Best desktop computers that are ideal for home from Apple, Dell, HP and more – Evening Standard


eports of the desktop computer’s death have been greatly exaggerated. While laptops and tablets may have become ubiquitous, the best desktop computers retain their place (on the desk) as the serious business computer, the gaming computer, or the homework computer.

There’s something about a computer that you can’t walk off with that seems to promote concentration. No spreadsheets in front of the TV or 3D rendering in bed here – you’ll have to sit on a proper chair (or a gaming chair) and use a proper keyboard and mouse. You can have a huge monitor, or three monitors, rather than being confined to a 15-inch screen on a laptop, or even smaller on a tablet.


Desktop computers also tend to have more powerful processors, especially where graphics are concerned. All that extra space in the case for cooling means CPUs can run faster and harder. There is space for more RAM, extra expansion cards, greater storage capacity, and more peripherals can be attached thanks to a greater number of ports on the back, and front, of the machine.

A laptop is always a compromise between what you want and what can be fitted in a slim and light shell, but a desktop computer allows you to spec the computer of your dreams, and not have to worry about it getting too hot, or running out of battery. They tend to come in two forms – the all-in-one that crams computer parts into the back of a monitor (or a keyboard, in the case of one of our picks) or the headless, which comes with no screen, no mouse and no keyboard other than those you supply yourself.

There are some excellent desktop computers on the market, here are just a few of them.


Apple Mac Mini

Mac Mini

Best for: working from home

Sporting Apple’s latest M1 CPU in a tiny case, the Mac Mini is little more than a laptop in desktop disguise. However, the Mini is such a beautifully-tuned computer, completely in-sync with its own operating system (moving to MacOS from Windows is not the jarring lurch some people think it will be) that it just has to top this list.

The M1 is a tiny powerhouse that outperforms the Intel processors it replaced while drawing less power, all the applications you need are available either in M1-native form or translated through Apple’s seamless Rosetta 2 abstraction layer – though don’t expect to be playing many games on it. The experience of using a modern Mac, with all the little upgrades and thoughtful inclusions that have accumulated over the years, easily rivals Windows 11 in the desktop computing world.

The Mac Mini is so small that, paired with a large monitor and wireless mouse and keyboard, it practically vanishes into the background – you’ll only notice it when you reach around to connect something to its rich selection of ports, which include extremely fast USB4 connections, alongside HDMI and Ethernet. And while there’s no option to upgrade the processor – yet – you can pop in 16GB of RAM and 2TB of SSD storage to create a truly impressive, yet still tiny, desktop computer.

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