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The best desktops for students

We found six machines that are compact enough for the dorm and powerful enough for just about anything.
Will Lipman/Engadget

For some of you, picking up a MacBook like the rest of your peers just won't do. If you're willing to trade portability for power, desktop computers are the way to go. Since it's probably the biggest-ticket item you'll buy for your apartment throughout college, it's important to choose the right one for your needs (and budget). This goes double for those of you spending a little more on a machine that will get you through graduate studies and beyond.

Our 2018 back-to-school guide includes six desktop machines, each with their own perks and quirks. People without much desk space will want to compare Dell's 27-inch Inspiron 7000 all-in-one with this year's iMac. With eSports on the rise, some of you might want to kit out your dorm with an HP Omen -- or, if you're serious about your gaming, go straight for the Alienware Area-51.

If this sounds a bit like Goldilocks finding the right bed, it should: You'll be spending quite a bit of time in front of your desktop, but our suggestions should cover almost any task or game you'll need to tackle. Find all that in more in our full guide and while you're there, check out the other 13 categories we covered.

Check out our complete 2018 back-to-school guide and find all of our student-friendly buying advice right here!

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