TinyNeed a new desktop PC for home theater, home office, or small office use, but don't know where to start looking? No problem - you've come to the right place! This guide profiles ten of the very best off-the-shelf PCs on the market, and we're positive you'll find a system in this guide that will work for you! For the Winter 2017 edition of this guide, our picks range from the Acer Revo entry-level mini PC for basic use, the ultra-sleek Lenovo M700 Tiny shown here for home office use, and a number of powerful gaming PCs, from backpack-sized to full towers.

Now, a few words on the components that really make a difference to the average user. First, you have the CPU, which most consumers are at least a little familiar with by now. Intel has five main processor lines: Celeron, Pentium, Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7, from slowest to fastest. The Celeron and Pentium dual-core lines are quite similar, while the Core i3 line adds Hyperthreading, which provides virtual cores for multi-tasking. With the Core i5, you step up to four real cores, which is a much more future-proof design, and the Core i7 features four (or sometimes more!) real cores plus an equal number of virtual cores for extreme multi-tasking. After extensive testing, we've decided that the Celeron and Pentium processors just don't belong in desktops anymore, so our minimum spec is the capable Intel Core i3 processor. Systems intended for serious number-crunching, image processing, or gaming should be equipped with a quad-core as a minimum.

Secondly, we come to the solid-state drive. We think just about every user should have an SSD in their PC at this point to improve boot up speed and system responsiveness, but PC manufacturers have been very slow to embrace the technology, in part because consumers have been trained to look for big numbers. For example, a 500GB hard drive is better than a 250GB solid-state drive, right? Wrong! Until vendors start to trust that consumers actually know how to value solid-state drives, you have to do a lot of combing through component lists to pick out the winners. We've done that for you here, although there are still a few systems that depend on a hard drive where other factors, like price or storage capacity may trump the need for an SSD.

And just a plug here for our Do-It-Yourself PC Build Guides - if you have any technical inclination whatsoever, you should really consider building your own PC. It's very rewarding, and you'll get to choose exactly the components you want (starting with a big SSD, of course!). That being said, a few of the specialized pre-built systems in this guide would be impossible to put together on your own, given their innovative, custom-designed exteriors.

One last note: because Amazon no longer stocks all that many desktop PCs, we've switched the vendor for most of the PCs in this guide to B&H Photo Video, which offers great service and free shipping, just like Amazon.

Desktops - Winter 2017

    The General-Use Home PC:

    Acer Revo One RL85-UR51

    Need a compact, inexpensive PC that will look good anywhere in your house and is powerful enough to get all your daily tasks done? This is it! Featuring an Intel Core i3-5100U dual-core processor, 4GB of memory, and a 1TB solid-state hybrid drive, this system offers just the right balance of speed, capacity, and responsiveness. You even get 802.11ac networking and Bluetooth 4.0 built in!

    The Guru's Tip:

    One day, all home PCs will be this small, but for now, Acer is offering a glimpse into the future today!

    The Perfect Family PC:

    Dell Inspiron 3000 Mini

    Equipped with a powerful Intel Core i5-6400 quad-core processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive, this PC is perfect for the whole family to use. It's even well-equipped for photo work, with its built-in DVD burner and memory card reader.

    The Guru's Tip:

    While we typically recommend solid-state drives due to their increased responsiveness, it can be difficult managing their smaller size when everyone in the house is loading them up with files, games, photos, etc. So we think the tradeoff offered by a traditional hard drive is reasonable here.

    The Home Office Desktop:

    Lenovo M700 Tiny

    Packing lots of productivity power into a tiny chassis, the appropriately named M700 Tiny from Lenovo will make any home office look good! It features a potent Intel Core i5-6500T quad-core CPU, 8GB of memory, and the all-important 128GB solid-state drive for fantastic responsiveness. It even has built-in 802.11ac networking and Bluetooth connectivity. Note that while it does not have HDMI ports, it has two DisplayPort outputs, which are the most capable digital video connection available, and a simple adapter cable will allow connection to HDMI-only monitors.

    The Guru's Tip:

    The system comes pre-loaded with Windows 7 but also includes a Windows 10 Pro license.

    The Touchscreen All-in-One:

    Lenovo ideacentre 23" Touch AIO 300

    This sleek model from Lenovo could seriously be the last home PC you ever buy. It features a high-quality 23" 1920 x 1080 touchscreen for an amazingly-interactive computing experience, and is powered by a fast and efficient Intel Core i5-6200U 2.3GHz dual-core laptop processor with TurboBoost to 2.8GHz to make short work of just about any project. Also onboard are a GeForce 920A video card, 8GB of RAM, a 2TB hard drive with 8GB of solid-state cache, and a DVD burner. It even has built-in 802.11ac wireless networking.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Lenovo includes a wired keyboard and mouse set with this AIO, rather than a sleeker wireless kit, but that's easy enough to remedy with Logitech's MK270 setup!

    The Ultra-Slim Business PC:

    HP Elite Slice

    HP's new ultra-compact Elite Slice is the ultimate streamlined business PC solution. Simply put, if you are equipping a next-gen workstation, whether at home or in an office, skip the clunky towers and go for the Slice! Equipped with a 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-6500T 35W quad-core processor, 8GB of RAM, and a big 256GB solid-state drive, along with HDMI and DisplayPort outputs, this is all you'll ever need from a workstation for many years to come. It also includes two USB 3.0 and two USB 3.1 Type-C connectors, along with "Slice" add-on components like an optical drive, an audio drive, and a wireless charging cover, making it truly future-proof!

    The Guru's Tip:

    We believe that this form factor will become the norm in business desktop computing within the next 2-3 years. There's simply no reason for offices to be outfitting their workstations with desktop towers given the state of today's PC technology.

    The Home Theater Gaming PC:

    MSI Trident-008US

    While MSI is marketing this as a VR gaming PC, we see another, more useful application: a high-powered slimline home theater PC! Equipped with a Core i5-6400 quad-core processor, a GTX 1060 3GB video card, and a 1TB hard drive, it's the perfect machine to use as a media player, game console, or even a standard desktop PC.

    The Guru's Tip:

    This is as small as any PC could possibly be and still use desktop-class components.

    The Small Business Desktop:

    HP EliteDesk 800 G2 Micro PC

    If you need a lot of processing power for serious business applications along with a compact design, the EliteDesk 800 G2 from HP is the system for you. It features an Intel Core i7-6700 quad-core processor with Hyperthreading, which boosts speed tremendously in applications like spreadsheets and photo/video processing. The system also includes 8GB of RAM (expandable to 64GB!), a 256GB solid-state drive for great responsiveness, and Windows 10 Pro pre-installed.

    The Guru's Tip:

    Packing in a total of 10 USB ports, along with dual DisplayPort outputs for high-resolution monitors, this has plenty of connectivity options.

    The Ultra-Compact Gamer:

    Zotac ZBOX-EN1070

    This model from Zotac is a high-powered gaming machine packed into a mind-blowingly small case. At just 8" by 8" by 2.5", this system is simply tiny! And yet you still get a fast Intel Core i5-6500T quad-core processor, 8GB of RAM, a 1TB hard drive plus 120GB solid-state drive, along with the potent Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 video card. It even has ultra-fast 802.11ac wireless networking built in. Note that some ZBOX models are "barebones" and don't include RAM, a hard drive, or Windows, but this version is ready to go out of the box!

    The Guru's Tip:

    Zotac is marketing this system for virtual reality, and with a GTX 1070 inside, it's more than powerful enough to run both the Oculus Rift and the even better HTC Vive VR headsets! Note that this is a mobile version of the GTX 1070, which is how Zotac was able to make this system so small, but it's nearly as powerful as the regular desktop version.

    The High-End Gaming PC:

    CyberpowerPC Gamer Supreme SLC8300

    The SLC8300 from CyberpowerPC packs in all the latest components, including an Intel Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz quad-core processor (with liquid cooling!), an ultra-fast GeForce GTX 1070 8GB video card, 32GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive, and a 3TB hard drive. This thing is the real deal!

    The Guru's Tip:

    This system is similar to our $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build, but it's ready out of the box, and you even get a 1-year warranty.

    The Premium Gaming PC:

    CyberpowerPC Gamer Supreme SLC8320BH

    Goodness gracious, great balls of fire! This is a monstrous gaming PC! You get a liquid-cooled Intel Core i7-6700K quad-core CPU, 32GB of DDR4-3000 memory, and a big 480GB SSD along with a 3TB hard drive. Oh, and did we mention the seriously-high-end GeForce GTX 1080 video card that it includes?!?

    The Guru's Tip:

    With a 1-year warranty and free lifetime tech support, this system is perfect for anyone not quite ready to build their own PC!