2014 Computers: Best Options
2014 Computers: Best Options
Start your online shopping with our list of the latest desktops and laptops.
ThinkCentre M 73 Tiny
Desktop Mini: If you already own an LCD monitor and want to spare as much desk space as possible, a micro tower like this might be a good fit. Measuring 7.7 by 7.2 by 6 inches, it still packs power for business needs. It has: Windows 8.1; a 2.9GHz dual-core processor; 4 GB of RAM; a 500 GB hard drive; and two USB 3.0 and 4 USB 2.0 ports. There’s a flexible mounting system available for attaching it to the back of an LCD monitor.
Asus BP6375-I73770039B Desktop Computer
Conventional Desktop Tower: Plug a monitor into this compact tower and you’ve got a powerful, fully expandable desktop system. It ships with Windows 7 and includes a Windows 8 Professional upgrade. Key features: a 3.4 GHz quad-core processor; 8 GB of RAM; a 1 TB hard drive; four USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports; four expansion bays; and a Gigabit Ethernet port. It can connect to and support three different displays simultaneously.
All-in-One: Apple’s space-saving desktop system packs all components behind its 21.5-inch monitor. It runs Apple’s OS X and can be set up to run Microsoft’s Windows. Basic configuration: a 1.4 GHz dual-core processor; 8 GB of RAM; a 500 GB hard drive; a HD webcam; a wireless keyboard and mouse or trackpad; Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support; three USB 3.0 ports; an SDXC card slot; and two Thunderbolt ports.
OptiPlex 9030 All-in-One
Touch Screen All-in-One: The top-of-the-line configuration of this desktop system gives users the option of controlling the computer by keyboard or touch. Running Windows 8.1 Pro, it has a 23-inch HD touch screen; a 3 GHz quad-core processor; 8 GB of RAM; a 500GB hard drive; a DVD drive; dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth; a USB keyboard; and an optical mouse.
Toshiba America Information Systems
Cloud Computer: An inexpensive solution for those comfortable working in the cloud. Runs Google’s Chrome and other cloud-based services. It features: a 1.4 GHz Celeron processor; 2 GB of RAM; a 16 GB flash drive; a 13.3-inch HD screen; an HD webcam; Bluetooth and Wi-Fi; and a nine-hour battery. Includes 100 GB of storage on Google Drive for two years.
Price: Starting at $399
Budget Notebook: This is an economical Windows 8.1 laptop still powerful enough to use as a primary computer. Basic features: a 15.6-inch touch screen; a full-sized keyboard; a 2.1 GHz dual-core processor; a 4-in-1 card reader; two USB 3.0 ports and one USB 2.0 port; and a five-hour battery. It weighs 5.27 pounds.
Surface Pro 2
Price: Starting at $799
Hybrid Tablet/Notebook: Launched as a Windows tablet, the Surface Pro 2 takes an optional cover with a built-in keyboard to transform into a notebook. Running Windows 8.1 Pro, it has a 12-inch touch screen. Its basic configuration: a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor; 4 GB of RAM; a 64 GB flash drive; Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4; 5 MP front and 1080p rear cameras; a micro card reader; and a USB 3.0 port. It weighs 2.4 pounds.
Price: Starting at $899
Desktop Replacement: Larger screens and faster processors make large laptops like this a potential replacement for a desktop system. Loaded with Windows 7, the basic configuration includes: a 2.6 GHz dual-core processor; 4 GB of RAM; a 500 GB hybrid hard disk-flash drive; a 15.6-inch widescreen HD display; an HD webcam; a full-sized keyboard; an 8.5-hour battery; a card reader; and three USB 3.0 ports and one USB 2.0 port. It weighs five pounds.
Latitude 13 7000 Series 2-in-1
Price: Starting at $1,199
Hybrid Laptop/Tablet: This is Dell’s latest dual-purpose ultrabook. As a business computer, it’s a full-powered laptop running Windows 8. Detach the keyboard, and it’s a touchscreen tablet. It features: a 13.3-inch HD touch screen; an Intel Core M mobile processor; up to 8 GB of RAM; up to a 512 GB flash drive; an SD card reader; and a backlit keyboard.
Price: $1,299 for basic configuration
Business Ultrabook: A compact solution for mobile productivity. The basic configuration: Windows 7 Professional; a 1.7 GHz dual-core processor; 4 GB of RAM; a 128 GB flash drive; a 14-inch HD display; and dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It weighs 3.3 pounds.
MacBook Pro with Retina display
Full-Powered Laptop: For those who want the Apple experience, this is the current top-of-the-line laptop. Runs OS X and can be configured to run Windows. Its 15.4-inch screen features Apple’s Retina HD display technology. It features: a 2.5 GHz quad-core processor; 16 GB of RAM; a 256 GB flash drive; a HD FaceTime camera; Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0; and an eight-hour battery. It weighs 4.6 pounds.
AspireV Nitro VN7-791G-79MS
Big-Screen Laptop: The 17.3-inch HD display and processing power make this Windows 8.1 system a high-end replacement for a desktop system. System specs are: a 2.5 GHz quad-core processor; 16 GB of RAM and an additional 2 GB of dedicated graphics RAM; a 1 TB hard drive and 128 GB of flash memory; an HD webcam; and a backlit keyboard. It weighs approximately 6.6 pounds.