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Best New Desktop Computers for Your Business

The hype over tablets and smartphones can't overcome this basic reality: For accessing CDs, multitasking or creating and managing massive spreadsheets or graphic files, the desktop computer is still king. And within this segment, the number of shipments of sleek all-in-one PCs -- loaded with DVD-RW drives, lightning-fast processors, gigantic hard drives and cinema-worthy screens -- will grow an estimated 20 percent this year over last. One look at our gorgeous selection, and it's easy to see why.

 

Asus ET2701
Asus ET2701
Image courtesy of Asus

Budget Cool
Asus ET2701 ($1,299)
The Asus looks and sounds pricier than it is, thanks to a bright, 27-inch LED-backlit touch display with a 178-degree viewing angle and a Sonic Master audio system that powers an external subwoofer. The substandard 1920 x 1080 resolution (which, by the way, still beats most flat-screen TVs) accounts for the lower price.

Key specs: 2 TB hard drive; 8 GB RAM; DVD/Blu-Ray read/write drive; four USB drives; 2 megapixel webcam; HDMI input; external subwoofer; optional TV tuner 

 
HP Compaq Elite 8300 Touch All-in-One Desktop PC
HP Compaq Elite 8300 Touch All-in-One Desktop PC
Image courtesy of HP

Enterprise Solution
HP Compaq Elite 8300 Touch All-in-One Desktop PC ($929)
Hewlett-Packard forgoes higher prices and top-shelf specs to grab more corporate sales with the Elite 8300. You should consider it as well. With a slimmer posture than other models, this 23-inch, 1920 x 1080 resolution touchscreen can handle portrait or landscape orientation. Its plastic housing may look dated, but its durable and reliable 256 GB self-encrypting solid-state drive means there's serious computing power under the hood.

Key Specs: 1 TB hard drive; 16 GB DDR3 memory; DVD+/-RW drive; six USB drives; 2 megapixel webcam

 
Lenovo IdeaCentre A720
Lenovo IdeaCentre A720
Image courtesy of Lenovo

Feeling Inspired
Lenovo IdeaCentre A720 ($1,949)
Either upright or lying flat (due to a clever pivoting stand), this 27-inch touchscreen seems tailor-made for the new Windows 8 interface. Instead, it packs Microsoft's older operating system and touch software. Why? Developers have yet to build business-centric desktop programs that capitalize on touch. When they do, the A720 will be ready. 

Key specs: 1 TB hard disk drive; 8 GB DDR3 memory; DVD+/-RW Blu-Ray Combo drive; four USB drives; 720p HD webcam; HDMI in/out; optional TV tuner  

 
Dell XPS One 27
Dell XPS One 27
Image courtesy of Dell

Multimedia Mogul
Dell XPS One 27 ($2,000)
It's hard to tell if the 27-inch Dell is a TV or a PC, and perhaps that's the point. Equipped with a TV tuner, Blu-Ray drive and remote control, it's ideal for playing games or editing video. The 2560 x 1440 resolution display, gobs of RAM and an Nvidia 2 GB graphics card, along with an Intel Core i7 processor, prove brilliantly suited for the task. Bonus: optional touchscreen input means it can take advantage of Windows 8’s finger-worthy features.

Key specs: 2 TB hard drive; 16 GB DDR3 memory; DVD+/-RW Blu-Ray Combo drive; four USB 3.0 drives; 1080p HD webcam; HDMI in/out; optional TV tuner

Portland, Ore.-based writer John Patrick Pullen has covered travel, business and tech for publications including Entrepreneur, Fortune, The Magazine, and Wired. Find him at www.jppullen.com.

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This article was originally published in the November 2012 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Dream Machines.

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