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
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
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, 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
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
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
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.