Alienware X51
Alienware X51

Best desktop computer

The Alienware X51 is a seductively slim and solid desktop PC. It delivers strong performance for everyday tasks and can handle moderate gaming in its base configuration. Others configurations that beef up power, storage, memory, graphics, add a Blu-ray drive and more are available, but also add a bit to the bottom line.
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Mac mini
Mac mini

Cheap Apple desktop computer

The petite Apple Mac mini is one well-connected, reliable performer. With a beefy Ivy Bridge processor, it sails through everyday computing tasks. Step-up configurations deliver extra power and a speedy fusion drive, though experts say you might not need that. All configurations provide good value.
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*Est. $600 and up Estimated Price
Zotac Zbox ID80 Plus
Zotac Zbox ID80 Plus

Best home theater PC

The tiny Zotac Zbox ID80 Plus can handle basic tasks like word processing, surfing the web and playing basic games. But it really shines as a home theater PC for streaming or playing back movies and video on a TV or monitor. A stand and remote control are bundled in the box -- but other peripherals (and an operating system) are not.
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HP Pavilion 23
HP Pavilion 23

Best all-in-one computer

The HP Pavilion 23-inch all-in-one comes pre-loaded with Windows 8 and a variety of serviceable apps. Its primary strength is a 1,920-by-1,080-pixel resolution screen. With two USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, a webcam, DVD burner and other features, it comfortably handles basic productivity tasks.
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See a side-by-side comparison of key features, product specs, and prices.

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Dell Vostro 470 *Est. $550

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Lenovo H520s *Est. $520  and up

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