Readers' Choice 2021: Desktop PCs for Home and Gaming


 Readers' Choice 2021: Desktop PCs for Home and Gaming

PC manufacturers have done a terrific job building superfast laptop computers with gorgeous displays. However, if you don’t need the untethered portability that laptops provide, you might be better off with a desktop PC.

Desktops are not one-size-fits-all. You can get a mini PC, which tend to be about the size of an average hardcover novel; a basic tower PC with easy maintenance and expandability; an all-in-one PC for simplicity of design; or a gaming PC built for ultimate expansion, upgrades, and performance. Here are the desktop PC brands most recommended by PCMag readers.

Readers' Choice Desktop PCs for 2021



Apple is in a transition period, moving its computers from Intel-based chips to its own M1 processor. It’s hard to say how the switch will affect customer satisfaction since, as of this writing, the Mac mini is the only M1-based desktop available (the new M1-based iMac starts shipping in the second half of May). Initial feedback, however, seems positive based on our survey respondents’ comments. Once again, Apple users rate satisfaction with their desktop computers higher than users of any other brand of desktop PC.

Of course, a macOS-based computer isn’t practical in every work environment. If you need or feel more comfortable with a Windows desktop, our readers recommend Acer this year in a very tight home PC desktop race. For gamers, Alienware, a subsidiary of tech giant Dell, is again the brand of choice.


Apple received the highest overall satisfaction rating in the survey with a score of 9.0 on a scale from 0 (extremely dissatisfied) to 10 (extremely satisfied). Many of Apple’s ratings are down slightly from last year, but the company still received the highest satisfaction ratings among all brands on every measure except satisfaction with cost and value. There it earned a 7.8, the lowest score in this category, tied with Alienware. That's because, while beloved, neither brand comes cheap. Acer, on the other hand, had the highest rating for cost and value at 9.0.

00:00
01:03




Tweet Share
This Day in History
Paid Content by Connatix
Apple’s highest ratings came in the areas of satisfaction with reliability and satisfaction with setup, both of which scored a 9.3. Asus (9.1) was the only other brand that had a rating of 9.0 or better on satisfaction with reliability. Lenovo (9.1), Dell (9.0), and HP (9.0) also received high marks for satisfaction with setup.

Apple had the greatest differentiation from its competitors in satisfaction with technical support, where its rating of 8.9 was a full point better than its closest competitor, Alienware (7.9). HP brought up the rear on this measure with a satisfaction with technical support rating of only 7.2.

Acer and Alienware both earned overall satisfaction ratings of 8.7—the best among Windows PC brands—but there’s a lot of parity among this group. No one scored below 8.4 on overall satisfaction. Acer, Asus, and Lenovo earned an 8.6 on likelihood to recommend, a very important measure of customer satisfaction.

Surprisingly, Alienware had the lowest recommendation rating in the category (8.3), which hopefully doesn’t portend a downward turn for the brand in the future. Last year, Alienware rated 8.8 for likelihood to recommend, tied with Asus and trailing only Apple.

Things may be looking up for Lenovo moving forward. The company’s ratings were competitive with Acer, and when we look only at PCs less than a year old, Lenovo tied Apple for the highest overall satisfaction rating (9.0).

Also, let us celebrate the real best desktop PC brand by looking at that last line of data: PCMag readers who build their own desktop PCs are the most satisfied customers. Several scores for self-built PCs were well ahead of even Apple's desktops, including those for overall satisfaction, cost, and repairs. It's almost comical to see tech support for self-built PCs at 8.1—which is better than every vendor except Apple. And self-built desktop PCs scored a 9.3 on reliability, equal to Apple's score.

The one area self-built PCs have a lower score are recommendations to friends, but that's because builder-types probably know the tech limitations of their friends and family. The moral of the story is: Learn to build a desktop PC, and you'll tend to be a pretty happy user.

For more, read The Best Desktop Computers of 2021.

Full Results

The PCMag Readers' Choice survey for Desktop PCs was in the field from April 12, 2021, to May 3, 2021. For more information on how our surveys are conducted, read the survey methodology.

You could win an Amazon.com shopping spree! Sign up for the What's New Now mailing list to receive invitations for future survey sweepstakes.

Apple Fan?
Sign up for our Weekly Apple Brief for the latest news, reviews, tips, and more delivered right to your inbox.

Enter your email
 Sign Up
This newsletter may contain advertising, deals, or affiliate links. Subscribing to a newsletter indicates your consent to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe from the newsletters at any time.


Conversation


Log In


Powered by
TermsPrivacyFeedback
ADVERTISEMENT


DIG DEEPER WITH RELATED STORIES
Teardown! Inside PC Labs' IBM PC Model 5150 Image
Teardown! Inside PC Labs' IBM PC Model 5150
BY JOHN BUREK
40 Years Later: Read PCMag's First Impressions of the IBM PC Image
40 Years Later: Read PCMag's First Impressions of the IBM PC
BY PCMAG STAFF
The Best All-in-One Computers for 2021 Image
The Best All-in-One Computers for 2021
BY JOHN BUREK & MATTHEW BUZZI
The Best Gaming Desktops for 2021 Image
The Best Gaming Desktops for 2021
BY MATTHEW BUZZI
PCMAG STORIES YOU’LL LIKE
Business Choice Awards 2020: Desktop PCs Image
Business Choice Awards 2020: Desktop PCs
BY ERIC GRIFFITH
Dell Can't Sell Some Alienware Gaming PCs in 6 US States Anymore Image
Dell Can't Sell Some Alienware Gaming PCs in 6 US States Anymore
BY MATTHEW HUMPHRIES
HP Laptop 14-dq2020nr Review Image
HP Laptop 14-dq2020nr Review
3.0
The Best Desktop Deals for August 2021 Image
The Best Desktop Deals for August 2021
BY MICHAEL SEXTON
About Ben Gottesman
Ben Gottesman
Ben Gottesman is a former executive editor of PC Magazine.

Read the latest from Ben Gottesman
Readers' Choice 2021: Connected Cars
Readers' Choice 2021: Internet Service Providers
Readers' Choice 2021: Wireless Routers and Network Attached Storage
Readers' Choice 2021: Mobile Phones, Operating Systems, and Wireless Carriers
Readers' Choice and Business Choice Surveys: Methodology
More from Ben Gottesman
PC Magazine Digital Edition
Read Great Stories Offline on Your Favorite Device! 
PCMag Newsletters
Our Best Stories in Your Inbox 
Follow PCMag
     
HONEST, OBJECTIVE REVIEWS
PCMag.com is a leading authority on technology, delivering Labs-based, independent reviews of the latest products and services. Our expert industry analysis and practical solutions help you make better buying decisions and get more from technology.

How We Test Editorial Principles
Reviews
Best Products
Categories
Brands
Events
Series
Encyclopedia
Sitemap
About PCMag
Careers
Contact Us
Press Center
© 1996-2021 ZIFF DAVIS, LLC. PCMAG DIGITAL GROUP

PCMag, PCMag.com and PC Magazine are among the federally registered trademarks of Ziff Davis, LLC and may not be used by third parties without explicit permission. The display of third-party trademarks and trade names on this site does not necessarily indicate any affiliation or the endorsement of PCMag. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product or service, we may be paid a fee by that merchant.

About Ziff Davis
Privacy Policy
Terms of Use
Advertise
Accessibility
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
AdChoicesAdChoices
TRUSTe
Ziff Davis, LLC BBB Business Review



About websoftleader

This is a short description in the author block about the author. You edit it by entering text in the "Biographical Info" field in the user admin panel.

0 $type={blogger}:

Post a Comment