The desktop PC was always the go-to machine when you needed high-performance and reliability, but as laptops got better, it gradually became less appealing. After all, it made little sense to own something huge and space-consuming, when you could get the same features and functions in a conveniently easy-to-carry device. Technology was moving towards portability, and all the traditional PC had going for it was its price, which was significantly lower than its laptop counterparts.
Fast forward to today, and the influx of cheap notebooks has closed the price gap. And as if things couldn’t get any worse for poor old desktop PC, here come the ultrabooks and 2-in-1 hybrids to grab an even bigger chunk of the market. On the shelves, you’ll find thin, light and overly elegant gadgets, with the processing power to tackle anything you throw at them. We even have gaming laptops that can handle the latest, most demanding titles with relative ease.
If you’re now questioning the role of the desktop computer in this day and age, you’re not alone. But, going by the latest innovations, the major players in the industry aren’t giving up just yet.
New desktop PC releases
Because it’s now hard to justify traditional PCs as more powerful or budget-friendly than other computing devices, manufacturers are seemingly turning their attention to making them as visually appealing as possible, while adding unique features to set them apart from their smaller competitors.
The releases below are not only functional as computers but also beautifully designed to suit any modern desktop setup.
1. Microsoft Surface Studio
Despite the overwhelming success of Microsoft’s Surface line of laptops and convertibles, the company still felt compelled to make a worthy contribution to the ‘desktop computer’ category. With a 28-inch curved PixelSense display that converts to a drafting and sketching table, the Surface Studio is made with digital artists in mind.
Measuring just 0.5-inches at its thickest point, the Surface Studio is the thinnest desktop monitor ever made; a feat Microsoft accomplished by cramming all the hardware into the small base that holds the computer, rather than having components within the display unit, as with most all-in-one PCs. The result is a remarkable device that guarantees to leave anyone who sees or uses it thoroughly impressed.
2. HP Envy Curved 34
HP might not have given any creative thoughts to its name, but the Envy 34 is very nearly as outstanding as the Surface Studio. Its 34-inch ultrawide curved display is its main selling point and, like Microsoft, HP has opted to shove all the hardware in the base that supports the screen, which makes for an exceptionally thin, elegant product.
In addition to inspiring specifications, the HP has distinctive features, such as a touch-sensitive volume wheel on the base, and a wireless charging spot for your smartphone. Among the coolest perks is the retractable Windows Hello-compatible webcam that pops up out of the top in response to voice commands.
3. Dell XPS 27
Dell might be busy wallowing in the success of its XPS line of ultrabooks, but it hasn’t taken all focus away from the desktop.
The XPS 27 features a rather traditional, iMac-like design, where the display unit houses all the hardware as well. However, there’s nothing traditional about its 27-inch 4K touchscreen and 10-speaker sound system.
The display, which is arguably the best we’ve seen on a monitor, is incredibly bright, vivid, vibrant and sharp. According to Dell, it covers 100 percent of the Adobe RGB color scheme, which makes it excellent for graphical work and multimedia.
Still room for improvement
While we’re all delighted that the three companies are giving the desktop PC some thought, a lot still needs to be done if there’s any chance of making it as compelling as it once was.
The apparent underlying issue, for starters, is the performance. The products above feature inventive designs and brilliant displays, but none are as powerful as even the average gaming PC. Furthermore, the fans get unpleasantly loud under load, sound output is wanting, and the included mouse and keyboard are a major downside.
However, the biggest letdown with the three products is the cost. It might be easy to vindicate the exorbitant price tags with the sheer size of the machines, but there’s minimal chance a $4,000 PC could achieve mainstream success.
The next generation of desktop computers should, therefore, perfectly balance looks, performance, functionality and price, to have even the slightest shot at a competitive place on the PC market.
We might still be far from seeing an actual comeback but, with their impressive new products, Microsoft, HP, and Dell have proven that the boring, conventional desktop computer is no more. Very soon, you may actually want a PC on your desk again.
About the author
Vigilance Chari is a freelance writer from LapopNinja covering tech news and gadgets. She is an International presenter and published author. When she’s not writing, she spends her time as an enthusiastic professional party planner and part-time painter.