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Best computers for Mother's Day

Give mom a big online upgrade with these laptops, tablets and desktops.

Dan Ackerman
1 of 7 Dan Ackerman/CNET

HP Spectre

It's svelte, streamlined, and doesn't have the same dreadful industrial metal look as most other laptops, instead mixing smokey gray and jeweled gold accents. Plus, the new HP Spectre lays claim to being the world's thinnest laptop at only 10.4mm thick, despite using mainstream Core i-series processors, so it's good for all-day, every day use.

2 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

Intel Compute Stick

When is a computer not a computer? When it's a simple stick you plug into a TV or monitor. This updated stick-style PC from Intel boils Windows 10 computing down to its most basic elements. It's great for casual Web surfing or video streaming, it fits in your pocket, and costs just $159.

3 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple MacBook (12-inch)

The ultimate laptop-as-fashion-statement, this slick-looking ultraportable PC is thin and light, and comes in a couple of colors, including our favorite, gold. The battery life and processing power isn't on par with the larger MacBook Air and Pro models, but it's more than enough for everyday use, plus the higher-res screen looks amazing.

4 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S

This super-thin tablet uses Windows 10 instead of iOS, so it can run any software your full-time computer can, while still being super-easy to tote around. Unlike the very similar Surface Pro, it comes with an excellent keyboard cover included in the $899 purchase price, whereas Microsoft forces you to buy the Surface keyboard separately (for a whopping $129). But the best feature is probably the AMOLED screen, the same kind of super-bright display in the highest-end big-screen TVs -- it makes a huge difference.

5 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

Asus Chromebit

Turn any TV or monitor into a Web-surfing, media streaming machine for next to nothing. This $89 stick PC runs Google's Chrome OS, which is basically just a Web browser and nothing else. But for Netflix and Hulu, Gmail and Amazon, or anything else Web-based, it feels faster than most other budget PCs and is dead simple to set up and use.

6 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple iMac (21.5-inch 4K display)

For something a little bigger and better, this stay-at-home desktop is perfect for the home office, den or kitchen. The perfectly sized 21-inch iMac also has a recent upgrade to a fantastic-looking 4K screen, that makes it great for HD photos and video or art and design work (or even really big spreadsheets). Plus, this new version comes with a much-improved keyboard and mouse (but we like swapping the mouse out for the updated standalone touchpad).

7 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple's 'Magic' accessories

Speaking of accessories, these updated Mac ones -- a keyboard, mouse and trackpad (seen in the bottom row here) -- all make excellent gifts just in case mom already has a computer she's happy with. Find more Mother's Day gift guide ideas here.

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