You know the scenario — you’re busy working on a crucial report that’s due Monday morning when your daughter says she has to “quickly send an email.” Before your daughter is done, your allotted time on the family desktop is up. Depending on the number of family members you have, sharing a desktop can get utterly depressing. Yet, as a parent, don’t you think you’re better off knowing what your kids are doing online rather than letting them do whatever they want in their rooms?
The advantages of a shared family desktop far outweigh the minor inconveniences that are inevitable with this arrangement. Even when you have the ability to get every family member their own PC or tablet, you must appreciate that there’s little family life left when everybody is busy on their gadgets during mealtime. The family desktop could serve many purposes — kids could use it to complete tests, you could use it for work, and it could also store those priceless documents that define your family unit.
It’s possible for several family members to share a desktop as long as rules are set and obeyed. Just as you might have taught your kids to quit watching TV when bedtime approaches, each family member will know when it’s their turn to use the desktop. With so many desktops available on the market today, how do you choose the one that’s ideal for you? To help you through this critical task, we have compiled this list of the 5 best desktop computers for families.
- Best Overall: Dell XPS 8950
- Best Space-Saving: Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3i
- Best 27-inch: HP Pavilion 27
- Best Budget Option: HP Chromebase
- Best Workstation: Lenovo ThinkStation P620
Best Overall: Dell XPS 8950
- 12th generation Intel Core i7-12700 processor
- Comes with 7 USB-A ports, 2 USB-C ports, and an SD card slot
- 1TB of HDD which can be upgraded up to 2TB and an additional 2TB SSD
- Intel UHD Graphics 770
- Runs Windows 11 Pro
If, in addition to your routine jobs, you desire a family desktop that you could use for gaming, then the Dell XPS 8950 is the computer for you. While it’s not marketed as a gaming machine, it’s so highly expandable that its uses are only limited by your resources and imagination.
Before you consider expanding, you’ll discover that, despite its lightness, the Dell XPS 8950 is a reasonably powerful machine. If you have tons of family documents that you need to store, this could be the computer you need, courtesy of its vast storage space. The desktop allows for an HDD storage upgrade. It comes with 1TB of HDD which could be upgraded up to 2TB and an additional 2TB SSD. The computer’s RAM could be expanded to 64GB. While you obtain your Dell XPS 8950 with a 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, the CPU could be expanded up to 12th Gen Intel Core i9 12900K.
For connectivity, the Dell XPS 8950 sits up there with the best. It comes with seven USB-A ports, two USB-C ports, an SD card slot, and an optical drive, and is also Ethernet enabled. The little frame and minimalist appearance of the Dell XPS 8950 disguise a lot about this computer. However, its huge expandability and versatility make it the overall best family desktop today.
Check out the Dell XPS 8950 on Amazon.
Best Space-Saving: Lenovo IdeaCentre
- 1.7 GHz Core i5 processor
- 8GB OF DDR4 SDRAM
- 27-inch full HD touchscreen display
- Runs Windows 11 Home
- 512GB of storage
If you’re space-challenged and wonder where to fit your family desktop, then Lenovo IdeaCentre is the computer to go for. Unlike old-school desktops that come with tons of wire to connect, this computer is compact and convenient. All the crucial components of the computer are built into the monitor base and you don’t have miles of wire to connect. Moreover, this desktop is easy to set up and move when needed.
However, the Lenovo IdeaCentre is not just about sleekness and beauty. It’s fitted with a 1.7 GHz Corei5 processor and has 8GB OF DDR4 SDRAM. It’s also a highly connectable computer as it has six USB ports, one VGA port, and an HDMI port. Once installed at home, the Lenovo IdeaCentre could be used for family entertainment. With a screen resolution of 1920×1080 pixels, the clarity of the displays can never be faulted. While the desktop does not have built-in speakers, you can connect external speakers.
Check out the Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO 3i on Amazon.
Best 27-inch Desktop: HP Pavilion 27
- Fitted with an AMD Ryzen 7-5700U processor
- 16GB of DDR4 RAM
- Full HD touchscreen display
- Runs on Windows 11 OS
- 1TB hard drive
Desktop computers for families come in all sizes and budgets. If you’re looking for a big-screen desktop, you might wish to consider the HP Pavilion 27. With a 27-inch full HD touchscreen, the HP Pavilion 27 takes center stage in your family living room. It has one of the biggest family desktop screens you could buy today.
In addition to its awesome size, the HP Pavilion is a great product that will meet most of your family’s computing needs. Fitted with an AMD Ryzen 7-5700U processor and 16GB of DDR4 RAM, this is one desktop that will enable several family members to perform various tasks at home. It will also double as an entertainment center. The desktop runs on Windows 11 OS, and with the monitor’s screen resolution of 1920×1080 pixels, you can enjoy a family movie in Full HD display.
In addition to having good hardware, the HP Pavilion 27 enables a great amount of connectivity thanks to the generous provision of ports. It has 2 USB 2.0 ports, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 2 HDMI ports, an Ethernet port, and a headphones jack, and is also Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled. For storage, this desktop comes with 1TB hard drive. Another factor that makes this computer one of the best is that it is highly upgradeable. For its vast storage capacity and big clear screen, the HP Pavilion 27 is one of the best family desktops you could buy today.
Check out the HP Pavilion 27 on Amazon.
Best Budget Option: HP Chromebase Ai0 22
If you’re raising a young family and wondering how as a parent you could improve the bonding process with the kids, the HP Chromebase Ai0 22 is a family desktop that could be your biggest ally. How so? Using this desktop will be a breeze for both the young and the old. It uses the Chrome OS, which is a plus, because it’s possible that your young ones are using Chromebooks based on this OS. Chrome is such a user-friendly and easy-to-operate OS that even the least tech-savvy parent will have no problem using it after a while.
Another positive for this family desktop is that it’s very reasonably priced. Costing less than $550, this is one of the cheapest desktops you could buy today. Despite its low price, however, the HP Chromebase Ai0 22 will meet your family’s needs. With a 21.5-inch full HD rotating screen, this desktop could double as the learning and education center for your family.
Powered by an Intel Gold 6405U processor, the desktop also has 4GB RAM and a Hard Drive of 128GB SSD. To help your new acquisition double as the learning and entertainment center for the whole family, the desktop has four USB 3.0 ports, making it connectable to a host of gadgets. For its simplicity and highly competitive price, the HP Chromebase Ai0 22 is one of the best family desktops today.
Check out the HP Chromebase on Amazon.
Best Workstation: Lenovo ThinkStation P620
- Powered by 16 Core AMD Ryzen Threadripper 5000 Pro processors
- Upgradeable to up to 24TB
- NVIDIA RTX A6000 graphics controller
- Runs Windows 10 Pro
As you might already know, desktop prices vary widely. While you might be looking for a budget machine, there are people whose professions demand the most complicated machines. Are you a family of professionals whose passions lean towards engineering, 3D modeling, data science, geology, physics, and other such areas where a truly powerful computer is needed? Then the Lenovo ThinkStation P620 is the desktop for you.
To give you an idea of the kind of performance that this desktop is capable of (and the reason why it’s so expensive), the desktop is powered by 16 Core AMD Ryzen Threadripper 5000 Pro processors. Also, the ability to expand on the CPU means that there’s hardly a task that this desktop won’t handle. Its storage abilities are also incredible. With eight RAM slots each of which can take 512GB, the Lenovo ThinkStation P620 is upgradeable to up to 24TB. It also has an NVIDIA RTX A6000 graphics controller.
If you demand speed, handle some of the most complex projects that the STEM world has to confront regularly, and have money to spare, you should definitely go for the Lenovo ThinkStation P620.
Check out Lenovo ThinkStation P620 on Amazon.
(Please note that as of July 18th, 2023, the Lenovo ThinkStation P620 30E0008NUS Workstation – 1 x AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO Hexadeca-core (16 Core) is currently unavailable on Amazon. Please check back later.)
How to Pick the Best Desktop Computers for Families: Step-By-Step
When you finally decide you’ll purchase a desktop for family use, there are crucial factors you need to think about. Here are the four most important:
Initial Computer Cost
When you do your research, you’ll find that computer prices vary widely. You may have a tough time deciding which machine is good for you. While a computer’s price could give you an idea about how useful a particular model might be, it does not necessarily mean that an expensive computer is what you need. On the contrary, you might find that your needs are met by a reasonably priced desktop. If so, then that’s what you should go for. However, you should be wary of incredibly low-priced desktops as they are likely to present problems further down the road.
A home desktop is an investment and you want to ensure that you have the necessary space for it. Should you be space-pressed and then proceed to buy a huge desktop, you’ll not only fail to use your machine optimally, but you also risk damaging it if you have to move it constantly.
Before choosing a desktop, decide in advance where exactly it will be positioned. That way it can be conveniently used by all family members. Will you use it in the living room, study, or a parent’s bedroom? Making this decision will help you obtain a desktop that perfectly fits your home.
Your Current and Future Computing Needs
A good desktop computer could be in your home for generations. Not only will you be using the desktop to perform routine tasks, but it could also act as the repository for the most important family documents, records, and special moments.
Are you buying a family desktop to help kids with their homework? Think about how those needs could change as they advance through the school system. Depending on how you see the future unfolding, you might discover that you are better off investing in what seems like a pricey desktop today.
The Upgradability of Your Desktop
Some of the desktops available in the market come with awesome upgrades. Before making a purchase, you should find out if your desktop could be upgraded as your needs evolve. If, for instance, you bought a cheap desktop that can only handle a limited amount of data, you’ll need to replace it when it can no longer serve you. An upgrade costs a fraction of the price of a new desktop and careful forethought could save your hard-earned money.
What to Know Before Buying a Desktop Computer for Your Family
Before you buy a family desktop, you need to remember that computers vary widely in specifications. A computer that could be perfect for your personal needs might not help other family members. The variation in the computer components is reflected in the prices. You’ll find that brands that have invested in state-of-the-art technology charge premium prices for their products.
Ultimately, the price of your family desktop will be determined by:
- The processor used — desktops equipped with high GHz processors will cost more. You should aim for a desktop equipped with a dual Core processor as a minimum.
- RAM — the more RAM, the higher the price will be.
- Graphics card — if you plan on pursuing gaming or engaging in multimedia activities, look for a desktop that supports graphic cards. However, be ready to pay more.
- The Operating system — between Windows and Mac, decide which OS will be compatible with the activities you want to engage in.
- Storage — how much data do you want to store on your desktop now and in the future? Desktops with ample storage space will, of course, cost more.
Using A Family Desktop: What It’s Like
The use of the family desktop is likely to bring disagreements and even quarrels in the initial days. Yet it’s possible for family members to share a desktop once the rules are laid down and followed. Additionally, getting a PC for every member might not be financially possible or necessary.
For parents who worry about what their kids are doing with laptops and iPads in their rooms, a family desktop could help them monitor their children’s online activities. It gives parents some control over what the kids can or can’t do. Acting as an administrator, the parent can choose the areas of the family desktop that are accessible to certain members.
A family desktop could also store historical and sentimentally priceless information. At the end of the day, the use of the family desktop assists in the bonding process. It is much better than having everybody preoccupied with their mobile gadgets.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Studio Romantic/Shutterstock.com.