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Bob Wahlen

Professional Computer Expert

Best Windows Computers & Best Desktop Computer

Here are my picks for Best of the Best.

Get the best windows computers with help from our experts who look for the best apple iMac, HP, Gateway, Sony, Dell and others. Compare these desktop computer selections to meet your needs for work or play.

Best Desktop Computers by Bob Wahlen

The Best You Can Get

  • HP Blackbird 002

    Bob says: HP and Voodoo PC have joined forces to create our top pick for best PC Desktop. The Blackbird, like the Blackbird SR71 Spy plane it was named after, is in a class of its own. This is way beyond a PC for simply surfing the web and sending out email. This is a powerful system designed with the high end gamer in mind. This Desktop is beautifully designed both inside and out. The Blackbird is complete with all the latest technologies. It is both a powerful and feature rich PC. The blackbird offers a liquid cooled processor, multiple media inputs right on the case and the option of adding up to five swappable hard drives so you can swap your favorite media quickly, makes this the perfect choice for gaming or even a high end media center.

    • Dual Core - Intel(R) Core2(TM) Duo 2.66GHz E6750
    • 2 GB 667 MHz PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM
    • NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT, with 512MB of GDDR3 SDRAM
    • 320GB 7200rpm SATA hard drive
    • 900 Watt Power Supply
  • Gateway One GZ7220

    Bob says: The Gateway One is a well-designed, all-in-one PC desktop with style and convenience in mind. It is almost like the computer tower is missing all together...oh yeah, that’s because it is. The Gateway One looks more like a laptop than a traditional desktop. The computer is inside the monitor with accessible drives and ports on the sides. In fact, you will only have ONE, hence the name, cable running along the top of your desk. The power cable runs to a power block that you can sit out of the way and off your desk. This block is where you can plug in any needed connections like a printer, Ethernet, external drives or what-not and all these wires will be out of your way and hidden on the floor behind your desk. The keyboard and mouse are wireless so you don’t have to worry about wires there either. It even comes with a remote control to run your media center from across the room. Overall, the Gateway One is a very impressive system and you would be proud to display it on your nearly wireless desk.

    • Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T7250 Dual-Core Processor
    • 3072MB DDR2 dual-channel memory
    • ATI® Mobility Radeon HD 2600XT
    • 500GB SATA II (7200RPM, 16MB Cache)
    • Analog/Digital TV Tuner with 3-D Comb (USB)
  • HP Pavilion a6130n

    Bob says: Can you say RAM? Well HP certainly can, with 3 GB of RAM installed (upgradable to 4GB) and a 400GB Hard Drive, it may be awhile before you need to buy more memory space of any kind for the Pavilion a6130n. Even though it might not be as fancy looking or sounding as some of the other models in this list, don’t let that fool you. This Pavilion stands above many desktops in its price range. Its dual-core AMD Athlon X2 processor, large drive, ample ram and a 15-in-1 card reader makes this the perfect multimedia PC.

    • AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core Processor 5000+
    • 3072MB PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM Expandable to 4GB
    • Nvidia GeForce 6150 SE Graphics Card
    • 400GB 7200RPM Hard Drive
    • 2000MT/s System Bus
  • Sony Vaio VGC-LT18E

    Bob says: Sony created a real beauty with their LT18E all-in-one PC/TV. Like other all-in-ones, the system will save you space as the PC is integrated into the monitor. Unlike others, you can wall mount it and get it completely off your desk. Now that’s a nice feature. You can even plug your cable TV line in and start watching and recording your favorite shows and with its large 22” display and a remote, you may forget it’s a computer. This is a great PC that would look amazing in just about any room.

    • Intel Core 2 Duo T7500 2.20GHz 64 bit Dual Core Processor
    • 2GB System Memory (1GBx2/DDR2/667MHz)
    • NVIDIA GeForce 8400M GT GPU
    • 320GB SATA 7200rpm hard drive
    • Built-in 1.3 megapixel webcam and mic
  • Dell Vostro 400

    Bob says: The Vostro 400 made our list not because it is innovatively stylish or it has some over-rated unique options. It made the list simply because it’s more than a powerful enough computer for most users. The Vostro 400 is a Dell small business class PC and is made with performance in mind. It’s a flexible computer that's great for typical office desktop applications, downloading music or video, burning DVDs, syncing with a music player, playing games, light video editing, watching movies, editing photos, or doing it all simultaneously, the Vostro 400 will run smoothly, quietly and will not let you down. In a nutshell, the Vostro does the average tasks you would expect a computer to do, but with above average performance. It truly is a powerful PC for the typical user.

    • Intel® Core™2 Duo Proc E6550 (2.33GHz, 4MB L2Cache, 1333FSB)
    • 2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM 800MHz - 2DIMMs
    • 128MB NVIDIA® GeForce® 8300GS
    • 250GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™
    • Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio

You will be happy with any of these

  • Dell Inspiron 531s

    Bob says: The Inspiron 531s has a slim space saving design that doesn’t compromise on quality or available options. Even though it may be smaller than most mini towers, it still packs a punch. Even at the $499 price configuration, you still get a powerful enough system to more than satisfy most users with a fast AMD Athlon 64 X2 series processor, 1GB of ram, a large 250GB hard drive and even a 19” Flat Panel Monitor. This system has plenty of ports with a whopping 8 USB ports and optional WIFi or a Bluetooth add on. The 531s is a simple PC yet durable and reliable at a good price. This is a PC that can satisfy everyone from the home user to the business user to the casual gamer depending on your configuration.

    • Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor E6320 (4MB L2 Cache, 1.86GHz, 1066 FSB)
    • 2GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz- 2DIMMs
    • 128MB ATI Radeon X1300
    • 250GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™
  • Dell Vostro 200

    Bob says: There is not a lot to say about the Vostro 200 except that this is an entry level PC for basic use. If you surf the web, type documents and send email but not too much more or your old machine died and you need a replacement and have a tight budget, then this may be the PC for you. While the Vostro 200 is listed as a Dell Small Business machine, I would not recommend using it in most business environments. With a starting price tag of $329, an Intel® Celeron® Processor 420, 512MB of ram, smaller hard drive space and no monitor included, it is minimalistic at best compared to most PCs on the market today. Why does it make the list then? Well, fact is that many people only check email, type documents, surf the web and have a tight budget. The actual quality of the computer is good. It even runs fairly quietly - I just wouldn’t want to rely on it to do some serious business computing.

    • Intel® Celeron® Processor 420 (1.60GHz, 800FSB)
    • 512MB Single Channel DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz - 1DIMM
    • Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 3100
    • 80GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache™
  • HP Pavilion Slimline s3200t

    Bob says: Some of the things we like about the s3200t are its slim style black and silver case, a built-in 15-in-1 media card reader and built-in WiFi. We also added a wireless keyboard, mouse and media remote. It even has a button to start the backup wizard that will help you save your important files. At our $1293 configuration listed here, there is a HD DVD/Blu-ray drive and a more powerful video card, making this system not only a great computer, but an awesome media and entertainment system for any room in the house at a bargain price.

    • Intel(R) Core(TM) 2 Duo processor E4500 (2.2GHz)
    • 2GB DDR2-667MHz dual channel SDRAM (2x1024)
    • 256MB NVIDIA GeForce 8500GT DVI-I, HDMI
    • 500GB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive
  • Apple iMac

    Bob says: The Apple iMac does it again with their latest iMac Desktop. The Apple iMac is a stylish all in one with a brushed aluminum casing that makes it look really sharp. The system which you can get with a 20” to 24” display has a nice glass look to it, but can be a bit reflective in certain lighting. The keyboard is thin and sleek that really matches the display well, giving the system an overall high-tech look that Apple has been known for. The real benefit here, aside from the reliability and look of a Mac, is for the Windows user that has been reluctant to go Mac and vice versa. The iMac comes with “Boot Camp” which will allow you to install Windows and related PC software onto the computer with reasonably little to no compatibility issues. Now you can get the best of both worlds, letting you boot to either Windows or Mac OS. With a starting price about the same as the competitive all-in-ones, it makes the iMac a no brainer and a great value.

    • 1GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM - 1x1GB2GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB
    • ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT with 128MB memory
    • 250GB Serial ATA Drive
  • Gateway GM5632E

    Bob says: Although the GM5632E can be used for a multitude of PC tasks, it truly excels in the area of video and multimedia. This is a perfect system to be used for your home entertainment system. One of the features that make this so great as a multimedia center is its two 500GB hard drives, giving you a whopping 1TB of total space. It has comes with a built in TV tuner and remote so you can record and watch shows, a DVD burner a high-end video card and if that’s not enough, it even comes with an Intel 2.4-GHz Core 2 Quad Q6600 CPU and 3GB of RAM, which you can upgrade to 8GB. These features push it over the top compared to most PC configurations in its price range. This is a sweet deal.

    • 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600Intel G33 Express 1066MHz
    • 3GB PC2-5300 DDR2 1066MHz, expandable to 8GB
    • 256MB Nvidia GeForce 8500 GT
    • 2) 500GB 7,200 rpm hard drives

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Find the best windows computers for your needs, whether playing games, working on business or keeping up with friends via email. Our desktop computer recommendations include the latest from Apple iMac, HP, Gateway, Sony, Dell and others. With our help, you'll find the best new PC computer for work and play.