For years, a good laptop was essential for anyone focused on advancing a career. That's not the case in a world with a strong workforce at home, where remote operations allow you to invest in larger setups with more power and flexibility. If you are changing to a work desktop because you're operating at home, there are a few great options at any price point.
Best Business Desktops
A business-class desktop does not need to have all the most advanced features for networking or for video and audio most of the time, but it does need solid tools for all of it. Unless you are shopping for a serious workstation geared toward creatives, your video and audio needs are more likely in line with setting up presentations in person or online than anything else.
The Dell OptiPlex line is an excellent choice for business purposes. Like most towers, there are options for expansion if you need a little more memory or storage space, but what comes out of the box is enough to put together conference calls that use custom chat backgrounds like the ones from CVO, make audiovisual presentations, or otherwise run a remote desktop. For a little more than $1,000, the OptiPlex is a bargain business computer that does not cut corners on productivity features.
Best Budget Desktops
The Acer Aspire series of desktop towers and mini-towers has been a longstanding entry in the budget PC scene. With over two decades of history, Acer has maintained a price point of just over $500 for the basic model since the mid-1990s, despite updating the hardware specs almost annually. There are better choices for a multipurpose computer, so it's not great if you have a complex role in projects, but it is a solid option for those with simple technology needs.
The OptiPlex would be ideal for someone expected to create and present; the Aspire is a solid option for digital coursework for teachers and students, call center work, basic app and browser-based productivity tools, and cloud-based productivity apps. If you need a home office computer that will only do work for the lowest possible price, the Aspire might be your best desktop computer for working from home.
Best All-in-One Desktops
There are a few options for an excellent all-in-one choice when investing in a system that lets you do your job and play after. Jobs that require you to buy your remote work computer allow you to update your gaming rig or home theater simultaneously. An all-in-one with a great graphics card and expanded storage is often the most price-efficient way to do that when buying a new computer.
The best all-in-one business-class computer with solid gaming performance and other entertainment features would probably be the Dell XPS. Still, without the productivity focus, the best all-around all-in-one for price-conscious buyers would probably be the Lenovo IdeaCentre. Both are solid options, but they're in different price classes. Now, if you want the top-end specs for an all-in-one today? That's probably the HP Envy 34, but getting the best work-from-home desktop computer in one box is not a small investment.
Best Mini Desktops
Mini desktops provide power comparable to other tower setups but with a smaller footprint in your space. That makes it easy to take them with you when you know you'll have access to a mouse and keyboard on the go. As such, they are becoming a viable alternative to laptops for people with home and office days. Still, they do not have a laptop's onboard screen and input features, so there are plenty of places a mini desktop can't go.
For a simple plug-and-play experience that stays out of your way when you aren't working, look at the MSI Pro. Its simple silhouette and straightforward build make it a top choice for an efficient computer with desktop power.
Set a Professional Tone
Once you have ordered your new work computer, establishing your remote office presence is the next step. That means investing in tools like a custom video chat background to preserve your privacy. Time to check out your options so you can enjoy the work-from-home experience while maintaining a solid professional boundary between the office and your personal space.