Laptops are a campus love, but college life can be a killer to these fragile devices. If you can make do without a computer in class, desktops are an attractive option that often deliver more computing bang for the buck than laptops. The HP Touchsmart series is a sleek, next-generation user experience, fully outfitted with an HD display and built-in webcam, as well as a power-saving Intel Core series Duo processor. It's also a media-lover's dream, pre-stocked with HP Music, Hulu and Netflix apps. If you're reluctant to ditch the Apple aesthetic, the iMac features an Intel Core processor and massive hard drives up to 2TB. (Good luck filling that with class notes.) An LED-backlit display and advanced discrete graphics processor makes gaming, videos and photos shine, while the all-in-one monitor/computer design is a space saver.
Price: HP Touchsmart starts at $1,150; Apple's iMac starts at $1,199
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