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Best Desktop Computers For Teachers 2022

Best desktop computers for teachers
(Image credit: Currys)

The best desktop computers for teachers are more affordable, more powerful, and more capable than ever before. All good things but these devices are also more prolific too, making that decision of picking the right one the main problem. But it's one worth tackling as it can mean a machine that does-it-all for teaching prep, remote learning, personal use, and beyond.

This guide aims to help you find the right desktop computer for you. Be it an all-in-one machine with wireless keyboard and mouse or a stand-alone tower machine for you to add a monitor and peripherals. How to decide which suits you best?

Do you need a compact setup? You can save money by buying a desktop computer, then all the peripherals separately. If you want the best design finish then those all-in-one machines do the trick nicely, however, for that compact a sleek finish, you do lose some power for your buck. So for all-out grunt, a tower could be better suited.

Think about what you need the machine for. If it's just word processing, web browsing, and remote teaching over Zoom, then a basic setup will suit you just fine. But if you want to do video or image editing, perhaps online gaming, maybe multitasking between all that and presenting a lesson online, then you'll want more processing power and RAM for the best speeds.

A monitor is a big part of the consideration too – do you need something very large so you can see the whole class on screen while in a video lesson? Do you want something with a built-in camera, or are you going to get a dedicated web cam to use with the setup?

All that in mind, read on to find the best desktop computers for teachers.

1. Apple iMac (27-inch, 2020): Best desktop computers for teachers top-pick

Apple iMac (27-inch, 2020)

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple iMac (27-inch, 2020)

For an all in one setup that does everything while looking great

Specifications

Processor: 10th Gen Intel Core i5 - i9
Display: 27-inch, Retina 5K
Webcam and mic: 1080p and triple mic array

Reasons to buy

+
Superb high-resolution display
+
Very powerful processing
+
Stunning, minimal looks
+
Apple macOS interface

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

The Apple iMac is one of the best computers you can buy. While we could say no more and that photo of the minimalist lines of this machine may be enough to sway you, we'll go on. This device screams quality, from the high-resolution 5K display, which is plenty big enough at 27 inches, to the super-fast 10th Gen Intel Core i5 processing.

There's enough power for video editing and gaming – so plenty for holding video classes with lots of windows open at once. That can mean multitasking during a remote lesson, with a presentation and other resources all available simultaneously on that large display. It also comes with a wireless Apple mouse and keyboard, and features a 1080p webcam plus a triple microphone array, making it ready for quality video teaching out of the box. 

This is an expensive option but more affordable than the top-end iMac Pro, making it accessible but with enough power to last many years. You can also connect up to two more 6K displays for a truly immersive experience. Want a more affordable option? Go for the more basic spec-toting 21.5-inch iMac instead.


2. Acer Aspire C24: Best value option

Acer Aspire C24

(Image credit: Acer)

Acer Aspire C24

An all in one with a price that's affordable

Specifications

Processor: 11th Gen Intel Core i3
Display: 24-inch Full HD
Webcam and mic: HD webcam, built-in microphone

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable price
+
Powerful 11th Gen Intel Core
+
Good look and space saving

Reasons to avoid

-
Screen not as stunning or high-res as Mac

The Acer Aspire C24 is an all-in-one desktop computer that packs in everything you could need as a teacher, or school, without the steep price. For about half the price of the iMac, this offers a large and clear display, albeit at Full HD rather than 4K. It actually has a newer 11th Gen Intel Core processor and can be specced out to offer some serious power, with video graphics, should you need it.

While you can get a faster i5, this comes with a spinning hard drive that slows things. Look out for the lower spec i3 processor but with the faster SSD drive to get more speeds and savings in one.

The build quality is high and this looks great with that metallic finish and edge-to-edge display. It certainly appears more premium than the price would suggest. The built-in webcam has a slide-across cover that is a nice privacy touch. The microphone is built-in and works well, and it comes with a wireless keyboard and mouse so you're set to go right from setup of this Windows machine.


3. HP Pavilion All-In-One 24 : Best for graphics

HP Pavilion All-In-One 24

(Image credit: HP)

HP Pavilion All-In-One 24

Lots of graphical power in a good loking shell

Specifications

Processor: AMD Ryzen5
Display: 24-inch Full HD
Webcam and mic: HP Wide Vision 5MP privacy cam, built-in quad array microphone

Reasons to buy

+
High-res privacy webcam and quad-mic
+
AMD Ryzen graphical processing
+
Excellent sound quality

Reasons to avoid

-
No wireless keyboard and mouse

The HP Pavilion All-in-One 24 is a complete packed PC that offers some serious powerful performance specs. Consequently, this AMD Ryzen-powered machine is good for graphics editing, gaming, and crucially, for teachers' multitasking.

The mighty 24-inch display is Full HD with a decent level of brightness, plus you get a privacy webcam that's high quality and is backed by an impressive quad-microphone. All of that makes for very high-quality video classes that can easily be seen, with the entire class on one screen. Audio is great too, thanks to a powerful front-facing speaker that's been tuned by specialist B&O.

The included mouse and keyboard aren't wireless, but with very few other gripes to speak of, this is an impressive Windows PC that justifies its price.


4. Dell Inspiron 24 5000: Best for security

Dell Inspiron 24 5000

(Image credit: Dell)

Dell Inspiron 24 5000

For the most peace of mind, Dell is the way to go

Specifications

Processor: 11th Gen Intel Core i3
Display: 24-inch Full HD
Webcam and mic: FHD pop-up cam, built-in mic

Reasons to buy

+
Dell grade security and quality
+
Powerful processing
+
Great screen and camera

Reasons to avoid

-
Not 4K display

The Dell Inspiron 24 5000 is an all-in-one desktop PC that runs Windows and comes with lots of power onboard as well as the peace of mind knowing that this is Dell. That means lots of security online and multiple options to get cover for the physical device in case there are issues. It's also backed by extensive customer support.

This computer offers a 24-inch Full HD touchscreen display that works perfectly with that Windows operating system. The quad-core AMD processor offers plenty of speed while the as-standard 1TB drive provides abundant storage space. This device can be specced higher, but for a base level this is impressive and useful enough for most teaching situations.

There are numerous connector ports at the back, and wireless connectivity is also decent with 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 onboard. Those good looks are just a bonus.


5. Lenovo IdeaCentre A340: Best premium finish at a decent price

Lenovo IdeaCentre A340

(Image credit: Lenovo)

Lenovo IdeaCentre A340

Get a quality finish without overspending

Specifications

Processor: Intel Core i3
Display: 21.5-inch Full HD
Webcam and mic: 720p privacy webcam, microphone

Reasons to buy

+
Zippy performance
+
Good looking design
+
Affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
Wired mouse and keyboard
-
Soft speakers

The Lenovo IdeaCentre A340 is an affordable way to get a premium design and finish as well as fast performing specs. That sounds as if this Windows all-in-one PC does it all, but for the price you will take a hit on the processor unless you go for the Intel Core i3 option.

You get a 720p webcam and speaker built-in, except the audio isn't that powerful – although good enough for a class video lesson. The design is minimalist to do away with wires even though this comes with a wired mouse and keyboard.

The 1TB of storage and basic 4GB of RAM make for decent entry price specs that should serve the needs of most teachers into the near future. There is the option to upgrade specs so it will last longer and work faster. You can also go for a larger 24-inch model if that's going to better help with all those multitasking windows.


6. HP Chromebase All-in-One 22: Best for Chrome users

HP Chromebase All-in-One 22

(Image credit: HP)

HP Chromebase All-in-One 22

A top pick for Chrome users that want a desktop

Specifications

Processor: Intel Pentium 6405U
Display: 21.5-inch Full HD
Webcam and mic: HP True Vision 5MP, dual array microphones

Reasons to buy

+
Rotating display
+
High-res cam and audio
+
Compact and attractive design
+
Affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
Screen could be sharper
-
Ports on rear only

The HP Chromebase All-in-One 22 is a pretty unique setup as it combines the best of an all-in-one desktop with Chrome OS. It does this with a Full HD 21.5-inch display that can be tilted 90-degrees, making it ideal for browsing web pages in portrait rather than landscape layout, for example. 

There's a powerful webcam that is backed by dual-array microphones, making it perfect for video lessons and calls in which you're seen and heard clearly. 

All this is pretty affordable for what you get, especially considering the wireless mouse and keyboard come as standard. It's not going to be the most powerful setup, but since this is Chrome-based you won't really need anymore power to run the apps you can access. 

Luke Edwards is a freelance writer and editor with more than two decades of experience covering tech, science, and health. He writes for many publications covering health tech, software and apps, digital teaching tools, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and much more.