We give our first impressions of the $35 Raspberry Pi, an intriguing, eminently affordable hobbyist computer.
Not everyone wants a living-room computer, but the Acer Revo 100 is one of the better low-cost HTPCs we've seen thanks to a wisely chosen feature set, its attractive design, and a mostly well-conceived input device.
Budget desktops might not be all that exciting, but the Gateway SX2870-UR10P slim tower shows you can still find a worthwhile day-to-day PC for under $500.
The Acer Aspire X1200-U1520A is a speedy, compact, low-end desktop that's powerful enough to serve as a light-duty home theater PC. Expansion is limited by an especially cramped interior (even for a small PC), but the total package is worthwhile for PC shoppers on a budget.
The Gateway DX4831-01e is the midtower version of the Editors' Choice award-winning SX2840-01 and exhibits equally impressive performance scores while offering ample room for expansion. We recommend this system to budget-minded shoppers who are looking for a powerful, affordable midtower desktop computer.
The lower-cost Mac Mini offers respectable budget performance and Apple's usual compelling design, but a puny hard drive and a lack of HDMI hurt this system's value and overall potential. It's actually more versatile next to its budget-priced Windows competition than the higher-end Mac Mini, but this entry-level Mac is still best left to Apple loyalists.
Apple's new eight-core Mac Pro demonstrates marked improvements over the older model in high-intensity digital media and multitasking scenarios. We also love the design tweaks that improve on Apple's already industry-leading sensibilities. Any Apple-bound design professional would welcome this new tool in his or her arsenal.
The Acer Aspire X1920-UR20P is a poorly configured, overpriced budget desktop with little to recommend it. Look instead to Acer's Gateway subsidiary for better slim-tower options.
The Apple Mac Mini is an unquestioned winner among budget desktops, but HP has a small-form-factor PC whose feature set will woo many would-be Mac Mini buyers.
The attractive, fairly priced Samsung Chromebox desktop turns Google's Web-based Chrome OS into a not entirely unreasonable option for certain low-cost PC shoppers.
If you're looking to get started in the world of Chrome OS, the Asus Chromebox is a very good starting point--so long as you don't mind bringing your own peripherals.
Apple radically re-imagines the professional desktop with the new Mac Pro, featuring a design that looks fantastic and offers genuine breakthrough advantages. But, consumer-level Apple enthusiasts should note that this product isn't specifically targeted at them and DIY upgraders will lament the loss of traditional desktop tower flexibility.
The Sony VAIO PCV-W510G is an attractive addition to any room, but it struggles as a fully realized TV-PC hybrid.
The Apple SuperDrive Mac Mini addresses some of the shortcomings of its $499 predecessor, making it a well-rounded home PC at its base configuration.
Sony's VAIO VGC-LS1 is an impressive, if pricey, Media Center showpiece that combines a decent Core Duo-based system and LCD screen into a slim, attractive package.
With new polish and a whole lot of bang for the buck, HP's new Pavilion Slimline s3020n leads the small PC field overall. The glossy black chassis, added expandability, and even a new keyboard make this system attractive both inside and out.
Acer's Aspire Revo 1600 might be the first Nettop we don't actively dislike. We'd rather have an Xbox 360 in the living room, but the Aspire Revo 1600 would be suitable as a PC for young kids or as a low-profile cloud kiosk. Thanks to its $199 price tag, you won't feel too much remorse if it breaks or you outgrow it.