Best desktop computers for small businesses in 2021

Our computer experts’ top picks of the best office desktop PCs today

Our experts

We are a team of writers, experimenters and researchers providing you with the best advice with zero bias or partiality. This article was authored by:
  • Bryn Glover

Whether you're a keen video editor needing all the processing power you can get, or just looking for a cheap and fast all-in-one PC to help you breeze through work, our unbiased reviews have been written to help you find the best desktop computer for your business needs.

We compared the latest desktop computers from the world's leading manufacturers – including Microsoft, Apple, Dell & HP – to track down the best business PCs on the market today. From premium flagship models to value for money winners, you're sure to find an option that suits your needs here.


Dell Inspiron Compact Desktop

Dell inspiron compactThe cheapest of Dell's Inspiron range, this computer features 10th-gen Intel® CPU and is a great starting point if you're not in need of of the advanced processing power offered by Dell's XPS range (read more about that below).

The Dell Inspiron Compact can be configured to suit your needs:

  • Intel® Core™ i7-10700 processor – up to 10th generation
  • M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive – up to 512GB
  • 8Gx1, DDR4, 2933MHz Memory drive – up to 8GB

Processor

When purchasing your Dell Inspiron, you can choose to configure your processor depending on your needs.

The Intel Pentium processor is the most basic option on offer, but can only support 4GB of memory and a 1TB hard drive. Upgrading to the Intel Core i5 model increases your memory option up to 8GB, while choosing the Intel Core i7 Core will allow you to select up to 8GB of memory, with a 512GB solid state drive.

The cost of your desktop will vary, depending on the processor you select. The standard Intel Pentium can cost £349, while the i5 or i7 models will cost from £579 to £999, depending on your configuration.

How does it run?

With several options available in this range, the Dell Inspiron Compact PC offers something for almost everyone. Though it's not the highest-spec PC on the market, it's more than suitable for most business needs. Unless you need a PC that will operate at the highest possible spec, you can probably find an option to fit.

Bear in mind the different configurations on offer though, from the cheaper £349 option to the £999 pick, you should select a model that suits your needs best. If you just need to browse online and work with things like Word or Excel, the low-end option is probably fine, but the more complex your PC needs, the more likely you'll need to scale to a higher-spec option.

As for Dell, it's a name you'll know. They've been one of the biggest names in the home and business computing space for years and have earned respect. As well as providing the desktop PC itself, they also sell monitors and all the accessories you'd need beyond that. When you buy directly from Dell, you can also add on things like Microsoft Office and McAfee Security for an additional cost. If you're looking for a complete setup, this is a great way to go.


Dell XPS Desktop

More expensive than the Inspiron range above, the Dell XPS offers a range of configuartions to cater to business roles with higher processing demands.

If you're a developer or a designer, for example, you need a desktop that can match your needs. Fortunately, Dell's XPS desktop can be built to match.

The Dell XPS can be configured with:

  • Intel® Core™ i7-10700 processor – up to i9
  • 8Gx1, DDR4, 2933MHz Memory drive – up to 8GB
  • M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive – up to 1TB

Processor

The Dell XPS can be configured to operate on a Intel Core i9, with up to 16GB of memory and 1GB of hard drive.

The most basic option in the XPS range is the Intel Core i5, which can be paired with 8GB of memory and a 256GB SSD. With a price tag of £899, this is the cheapest configuration for this model, but is also capable of handling more complex tasks than a more basic option like the Dell Inspiron. Of course, the more you pay the higher your specs, with a higher-end spec costing up to £1,899.

How does it run?

With different configurations available, Dell's XPS desktop can be scaled up to match even the most processing-intense workloads. With an incredible range of options available – with even the most basic able to handle more advanced processing than the Inspiron range, this is a great choice for almost anyone in need of a business desktop.

Of course, you may need to opt for a higher-spec model in some roles, but for general business use, you couldn't find many better options than the Dell XPS.

Apple iMac

Known for style and function, Apple's iMac range has been a business favourite for years now. Though often more expensive than competitors, they have become the industry standard in many fields and can justify the cost. With various options available, you can't go wrong.

The iMac range offers several configurations:

  • 12.5-inch to 27-inch options
  • Up to 8th gen Intel Core i5 processor
  • Retina 4k display

Processor

The main differentiator between iMac processing is in what's being used. From the Dual-Core processor available with the cheapest option to the 6-Core processor on the highest-spec, you can feel confident that any of the three machines will be able to handle whatever work you have to throw at it.

With processors from i3 to i5, the iMac range also boasts Turbo boost, extra storage along with Retina 4k display – an option unique to Apple that offers a higher pixel density than many PCs on the market, to enable higher resolution. This makes it an ideal choice for creative industries where visuals are everything.

Depending on the model you choose, you will have access to different levels of processing, with other changes to take into account. The cheapest iMac option comes in at £1,099 and the most expensive is £1,499.

How does it run?

If you're used to working on Apple products then you'll be aware of how the interface works. If you've always used Windows though, there will be a learning curve. That isn't a bad thing though as Apple's OS is intuitive and designed to operate easily.

Over the years one of the biggest USPs for the iMac and Macbook range has been style and user experience. It's fair to say that once you're used to it, you'll struggle to go back to the Windows setup.

In terms of power and processing, you'd be hard pressed to find a better option than the iMac range. Designed with high-spec performance in mind, this range of desktops can handle ordinary work with ease, and can stretch to handle even the most arduous tasks you might throw at it. If you're working in a high-processing role then you can rest assured that this range of models will have you covered.

Where the options differ is in the amount of processing, from dual-core to 6-core, to the amount of storage on offer. If you work in a video role, for example, you may want to go for the higher memory choice, even though it is a little more costly.

Bryn Glover
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