Intel's revamped Compute Stick promises a computer in every pocket, just be prepared for an entry-level experience, although it's still fine for email, social media and movies.
The PCs in this list represent what I consider the current best examples in computing design, and they're more than just the sum of their parts.
There are many ways to put PC games on a living room TV, and the Alienware Steam Machine is one of the most ambitious. Like all new console launches, there are rocky patches, but the biggest hurdle may be proving why Steam OS is a better choice than Windows.
This inexpensive PC is an exciting experiment, but the tablet hardware can't quite keep up with Intel's vision of a mini-PC.
As a big-screen upscale all-in-one with touch and decent gaming chops, the latest version of Dell's XPS 27 is a great all-around home PC that covers a lot of bases.
Pricing not available
eMachines ER1402-05 is a strong living-room Nettop among others like it, but it doesn't compete well in the larger picture of living-room entertainment devices like game consoles, media streamers, and video service-equipped Blu-ray players. It's worth a look if you need a desktop of this particular type, but keep shopping if you need a connected living-room media device.
The eMachines ET1810-03 isn't the fastest or the most attractive computer, but we can't argue with the low price, attractive design, and a complete (if not slightly barren) set of components. If you can deal with the midtower size, it will make for an excellent general purpose PC for the home.
We cringe at the idea of recommending such a slow PC when you can get significantly better performance for just a few more dollars. That said, it's hard to argue with the eMachines EL1300G-01w's low price, clean good looks, and relatively complete budget feature set. As long as you have no ambitions for this PC performing anything resembling serious work, it will make a fine second or third home system.
As a well-styled stand for orienting a MacBook vertically, the BookArc succeeds, but at a premium price.
Pricing not available
Gateway's SX2800-01 offers a strong combination of performance and features all wrapped up in a design that fully embraces the merits of a slim tower PC. We recommend this system to anyone looking for a fast, affordable desktop for the home office, the living room, or anywhere in between.
At first glance, the eMachines ET1161-07 seems like a decent setup, but a laundry list of subpar components running on 32-bit Windows Vista just can't keep up with other similarly priced systems that give you much faster performance and higher-quality components for just $100 more.