The best desktop computers for teachers offer a way to harness digital teaching tools in one of the best ways. These machines are now more powerful yet affordable than ever before, making these also far more accessible. That can mean they're ideal for teaching a class, for creating teaching content, for sharing with the class, and to edit and record video, music, and more.
It's worth noting the various types of desktop computer, which fall into the two main categories: all-in-one and tower. The former has all the smarts built into the monitor itself and generally is paired with a wireless mouse and keyboard, for the most minimal and cable-less setup. The latter, tower computers, require you to also add a monitor, speakers, webcam, microphone, mouse, and keyboard -- however, the machine will give you more power for the price.
So while an all-in-one is great for a minimal finish, you can get more powerful processing and future-proofed specs with a tower setup.
You may just need a basic machine that will cover you for video calls, word processing, coding, web browsing, and emails. But if you want to be able to edit video, images, music, and enjoy gaming, then you'll need to invest in a faster processor backed by more RAM.
Read on to find the best desktop computers for teachers.
1. Apple iMac (24-inch, M1): Best desktop computers for teachers top pick
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 display, which is plenty big enough at 24 inches, to the super-fast M1 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.
2. Acer Aspire C24: Best value option
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
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, yet 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
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 strong 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.
Numerous connector ports are available 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
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. The option to upgrade specs is available, 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
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, 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.
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