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$690 to US$1000, 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; 3 times!

    HP Pavilion Desktop PC from US$5905%, Best price yet!
    ~$1000 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 Price3.5/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage3.5/5
    Portability3/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck5/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power4/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability0.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by Tower Computers standards

    Bang for the Buck5/5
    Versatility for the Price3.5/5
    Power1.5/5
    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

    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. ×
  • HP Pavilion Desktop PC

    HP Pavilion Desktop PC from US$460;
    ~$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 Buck2.5/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power2/5
    Storage2.5/5
    Portability3/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by All Smart Devices standards

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

    by Tower Computers standards

    Bang for the Buck1.5/5
    Versatility for the Price3.5/5
    Power1.5/5
    Storage1.5/5
    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. ×
  • HP Pavilion 590 Desktop PC Guillaume's pick; 5 times!

    HP Pavilion 590 Desktop PC from US$38029% cheaper than usual
    ~$790 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 Buck2/5
    Versatility for the Price1.5/5
    Power1/5
    Storage5/5
    Portability3/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price2/5
    Power2/5
    Storage5/5
    Portability0.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by Tower Computers standards

    Bang for the Buck1/5
    Versatility for the Price0.5/5
    Power0.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    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

    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. ×
  • Asus M32BF Tower Computer Guillaume's pick; 14 times!

    Asus M32BF Tower Computer from US$380;
    ~$790 with accessories

    A great computer for productivity and a little more. Not a bad product if you don't have any great plans for your computer but don't want to be too restricted.

    Device Ratings

    by Stationary Computers standards

    Bang for the Buck2/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power1.5/5
    Storage5/5
    Portability2.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power2/5
    Storage5/5
    Portability0.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by Tower Computers standards

    Bang for the Buck0.5/5
    Versatility for the Price4/5
    Power1/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability3.5/5
    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

    3/5
    Meets recommended specs

    performance in Microsoft Excel 2019

    3/5
    Meets recommended specs
    Specs
    Processor: AMD A10-7800
    Graphics: AMD Radeon R7 Graphics
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 2 TB
    Dimensions: 17.52 x 37.99 x 40.84 cm
    Weight: 8.26 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 Newegg site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • Dell Inspiron 15

    Dell Inspiron 15" Laptop from US$53013% cheaper than usual
    ~$790 with accessories

    Cost-effective but equipped with a powerful processor and a crisp and roomy screen, 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
    Power3/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability1.5/5
    Autonomy1.5/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

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

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price5/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability1.5/5
    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: 38.00 x 25.80 x 2.27 cm
    Weight: 2.20 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$610;
    ~$830 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 Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price1.5/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck4/5
    Versatility for the Price1.5/5
    Power3/5
    Storage4/5
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price1.5/5
    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. ×
  • Asus VivoBook X441UA 14

    Asus VivoBook X441UA 14" Laptop from US$46020% cheaper than usual
    ~$690 with accessories

    If you want to be able to do a little more than handling Word and Excel documents, this laptop has a bit of extra oomph to explore creative activities.

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price1/5
    Power1.5/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability1.5/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck4/5
    Versatility for the Price1.5/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage4/5
    Portability2/5
    AutonomyN/A

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck4/5
    Versatility for the Price1.5/5
    Power1/5
    Storage4.5/5
    Portability1.5/5
    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

    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 i5-7200U
    Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 1 TB
    Screen Size: 14"
    Screen Resolution: 1366×768
    Dimensions: 34.80 x 24.28 x 2.76 cm
    Weight: 1.75 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 The Source site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×
  • HP Pavilion 15

    HP Pavilion 15" Laptop from US$4803% cheaper than usual
    ~$720 with accessories

    A no-frills laptop for everyday needs, it's worth considering for common homework and going online for social media, emails, etc.

    Device Ratings

    by Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck4.5/5
    Versatility for the Price2.5/5
    Power2.5/5
    Storage2.5/5
    Portability2.5/5
    Autonomy2/5

    by All Smart Devices standards

    Bang for the Buck4/5
    Versatility for the Price2.5/5
    Power3/5
    Storage2.5/5
    Portability2.5/5
    Autonomy1.5/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck4/5
    Versatility for the Price2.5/5
    Power2/5
    Storage2/5
    Portability3/5
    Autonomy2/5

    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: AMD Ryzen 3 2200U
    Graphics: AMD Radeon Vega 3 Graphics
    Memory: 8.00 GB
    Storage: 256.00 GB
    Screen Size: 15.6"
    Screen Resolution: 1366×768
    Dimensions: 36.16 x 24.56 x 1.79 cm
    Weight: 1.85 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. ×
  • HP 15

    HP 15" Laptop from US$50019% cheaper than usual
    ~$740 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
    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
    Portability2/5
    Autonomy1/5

    by Portable Laptops standards

    Bang for the Buck3.5/5
    Versatility for the Price2/5
    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: 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 Best Buy site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. ×

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