Desktop
Apple contender: iMac ($1,299 -- arrives in November)
Alternative: HP Pavilion Phoenix Desktop ($1,049)

Yet another category tech companies seem to care about less and less.

iMac sales make up roughly a fifth of all Mac sales and were down almost 20% in the third quarter from the same time last year. In all of last year, iMac desktop sales grew just 1% from 2010. The decline is speeding up and the sector is dying.

Still, there are offices that need workstations and desk space that needs filling. Decide gives a slight edge to the 27-inch iMacs and their all-in-one screen design, but is similarly taken with HP Pavilion Phoenix towers that come in at roughly half the price but offer 10 gigabytes of memory and a two-terabyte hard drive.

For gamers, that means no lag, great graphics and ridiculous sound from Beats Audio. For business folks, that means a smooth transition to Windows 8. For the average joe, it means having to find a monitor instead of having a nice, compact, minimally fanned all-in-one, but it also means having more speed and storage than you could ever hope to use.

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