Top Picks for the Casual Worker

Top Picks for the Casual Worker

​​When at the computer, you don't usually accomplish much. There are exceptions, however, and you occasionally have to work on a text document or organize your finances.

The following recommendations aren't "workhorses", but if you need to do a little bit of work, they will accommodate that.

Your options 9 top results, ranging in price from ∼ US$640 to US$1030, with accessories.

Let's start with a broad search. The following offer the best value for the lowest price regardless of format preference. As a result, you will most likely see stationary computers down here and maybe a few portable options. You have the option to look for a specific kind of device at the bottom of the page.

  • HP Pavilion Desktop PC Guillaume's pick; 9 times!

    HP Pavilion Desktop PC from US$5505% cheaper than usual
    ~$1020 with accessories

    This desktop PC is well-suited for productivity and even a bit more; like creative experimentation for instance... Read More about the 595-p0049

    Device Ratings

    by Stationary Computers standards

    Bang for the Buck5/5
    Versatility for the Price3/5
    Power2/5
    Storage3.5/5
    Portability3.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck5/5
    Versatility for the Price3.5/5
    Power4/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability0.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by Tower Computers standards

    Bang for the Buck5/5
    Versatility for the Price2.5/5
    Power1/5
    Storage3/5
    Portability5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    performance in Texts & Numbers

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in LibreOffice

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Microsoft Word 2019

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Microsoft Excel 2019

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.
    Specs
    Processor: Intel Core i5-8400
    Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 630
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 1 TB + 128 GB (~1.13 TB)
    Dimensions: 17.00 x 27.70 x 33.80 cm
    Weight: 5.15 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the retailer's site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • ME PC VT1000A Home PC

    ME PC VT1000A Home PC from US$530;
    ~$1030 with accessories

    This cost-efficient PC is a great solution to handle more than just typical homework. And thanks to the way it's built, you have several upgrade options in the... Read More about the MX75756

    Device Ratings

    by Stationary Computers standards

    Bang for the Buck2.5/5
    Versatility for the Price3/5
    Power1.5/5
    Storage3/5
    Portability4/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price3.5/5
    Power3/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability1/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by Compact Towers standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price4.5/5
    Power2/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability1/5
    AutonomyN/A

    performance in Texts & Numbers

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in LibreOffice

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Microsoft Word 2019

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Microsoft Excel 2019

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.
    Specs
    Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 2200G
    Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 8
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 1 TB
    Dimensions: 9.60 x 37.00 x 33.40 cm
    Weight: 10.00 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Memory Express site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • HP Pavilion Desktop PC Guillaume's pick; 15 times!

    HP Pavilion Desktop PC from US$450;
    ~$890 with accessories

    A cost-efficient computer for homework and even quite a bit of creativity.

    Device Ratings

    by Stationary Computers standards

    Bang for the Buck2/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power1.5/5
    Storage3/5
    Portability3.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability0.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by Tower Computers standards

    Bang for the Buck1/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power0.5/5
    Storage2.5/5
    Portability5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    performance in Texts & Numbers

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in LibreOffice

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Microsoft Word 2019

    4/5
    Meets recommended specs

    performance in Microsoft Excel 2019

    4/5
    Meets recommended specs
    Specs
    Processor: AMD A10-9700
    Graphics: AMD Radeon R7 Graphics
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 1 TB
    Dimensions: 17.00 x 27.70 x 33.80 cm
    Weight: 5.15 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Staples site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • Dell Inspiron 15 Guillaume's pick; 3 times!

    Dell Inspiron 15" Laptop from US$530;
    ~$790 with accessories

    Balancing horsepower, a crisp and roomy display and cost-efficiency; this laptop is a good fit for productivity and multitasking.

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck5/5
    Versatility for the Price5/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1.5/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price5/5
    Power3/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck5/5
    Versatility for the Price5/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1.5/5

    performance in Texts & Numbers

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in LibreOffice

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Microsoft Word 2019

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Microsoft Excel 2019

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.
    Specs
    Processor: Intel Core i5-8250U
    Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 1 TB
    Screen Size: 15.6"
    Screen Resolution: 1920×1080
    Dimensions: 37.85 x 25.81 x 2.26 cm
    Weight: 2.17 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Dell site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • HP 15

    HP 15" Laptop from US$550;
    ~$820 with accessories

    This laptop is designed to be versatile for a modest cost. It's a compelling choice for productivity, but its built-in screen limits its multitasking potential.

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck5/5
    Versatility for the Price2/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck4/5
    Versatility for the Price2/5
    Power3/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck5/5
    Versatility for the Price2.5/5
    Power2/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1/5

    performance in Texts & Numbers

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in LibreOffice

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Microsoft Word 2019

    3/5
    More than the bare minimum but not quite recommended specs.

    performance in Microsoft Excel 2019

    3/5
    More than the bare minimum but not quite recommended specs.
    Specs
    Processor: Intel Core i5-8250U
    Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
    Memory: 12.00 GB
    Storage: 1 TB
    Screen Size: 15.6"
    Screen Resolution: 1366×768
    Dimensions: 37.60 x 24.60 x 2.25 cm
    Weight: 1.90 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the retailer's site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • HP Pavilion 590 Desktop PC

    HP Pavilion 590 Desktop PC from US$530;
    ~$990 with accessories

    With a large hard drive, this computer is a good fit for the collector of photos, music, videos and any file you'd prefer not to store in the cloud.

    Device Ratings

    by Stationary Computers standards

    Bang for the Buck1/5
    Versatility for the Price0.5/5
    Power1/5
    Storage5/5
    Portability3.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck4/5
    Versatility for the Price1/5
    Power2/5
    Storage5/5
    Portability0.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by Tower Computers standards

    Bang for the Buck0/5
    Versatility for the Price0/5
    Power0/5
    Storage5/5
    Portability5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    performance in Texts & Numbers

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in LibreOffice

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Microsoft Word 2019

    2.5/5
    More than the bare minimum but not quite recommended specs.

    performance in Microsoft Excel 2019

    2.5/5
    More than the bare minimum but not quite recommended specs.
    Specs
    Processor: AMD A12-9700
    Graphics: AMD Radeon R7 Graphics
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 2 TB
    Dimensions: 17.00 x 27.70 x 33.80 cm
    Weight: 5.15 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Best Buy site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • HP 15

    HP 15" Laptop from US$41015%, Best price yet!
    ~$640 with accessories

    This laptop's designed to be relatively versatile for a modest cost. It's a solid choice for productivity and going online as long as you usually only handle on... Read More about the 15-DA0008CA

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price3.5/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck4/5
    Versatility for the Price3/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price3.5/5
    Power1.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1/5

    performance in Texts & Numbers

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in LibreOffice

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Microsoft Word 2019

    3/5
    More than the bare minimum but not quite recommended specs.

    performance in Microsoft Excel 2019

    3/5
    More than the bare minimum but not quite recommended specs.
    Specs
    Processor: Intel Core i5-8250U
    Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 1 TB
    Screen Size: 15.6"
    Screen Resolution: 1366×768
    Dimensions: 37.60 x 24.60 x 2.25 cm
    Weight: 1.77 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the retailer's site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • HP 15

    HP 15" Laptop from US$500;
    ~$760 with accessories

    This laptop offers a little extra but remains a cost-effective product. It's worth considering if you need a computer to handle a bit more than the basics.

    Device Ratings

    performance in Texts & Numbers

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in LibreOffice

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Microsoft Word 2019

    3/5
    More than the bare minimum but not quite recommended specs.

    performance in Microsoft Excel 2019

    3/5
    More than the bare minimum but not quite recommended specs.
    Specs
    Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 2200U
    Graphics: AMD Radeon 530 Graphics
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 1 TB
    Screen Size: 15.6"
    Screen Resolution: 1366×768
    Dimensions: 37.60 x 24.60 x 2.25 cm
    Weight: 1.77 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the retailer's site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • HP 14

    HP 14" Laptop from US$530;
    ~$789 with accessories

    A budget-conscious laptop for productivity and everyday tasks.

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck4/5
    Versatility for the Price2.5/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability3.5/5
    Autonomy2.5/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck3.5/5
    Versatility for the Price2/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability3/5
    Autonomy2/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck3.5/5
    Versatility for the Price2.5/5
    Power1.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability3.5/5
    Autonomy3/5

    performance in Texts & Numbers

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in LibreOffice

    5/5
    Exceeds recommended specs, fit for hardcore users.

    performance in Microsoft Word 2019

    3/5
    More than the bare minimum but not quite recommended specs.

    performance in Microsoft Excel 2019

    3/5
    More than the bare minimum but not quite recommended specs.
    Specs
    Processor: Intel Core i5-8250U
    Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 1 TB
    Screen Size: 14"
    Screen Resolution: 1366×768
    Dimensions: 32.40 x 22.59 x 1.99 cm
    Weight: 1.43 kg

    Pricing Accuracy

    Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the HP site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×

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Looking for a specific kind of device?

Looking for a laptop, tablet, smartphone or desktop computer specifically? Here are the product families in which we found options matching your needs: