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In a time when mobile computing is all the rage, the humble desktop computer still has a place. You can easily find one with better performance and more functionality than any portable gizmo, all for a fraction of the price. Our desktop computer buying guide will help you decide which features and specifications you need.
Our test covers Windows and Mac desktop computers.
Our expert testers give every computer a thorough workout to help find the models that:
Our interactive comparison tool helps you find which computers have all the specs you need, such as touchscreen, a TV tuner and HDMI inputs and outputs. Our CHOICE Buys will help you see quickly which models come out on top.
Go back to our old comparison table.
List of brands we tested in this review.
Price paid in June 2014.
enter value/s in increments of 1 between 1349 and 1699
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We assess supplied security hardware and software, if any, along with the format and comprehensiveness of any manuals. We also assess the monitor for brightness/contrast, glare/surface reflections, angles of view and video playback; and assess keyboard and mouse, general design features and the desktop's overall style.
enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 0
Display score is made up of colour, brightness and contrast (50%), text (20%), glare/surface reflections (10%), angles of view (10%) and Blu-ray playback (10%).
We compare each computer's performance using a combination of tests that reflect everyday usage. The tests cover processor and graphics performance, memory and storage.
Included in the testing are comparisons using cross-platform benchmarking software that allows us to compare desktops with different operating systems - in this case Windows 7, Windows 8 and Mac OS X.
We measure each desktop's power consumption in active use and on standby, calculating an annual cost based on an average use scenario of six hours per day in use, plus 18 hours per day on standby, costed at 26c per kilowatt hour.
DVD+/-RW drive: reads and writes DVDs and CDs.
Various media card formats are available; check with the manufacturer which are supported.
RAM: Random-access memory.
The size of the image area of the screen, measured diagonally in inches.
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