There are few things more exciting to get during the holidays than a new piece of tech, and a new desktop computer tops the list of items that work for just about every holiday list. Whether your loved one is a gamer, a creative, or someone who just likes to relax by streaming movies and chatting with friends, a desktop PC offers serious benefits. And it can be pretty affordable, too.
A desktop PC is ideal for those friends and family members who are difficult to shop for, too. You could also buy a PC as a group gift for an entire household, saving you shopping time and winning you serious points when they unwrap it.
What to look for in best desktop gifts
Before you start shopping, consider some of the must-have features of a modern PC. At a minimum, your desktop gift should include:
Superior processing power with a high-speed, compatible graphics solution
Built-in monitor or a standalone display to see games, movies, and work in high clarity
Plenty of memory for handling multiple applications, plus storage for large files and games
Extra ports and slots for future expansion and accessories
You can get most PCs up and running in minutes, meaning your loved one can use it almost immediately after they open it.
Our picks for desktop gift ideas demonstrate top-tier performance, superb versatility, and affordability so you can make someone’s holidays truly special while you stay within your gift-giving budget.
The HP Slim S01-pF1048xt desktop PC boasts a slim profile that fits on even the smallest desks, and it offers all the features your loved one would need in class, at work, or just hanging out at home. It’s also easy on the eyes with a geometric patterned front panel and bevelled edges that give it a modern touch.
HP towers can stand up to daily performance needs thanks to the reliable Intel® Core™ i5-10400 processor with Intel Turbo Boost Technology, which provides plenty of power with an oversized price tag.
You can upgrade the HP Slim to up to 32GB of memory. And for storage, you can get a zippy 256GB solid-state drive (SSD) for the primary drive and an additional 1TB for the secondary. With all this room, your loved one can choose between keeping their favourite photos, games, and files on the cloud, or store them locally without fear of overloading their local drives.
Families will especially appreciate all the ports on the front of the PC. Forget about reaching around to the back of the machine to plug in headphones or access the USB port. There’s also a 3-in-1 card reader slot for easy access to digital camera cards and other storage devices.
Not all PCs come with a DVD-RW drive, but this one does! It also includes a mouse and keyboard so your recipient can enjoy their gift as soon as possible. Pair this PC with an HP monitor and speakers (sold separately) for a full audio-visual experience.
This is just one of the HP Slim Desktop PC options available. If you want to save more money, you can find plenty of other, similarly great products.
With decades of popularity and great design, the HP Pavilion desktop TP01-2165z PC represents an affordable mid-range option. It takes up less room than older, bulkier towers and sets a strong foundation for hardware with an AMD Ryzen™ 5 processor with AMD Radeon™ graphics.
It also comes with 16GB of RAM to guarantee a responsive experience. Plus, it offers 2TB of local storage plus a high-efficiency 256GB SSD to keep your favourite files, videos, and games at your fingertips.
Sleek and accessible design
You’ll immediately notice the HP Pavilion’s versatile exterior design. Thanks to the polished silver and brushed metal finish, this PC fits into just about any workspace or decor.
It’s also highly accessible with lots of front-facing features, including an optical drive with a built-in DVD writer. There are many external connections within reach, too, so you don’t have to fumble around in more cramped environments.
Like the other PCs on the list, it ships with the latest Windows 11 operating system already installed, so you won’t have to update it before giving it to your loved one.
3. HP Pavilion desktop gaming PC - best PC for creators
With an impressive slate of hardware options, the HP Pavilion gaming desktop PC has the potential to top our list for performance. It’s powered by the latest 11th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, so it’s designed to deliver.
Plus, your loved one doesn’t need to be a gamer to appreciate it. While it does come with NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3060 graphics (12GB dedicated) and 16GB of memory, they can use it for any tasks that require power, such as creating videos, 3D rendering, animation, and other creative pursuits.
Lots of storage and class
With a 2TB HDD primary drive and 256GB of SSD secondary storage, all those gaming and CAD files can stay on the system for easy access. It’s built to resemble a modern gaming PC, too, with its sleek black design, green accent lighting, and angular shape.
This PC also has advanced thermal features to keep the device cooler when playing more resource-intensive games. Even better, it’s expandable. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving because the new owner can easily add storage, memory, graphics and WiFi cards as needed. The easy-open case has additional bays for expansion, so as their needs change, the computer can change with them.
The HP Pavilion gaming desktop line has a full suite of accessories to match, too. From the headset to the keyboard, your loved one can get the look and play for hours with performance specs worthy of the pros.
4. HP ENVY All-in-One PC - best PC for professionals
Not familiar with an all-in-one (AiO) desktop configuration? These efficient designs reduce the physical footprint of a PC by combining the traditional tower and display into a single unit. That means less clutter and fewer devices to manage and maintain over the long term. It also looks great, thanks to a sleek finish in ash silver.
The HP ENVY All-in-One 32 PC ships with all necessary peripherals, too, including an HP premium lifestyle wireless keyboard with volume control and an optical mouse. It’s all available so your special someone can start using this AiO right out of the box.
Versatile hub for personal computing
With a desktop like this HP ENVY AiO, you’ll find a good balance of performance and functionality. It may not be as easy to upgrade compared to a standard tower-style PC, but it makes up for it with strong specs and a streamlined setup.
For hardware, it starts with a 10th Generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor and a discrete NVIDIA GeForce graphics card. You can also load it with up to 16GB of RAM and more than 1.5TB of mixed SSD/SATA storage to ensure your AiO is built for just about any use.
The display you’re looking for
The 31.5-inch diagonal 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) display features a 6000:1 contrast ratio display and 600 nits of peak brightness. The anti-reflective coating helps users see better, even in low or bright lighting. The 98% DCI-P3 and 10-bit colour channel provide an accurate representation of any creative projects done on the PC.
For additional reassurance after checkout, this model also offers up to 3 years of protection with an HP care pack. Just add it to your purchase to triple the length of the base warranty coverage. Want to know more about how HP care packs work? Read our complete buying guide.
5. HP OMEN 30L gaming desktop PC - best PC for gamers
Do you have someone on your list who could use a serious gaming machine? The HP OMEN 30L Gaming PC is it. This PC starts with an affordable baseline and has tons of options for customization. Those are two serious advantages if that special someone needs to upgrade an aging rig or if you want to provide them with an entry into the world of PC gaming.
This PC features the HP OMEN line’s signature design and fun personalization options with the built-in RGB lighting. The futuristic case boasts tempered glass front and side panels and a full-metal frame.
You’ll also find great multimedia features, with audio tuned by Bang & Olufsen and support for 4K video. Pair it with a powerful HP OMEN display for the complete experience with the highest-quality visuals.
Robust hardware specs
This HP OMEN computer has a high ceiling for hardware with up to an 11th Generation Intel Core i7 processor (or 10th Generation i9) and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics card. That’s the ideal foundation for tackling the latest games and applications.
You can count on deep storage and superior responsiveness, too. There’s up to 32GB of SDRAM with many storage configurations to consider, including high-efficiency SSD and SATA for a hybrid setup.
Shop our full gaming desktop selection
This particular HP OMEN computer is a popular and affordable option for gamers, but it’s just one of the many dedicated gaming devices available from HP. If you’re looking for even more powerful hardware or a more accessible price point, just take a look at our full selection of HP gaming desktops.
The perfect device for that special someone
Finding the right gift for everyone on your list can be challenging. Whether you’re helping a new student explore their vocation or giving a gamer the edge they need against the competition, the right desktop PC can make a big difference for just about anyone.
Sometimes that can make it all the more daunting to make a final decision. Who will get the most out of what specs? If you need to check out even more options, the HP desktop selection boasts a wide range of preloaded and customizable options designed with students, gamers, professionals, and families in mind.
About the Author
Linsey Knerl is a contributing writer for HP Tech Takes. Linsey is a Midwest-based author and public speaker. She has a passion for helping consumers and small business owners do more with their resources via the latest tech solutions.
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