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Best HP for College Students

Best HP Desktop Computers for College Students

Linsey Knerl
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From sports to internships to hanging out with friends, there never seems to be enough time for the average college student to get it all done. Having a reliable desktop can do wonders for the time-strapped learner who needs to balance it all. With more classes moving to an online format, however, it's not enough to get by with your standard entry-level desktop.
Learn how to upgrade your dorm life with our picks for the best desktop computers for college students, along with how to choose the best one for you.

Must-have college computer features

Before you buy, consider what today’s college kids need. Because you’ll use the computer for work and play, it’s essential that any “student desktop” can handle multiple tasks and provide versatility for after-class hours, too. Consider these must-have features, then think about how they fit into your overall tech personality.

1. Simplicity

Dorm rooms and campus apartments are small, and space comes at a premium. Will your new PC fit into the décor or stick out as a big gadget you need to make room for? What type of setup will it require? Most PCs should have plug-and-play functionality that gets you started in mere minutes. For those who want an out-of-sight, out-of-mind experience, the best computer for college will be a small-form-factor or mini PC that you can mount behind a compatible display.

2. Storage

While much of what students do is based in the cloud these days, it’s important to keep backups of assignments and important documents. If you’re a gamer, you already know those files will take up a good amount of space. The same goes for any creative pursuits like photography, animation, 3D rendering, or video editing. Look for a minimum of 1TB in a solid-state drive (SSD).

3. Processing

Gaming, editing, and engineering tasks don’t just use up space; they’ll put your processor (CPU) through its paces. Make sure that your PC’s processor is rated for these tasks if your major warrants them. And even if you’re not a gamer right now, that could always change. We recommend an Intel® i5 processor, or higher.

4. Display

Many students prefer to use their computer as a full-time entertainment hub; watching movies, streaming YouTube videos, gaming, and giving their creative projects a proper view. Look for displays with HDMI ports and at least Full High Definition (FHD) resolution.

5. Accessories

Plan ahead with a suite of accessories that support learning and make every task easier. Printers and wireless keyboards are just a few items students are asking for. Virtual reality (VR) gear is another option for the wish list, but make sure your PC is compatible before buying a new headset.

The best college computers from HP

Now that you know what you need in a computer, which models fit your needs? There is a different PC for every personality type and educational goal, but these picks for the best desktop computers for students repeatedly make the grade.

1. HP ENVY 32-inch All-In-One PC

If you want to get all the tech you need in a single easy setup, the HP ENVY 32-inch all-in-one may be the best way to do it. The PC and monitor are contained in one streamlined and beautiful unit, which includes the 31.5-inch diagonal screen with an amazing 6000:1 contrast ratio and Ultra High Definition (UHD) resolution. The anti-reflective coating makes it brilliant from every angle, and the built-in Wide-angle 5MP IR camera makes it easy to connect with loved ones.
While it’s notable for its range of available multi-core Intel Core™ processors, 1TB SSD storage, and up to 32GB RAM, it's the little things you’ll love most. A privacy camera, built-in wireless charging station, and multifunction keyboard put this PC well above the competition. Add in the audio streaming tool that works when the PC is shut down, and you have one of the best computers for college students.
Key features:
  • 31.5-inch UHD display
  • Up to 32GB RAM
  • Up to 10th Generation Intel Core i7 processor
  • Up to 1TB SSD storage
  • Privacy camera
HP ENVY 32 ALL-IN ONE

2. HP Pavilion gaming desktop TG01-1185t PC

In case you’ve forgotten how prevalent gaming is in college, the HP Pavilion gaming desktop is here to remind you. This PC comes complete with everything a gamer needs to play the top titles, including a robust 10th Generation Intel Core i7 processor. It pairs nicely with the NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1660 SUPER™ graphics to ensure smooth gameplay.
The black case with customizable lighting looks smart in any room and saves space over bulkier gaming towers, but the best part may be the massive storage and memory. With 16GB of memory and 2TB HDD storage (plus 256GB SSD storage), you can keep more than a few of your favorite games around. Something this powerful is more than capable of handling the rigor of academic computing.
Key features:
  • Up to 16GB RAM
  • 10th Generation Intel Core i7 processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce graphics
  • Hybrid storage (2TB HDD + 256 SSD)
HP Pavilion Gaming Desktop

3. HP All-in-One 24-df1036xt PC

Yet another feature-packed option is the slightly smaller HP All-in-One 24-inch PC, with Intel Iris® Xᵉ Graphics shown through 23.8-inch FHD display, which you can easily remove for maintenance and upgrades. The 11th Generation Intel Core i5 processor is a mid-level option that keeps price and performance in check, but you can do a lot with this budget-friendly PC. Neat extras include clutter-free port placement and a DVD-writer optical drive.
Key features:
  • 23.8-inch FHD removable display
  • 11th Generation Intel Core i5 processor
  • Intel Iris Xᵉ Graphics
  • 8GB RAM
  • 1TB HDD storage and 256 GB SSD storage
  • DVD writer
HP All-in-One 24

4. HP OMEN 30L desktop PC

The HP OMEN 30 line of desktops is another way for students to stay productive and play the latest games after finishing homework. From the speedy octa-core 10th Generation Intel Core i7 processor with accompanying NVIDIA graphics to the tempered glass front and side panels, this machine is built to pass tests and impress peers.
This HP OMEN is equipped for the entire college career, too. It features a 16GB memory to keep all those tasks in perfect balance while creating a place to store everything in its hybrid storage of 2TB HDD and 512GB SSD. With that kind of power, it’s easily one of the best computers for students who also love gaming.
Key features:
  • Octa-core 10th Generation Intel Core i7 processor
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER graphics
  • 16GB RAM
  • 2TB HDD storage and 512GB SSD storage
  • Clear glass panels
OMEN 30L Desktop

5. HP ProDesk 600 G6 desktop Mini PC

With Windows 10 Pro preinstalled to provide enhanced security, the HP ProDesk 600 G6 Desktop Mini PC is a tiny machine with huge potential. The 10th Generation Intel Core i5 processor ensures enough power to do homework, watch movies, video chat, and more, while the Intel UHD Graphics 630 helps to ensure those visuals remain crisp.
This stylish desktop takes up almost no space, making it easily mountable under a desk or behind the monitor itself. The HP ProDesk series has been rigorously tested to endure over 120,000 hours of usage, so you know it will be there through all those late nights spent studying (and binging your favorite shows with friends).
Key features:
  • 10th Generation Intel Core i5 processor
  • Intel UHD Graphics 630
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB M.2 SSD storage
  • Mountable
HP ProDesk 600 G6 Desktop

6. HP EliteDesk 800 G5 desktop Mini PC

The perk-packed HP EliteDesk 800 G5 is another small desktop PC for students that combines compact design with pro-level features. In addition to Windows Pro, it offers the right amount of RAM (8GB) as well as 1TB of HDD storage to keep your most important work close.
Tuck away the streamlined USB-C power supply in the optional holder and keep cables at bay by mounting this PC on the back of a coordinating HP EliteDisplay monitor. The HP security suite is included to help protect data, wireless connections, and even your video chats.
This mid-range option is perfect for those who like value. Even better, it weighs just a little over 2 lbs so you can easily carry it from dorm to home and back or across campus for a late night study session.
Key features:
  • 9th Generation Intel Core i5 processor
  • Intel UHD Graphics 630
  • 8GB RAM
  • 1TB HDD storage
  • Mountable
HP EliteDesk

7. HP Slim S01-pF1048xt desktop PC

Who says your desktop PC has to blow your careful budget? The HP Slim S01-pF1048xt desktop PC is a fan favorite among HP loyalists and those new to the brand alike. With a 10th Generation Intel Core i5 processor and 16GB of memory, it’s made to cover all the tasks a college kid needs to get done in a day and any weekend entertainment needs, too.
The 1TB HDD is built to provide reliable storage for homework, video downloads, and photo transfers from a smartphone. The DVD-writer is a nice extra touch that’s not commonly found on most PCs these days, and it gives students another way to document their latest project or even watch their favorite flicks. This well-balanced machine won’t disappoint.
Key features:
  • 10th Generation Intel Core i5 processor
  • Intel UHD Graphics 630
  • 16GB RAM
  • 1TB HDD storage and 256 GB SSD storage
  • DVD-Writer
HP Slim Desktop

Bottom line

When planning what to take to the dorms this year, a laptop may be at the top of the list. Even for remote learners, however, a desktop PC has many advantages over a laptop, including more processing speed and power for the price. How can you determine which model is ideal for your life-long learner? It’s better to buy a little more than you need right now, rather than feel disappointed by lackluster performance later.
Also, since many college students use their PCs as their complete entertainment and creative centers, buying the right accessories is almost as important as getting the right machine. Displays, in particular, require careful scrutiny if buying separately, but you can always avoid that hassle with one of HP’s great all-in-ones.
Whatever you’re drawn to, remember to take the entirety of your college career into account. A proper pick can last all four years, and then some. It’s not uncommon for college grads to return home with their first college desktop still serving them well; giving them a boost into their job search or grad school efforts.
About the Author: Linsey Knerl is a contributing writer for HP Tech Takes. Linsey is a Midwest-based author, public speaker, and member of the ASJA. 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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