Top 10 Desktops for Back to School

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Back to School Buyers Guide: Top 10 Desktops

As fall approaches, so does the start of school for millions of students around the country. It’s also a great time to buy a new computer; not only do retailers offer tremendous sales and freebies, but many component manufacturers like AMD and Intel start to push out their next-generation products. That means that many older – even just a few months – products get marked down.

One of the big draws to buying a desktop computer is that when it starts to lag behind its peers, you can toss in a new CPU or some more RAM and have a machine with new performance at a fraction of the price. DesktopReview has five of our favorite upgrades for students, whether you need to blast through Photoshop or blast through Call of Duty.

Regardless of your need or budget, we’ve got the news you need to make an informed buying decision. Here, in no particular order, are ten of our picks for the Back to School buying season.

1. The Apple Mac Mini may have seen a recent price bump, but no back to school list is complete without it. The new Mac Minis are thinner than ever – only 1.4 inches, compared to the original design’s just a bit over two. At $699, the most affordable Mac is a good choice for users without much room or those who need Mac OS X-only software.

View DesktopReview.com Review for the Apple Mac Mini

2. HP’s newest addition to their performance desktop lineup is the Pavilion Elite HPE-190t. This machine is set apart from the rest, as it offers six-core performance thanks to Intel’s very expensive Core i7-980x CPU (at market prices, this chip runs consumers $1000 or more). Packed with 9GB of RAM, Blu-ray drive and 1500GB of storage space, the HP-190t offers the potential for serious multimedia creation and consumption.

View DesktopReview.com Review for the HP Pavilion Elite HPE-190t

3. The Dell Studio XPS 7100 was one of the first products by a major manufacturer to include AMD’s newest six-core CPUs.  Packing six cores and a high-powered graphics card for $1,200 or less makes this desktop perfect for the college gamer on a budget.

View DesktopReview.com Review for the Dell Studio XPS 7100

4. The HP TouchSmart 600 is the premium version of HP’s third generation touch-enabled all-in-one computers. From a hardware standpoint, it refines and improves upon its forebears. A lot of consumer feedback went into the design of this new model; some of the features, such as the video input that lets you use the TouchSmart’s 23-inch display as a monitor for your game console, are a direct result of that feedback.

View DesktopReview.com Review for the HP TouchSmart 600

5. Alienware’s Aurora ALX is one of the four new offerings in Dell’s rebranded gaming desktop line. Replete with temperature-sensing fins, impressive branding, top-of-the-line components and most importantly a cool sliding door, the Aurora ALX is definitely not for the faint of heart – or the faint of wallet.

View DesktopReview.com Review for the Alienware Aurora ALX

6. The ASUS EeeTop ET2203T carries ASUS’ Eee branding from the realm of the netbook and nettop to a fully-featured all-in-one desktop computer.  With Core 2 Duo CPU and a built-in 22-inch display, this all-in-one is a reasonable choice for users looking to save space.

View DesktopReview.com Review for the ASUS EeeTop ET2203 all-in-one

7. The Dell Studio XPS 8100 marries glossy black and matte white finishes with modern Intel CPUs. Adding a touch of sophistication to the more affordable Inspiron lines, Dell’s Studio segment offers an option to mainstream users who want a little more – without having to spend the cash on an Alienware.

View DesktopReview.com Review for the Dell Studio XPS 8100

8. The Lenovo ThinkCentre A70z marks the company’s first forays into taking their successful all-in-ones and wrapping them in business black. Lenovo has built its brand on solid business computers with good support and great build quality. While they’ve lately been turning their eyes hungrily toward the juicy consumer market, they haven’t forgotten the pillars upon which they’ve supported their core business.

View DesktopReview.com Review for the Lenovo ThinkCentre A70z all-in-one

9. The EeeBox EB1501 is a tiny Atom- and ION-powered box that makes perfect sense for the student who wants to watch HD content and Flash, but doesn’t want to take up any room.  Smaller than a Mac Mini, the EeeBox EB1501 can even attach to the back of many compatible monitors.

View DesktopReview.com Review for the ASUS EeeBox EB1501

10. The Dell Inspiron 580s is a solid middle-of-the-road, mainstream desktop. High-end Alienware rigs are nice, but they’re not where the Round Rock computer giant makes all of its money. The value-centric Inspiron desktop line has always been a consistently strong seller, offering consumers a basic desktop that handles the majority of what users need without breaking the bank.

View the DesktopReview.com Review for the Dell Inspiron 580s

 

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