own silicon this year and early reports show that the new eight-core M1 processor inside this compact desktop can take on larger PCs and win both processing and graphics workloads.
Going for an M1-powered Mac Mini means you can conveniently run Universal Mac apps along with a comprehensive library of iOS apps originally developed for iPhone and iPad. There is now an emerging software library created for the desktop powered by the Arm-based M1 processor, including Google’s newly launched Chrome browser and the promise of Adobe and Omni Community titles. But if you want to switch between Windows and Mac using Apple’s old Bootcamp utility, be warned that as the Mac Mini leaves behind Intel’s x86 architecture, you won’t be able to dual-boot into Microsoft’s Windows 10 OS.
Still, if you need to run the uncommon Windows program, Codeweaver’s CrossOver tool will let you run Windows-designed software, while VMWare and Parallels also pledge solutions to put other M1 operating systems using a virtual machine.
Aside from drawbacks, a more powerful custom-designed CPU with Apple’s integrated GPU solution helps you to do a lot of work on this diminutive desktop, and Mac Mini can play iOS games and stream videos to keep you amused at an affordable price. If you’re not ready to leap into Apple’s M1 future, check out our Apple Mac Mini analysis inside as well.
Dell G5 Gaming Desktop
When choosing the best gaming desktop, we needed something to do at an affordable price. That’s a Dell G5 Gaming Desktop. Even its $686 base model is a solid PC, with a GTX 1650 Super and Intel Core i3 quad-core processor. For most students, that’s plenty of control, whether you’re working on a video project, editing images, coding a game, or writing your research paper.
While most students can get by with an inexpensive desktop with a competent processor, more and more schools need projects that rely on graphics power as part of the curriculum, and getting a discrete GPU would be beneficial. Despite being advertised as a cheap gaming machine, the Dell G5 Gaming Desktop offers up to an Intel Core i9-10900KF on this front and options for discrete graphics up to an Nvidia RTX 2070 Super.
Of course, GPU can also be used for games. Students also find themselves living in room-restricted situations, which means you do not have access to a big console gaming TV, and may even have limited desk space. A good Dell G5 gaming PC is always the most realistic choice in these circumstances. You can use it to write papers and track studies, or you can pop some headphones and play late into the night.