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Dell, HP, Apple Consumer Reports' Best Desktops

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 22 comments

PCs still own the desktop.

Yesterday we took a look at Consumer Reports’ latest laptop ratings and saw that Apple cleaned up all three segments with MacBooks taking home all top scores. Could Apple do the same thing again for desktops with its iMac, Mac Mini and Mac Pro? Nope.

In the four desktop categories – standard, multimedia, gaming and all-in-one – HP topped one and Dell took the remaining three.

Well, actually Apple managed to sneak in at the top of the standard desktop rating with its Mac Mini as the HP Pavilion Slimline s3620f, which took top spot with 61 out of 100, is discontinued. The Mac Mini shared a rating of 59 out of 100 along with the HP Pavilion a6600f and HP Pavilion a6700y.

Dell ruled the multimedia desktop class, taking the top four spots out of the six computers ranked. The top four in order were the Dell Studio XPS, Studio Mini, Studio Slim and the Insprion 518.

Only three gaming desktops were ranked by Consumer Reports, with the Dell XPS 630 taking the highest score on the page with 81 out of 100. The other two were the HP Pavilion Elite d5000t ATX and the HP Pavilion Elite m9450f, both with 78 points and both discontinued.

In the all-in-one category, one that’s popularized by the iMac, Apple only managed to take second place with its 20-inch offering. The leader of that pack was Dell with its 24-inch XPS One Red. Dell also grabbed third place with the 20-inch version of the XPS One.

Check out the latest Consumer Reports for the full ratings (or subscribe to the website).

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  • 7 Hide
    grieve , May 6, 2009 10:39 PM
    Custom built systems took #1 in all my categories….
    #1 Value
    #1 Performance
    #1 appearance
    #1 Blending
  • 7 Hide
    thundercleese , May 6, 2009 10:43 PM
    In the end they are all crap. Which is why I always build all my computers.
  • 3 Hide
    rwpritchett , May 6, 2009 11:23 PM
    I wonder how many people choose to purchase an Apple display to match their mac mini? The smaller 24" model is $900... that's more than the mini itself. But, that's the price to pay if you want to be chic.

    I agree, homebuilt beats all of these.
  • 3 Hide
    falchard , May 6, 2009 11:33 PM
    lol I think that consumer report is way off. How can macbooks beat ASUS and MSI laptops? Its completely baffling. How can HP gain #1 desktop brand, and Dell even be on the list? I think someone was paid.
  • 4 Hide
    tayb , May 7, 2009 1:30 AM
    What were there like a total of two dozen Mac Pro's sold? I'd rather buy a new car.
  • -1 Hide
    eklipz330 , May 7, 2009 1:39 AM
    ok homebuilt DEFINITELY beats store build, as long as its over $800. but i think under that, you can find pretty slick deals on store built computers.
  • 0 Hide
    Nuke_Meltdown , May 7, 2009 1:43 AM
    And that is without custom built computers number.....
  • 3 Hide
    Raidur , May 7, 2009 1:50 AM
    I don't trust consumer ratings, considering the average consumer doesn't know the difference between memory and hard drive space. "That website loaded up mighty fast, this computer is awesome!! +100 rating!!" Or the classic saying from my dad "This god dmn piece of sht computer! (mind you, it is a $2000 laptop and never even a year old, its pretty nice) We need to return this crap and get a new 'different' one!! (+0 rating)" I look on his screen and he is typing web addresses into google search and wondering why it keeps going 'back' to google. *sigh
  • 1 Hide
    chise1 , May 7, 2009 2:05 AM
    Can someone please explain to me why only Dells, HP's and Macs are on the list? Yes, we all know that it's better to build your own computer, but unless there is a strict price limit (which Consumer Reports didn't seem to follow when it proclaimed that Apple produced the best laptops, comparing computers that were 3-4x more expensive than others)? The XPS 630 isn't even Dell's best model!
  • 2 Hide
    frozenlead , May 7, 2009 2:26 AM
    chise1 has a big point. There seems to be no convention for choosing specific models. I really hope people don't read this BS. Choosing a discontinued model? What?
  • 0 Hide
    ct1615 , May 7, 2009 4:18 AM
    are you people retarded or just plain stupid???

    its obvious consumer reports is not focusing on computers for gamers and techies. The focus is on PC for people at home that surf the web, pay bills online, use MS office for work/office and have a minimal understanding of PC parts and what they do.

    If you want to grade gaming PCs and parts, go read tom's reviews =P
  • 0 Hide
    onsiteone , May 7, 2009 10:08 AM
    Lately most of my clients look for destkop pc's under the $800 pricerange. For the past 3 or so years, I have recommended Dell because of their online deals. The ability to customize/upgrade on most of the desktop system's components via their website is a very convenient feature... especially for those who want the "feel" of building their own desktop (albeit in a very limited way) yet not require the know-how of actually piecing said components together.
  • 1 Hide
    Zagen30 , May 7, 2009 10:42 AM
    RaidurI don't trust consumer ratings, considering the average consumer doesn't know the difference between memory and hard drive space. "That website loaded up mighty fast, this computer is awesome!! +100 rating!!" Or the classic saying from my dad "This god dmn piece of sht computer! (mind you, it is a $2000 laptop and never even a year old, its pretty nice) We need to return this crap and get a new 'different' one!! (+0 rating)" I look on his screen and he is typing web addresses into google search and wondering why it keeps going 'back' to google. *sigh


    Consumer Reports is not a bunch of random users giving feedback, at least not for these ratings. These scores are garnered via a bunch of tests in labs. I know because I interviewed for a position there once, and I saw a couple dozen computers running the tests during my tour of the facilities. Funnily enough, the room where they test all the laptops looks like a Best Buy, since there are a couple of shelves with an aisle in between, and the shelves are full of shiny new laptops. All the laptops still have their stickers on them and everything.

    How they decide which models to purchase and test, I don't know, but they are limited by the fact that they have to buy all of the merchandise that they test. They deliberately do not want to recieve any free items from companies, which could lead to any sort of bias towards or against someone. The company prides itself on being as unbiased as posisble with respect to any of the manufacturers of the products they test.

    As ct1615 said, they are not going to rate top-of-the-line computers since the majority of the people who read their magazine are not in the market for something that powerful. Their profit comes directly from sales of their various magazines and website membership, and so they market themselves to as mainstream an audience as possible.
  • 0 Hide
    captaincharisma , May 7, 2009 3:56 PM
    can't beleve HP got number 1 in one of the categories. buy a HP and not only do you get crappy parts but crappy tech support too. i would take an e-machines PC over a HP anyday
  • 0 Hide
    gm0n3y , May 7, 2009 5:22 PM
    Home-built machine FTW. And I'd rather read the manual (or product website, forums, etc) than deal with any of their tech support.
  • 0 Hide
    Mach5Motorsport , May 7, 2009 5:42 PM
    CR is going to rate computers under the most basic type of sythetic tests. Doubt very much they care a whif about gamming. Apple to them just full fills the checklists, nothing more. Doubt they really mark down on retail price. Absolute joke to see a Mac laptop get a Best buy rating and will be the most expensive comp tested in its category across the board, $300 to a $1000 more than the next model tested...insane.
  • 1 Hide
    st430 , May 7, 2009 7:00 PM
    these test is bad.
    the laptop test throw 2grand apple laptop to 700$ laptops....
    come on...
    even car compare test has price range limitation.
    or else why don't you compare apple desktop with the IBM mainframe.
  • 0 Hide
    outacontrolpimp , May 7, 2009 11:37 PM
    grieveCustom built systems took #1 in all my categories….#1 Value#1 Performance#1 appearance#1 Blending



    What do you mean Blending?
  • 0 Hide
    grieve , May 8, 2009 5:53 PM
    I meant custom/homebuilt machines are better at everything, even Blending (like a blender)
    Its a joke....
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 28, 2010 1:25 PM
    Dell is the worst computer on the market. 3 weeks and a drive went, disc socket doesn't open without a lot of hassel. Brand new? and has given many problems. Have had computers since 1979 and by far, and without exception the Dell PC is the poorest made and junkiest one that I have ever had. Made a mistake and did not check out consumer reports first.
    Should be taken off the market !!!! buyerme
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