Yes, yes of course, an iMac made the list. The thing is damn good, so we would have been remiss in not including it. But it will also run you about eleven hundred bucks, and that’s if you do some bargain hunting, so it was a tossup if it’d be included on a list devoted to affordable computers. If you think it has no place here then don’t buy one for the price. We’re going to talk about it anyway. And besides, this iMac (well, OK they do this with every model) features something the PCs we discussed doesn’t: it’s a monitor, too. So you can see that extra cost as built in savings, in a way. Or at least as a smaller net loss, because the computers above will not be much fun without a screen to look at. The iMac comes with 2.5 Ghz of processing power and 500 gigs of memory in its base model, and it just gets bigger and stronger from there on out. Oh, and more expensive. Much more expensive, but we’ll talk about thatanother day.
4 HP Pavilion p6-2100 Mini-Tower
The HP Pavilion p6-2100 Mini-Tower Desktop is not the strongest, not the fastest, not… it’ not a super computer in any way, frankly. But we did find it for sale brand new at $390 in several outlets. If you are looking to scoop up a simple, reliable PC, and you will be using it for standard “light duty” computing, such as emails, word processing, internet browsing, etc. then this is one to absolutely consider. Especially if you need to buy multiple computers, such as to outfit an office or school setting, we strongly recommend this model as a stripped down yet capable enough machine for most casual users. 2.2 Ghz processor, 6 gigs of RAM, and plenty of memory.
3 Gateway SX Series SX2870-UR10P
Gateway’s clumsily named “SX Series SX2870-UR10P” is not a blazing fast speed machine and it’s not going to make nerds drool into their double venti extra shot mocha beverage thing, but it is an all-around solid PC andit can be yours for less than $500. With 6 gigs of SDRAM and a 3.3 Ghz Intel processor, this workhorse of a desktop earns its position in the middle spot here because it is definitively faster than most laptops, and well under half the price, so if portability is not a big issue for you but a great price is, jump on board.
2 Lenovo H330 77801HU
OK, moving along and shaving a hundred bucks off the price tag (at least in our quick survey of prices for new models; you may be able to find it cheaper and jump all over it, but don’t pay more than $799) with the Lenovo H330 77801HU. The tower is relatively slim, but still features plural USB ports readily accessible on its front, as is the standard Blu-ray-capable tray. This is another desktop that comes packing a terabyte – very nice! The lack of built-in wireless? Not a deal breaker (it’s a desktop) but, c’mon, would that have been so much to ask, Lenovo?
1 The Alienware X51
At just a few pennies under $900, this computer is not exactly cheap, but it’s still well under that grand we hate to see. And it’s damn good. 3.0 Ghz Intel processor, 8 gigs of RAM and a terabyte of memory standard. Unless you are editing several feature films or you take hundreds of thousands of pictures (daily) you will not fill this baby up for a long time.