The Best iMac Alternatives for 2021

The iMac G3 revolutionized personal computers in 1998 with its colorful design, and Apple has dominated the all-in-one desktop market for years due to its popularity. Even though the iMac remains a popular option, some users are looking for alternatives for a number of reasons. Some users prefer all-in-one desktops from other manufacturers because they prefer to use Windows, while others decide to explore products in cheaper price ranges.

Other manufacturers have adopted the all-in-one design and are offering alternatives to the iMac. If you’re thinking about getting an all-in-one desktop PC, we’ve got some recommendations for you. These four computers are the best alternative to the iMac.

The best iMac alternatives

HP Envy 32


The HP Envy 32 is quite simply one of the best iMac replacements you can find. This is an HDR 600 class machine featuring a 31.5 inch display with 3840 x 2160 resolution, maximum brightness of 600 nits and contrast ratio of 6000: 1. It is also a great solution for gamers, with options for GeForce GTX 1650, RTX 2060 and RTX 2080 (Max-Q) discrete GPUs.

Behind the screen you’ll find either Intel’s ninth generation Core i5-9400 or its Core i7-9700 processor, depending on configuration. It is complemented by 16 GB or 32 GB of system memory (two slots) and a barrage of different single and dual storage configurations. The HP AIO PC also supports Intel Optane memory.

For connectivity, the HP Envy 32 provides a lot, including Thunderbolt 3, USB-C, and USB-A at USB 3.2 Gen 2 and HDMI 2 speeds, 0 input. The base provides wireless charging for your compatible mobile devices. The 5MP camera features a cool pop-up design so you can put it away when not in use. You can find out more about this product in our review of the larger 34-inch curved model.

Surface Studio 2


Sure, the starting price is pretty steep at $ 3,499, but Microsoft’s second-gen Surface Studio is a great alternative for creators. The 28-inch touchscreen and Zero Gravity hinge provide plenty of ways to inspire and keep that creativity flowing. It supports Surface Dial (sold separately) and Surface Pen (included) so you can draw, paint, and move naturally and without a mouse.

The material of the Surface Studio 2 is a bit outdated, with Microsoft only providing three configurations based on Intel’s seventh-generation i7-7820HQ quad-core processor, but it’s still very powerful. It is complemented by the discrete GTX 1060 or GTX 1070 processor from Nvidia, 16 GB or 32 GB of system memory and 1 TB or 2 TB of storage. Connectivity includes four USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports, a single USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 port, an SD card reader, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and an Ethernet port.

Read our full Microsoft Surface Studio 2 review

Dell Inspiron 27 7000 Series


If you’re looking for an iMac alternative at a much lower starting price, Dell’s Inspiron 27 7000 series starts at just $ 799. It has a 27-inch InfinityEdge Full HD display framed by an 8mm border and complemented by a pop-up camera. It’s backed by Intel’s tenth-generation Core i5-10210U or Core i7-10510U quad-core processor with integrated graphics – depending on configuration – and 8GB or 12GB of system memory.

On the connectivity front, the Dell Inspiron 27 7000 Series includes both HDMI input and output. Additional ports include four USB-A and one USB-C, an audio combo jack, Ethernet, and an SD card reader. However, storage configurations offer slim choices: the AIO PC has up to a 512GB primary SSD and a 1TB 5400RPM secondary hard drive. When it comes to connectivity, the laptop supports the Dell Mobile Connect app for Android and iOS.

Read our full Dell Inspiron 27 2700 review

Apple Mac Mini

The Mac Mini is a great alternative for anyone who wants to keep using Apple products or wants an iMac but can’t afford it. Two models are available for the Mac Mini: the Core i3-8100B and the i5-8500B. They cost $ 799 and $ 1099 respectively and are both upgradeable to the six-core Intel Core i7-8700B chip. You can make this decision even before you buy the product when you buy it through Apple.

The Mac Mini also includes 8GB to 64GB of system memory and up to 2TB of storage. You have one Ethernet port, four Thunderbolt 3 ports, one HDMI 2.0 output, and an audio combo jack for connectivity. Unlike the other units on this list, Apple’s Mac Mini requires an external display. One advantage is that you can connect up to three, depending on the resolution and type of connection.

The iMac may be revolutionizing the desktop experience, but it’s not the only option available. With any of these alternatives, including the Mac Mini, you can accomplish almost anything the iMac can do – and often for less.

Read our full Apple Mac Mini review

HP Z2 Mini Workstation

The HP Z2 Mini is small but performs like a beast, with better specs than some large PCs on the market. The Z2 Mini can be mounted on the back of a monitor. It’s the perfect choice over an iMac if you need power but don’t have space for a large unit.

There are different options available with the HPZ2 Mini. HP has developed the Z2 Mini, which can be mounted directly on the back of a monitor. The Z2 Mini is a smart option for those who need a lot of power but want it in a more compact form. You get the benefits of the smallest form factor of an all-in-one PC without losing the ability to upgrade your monitor without replacing the entire system.

The HP Z2 Mini also has a variety of configuration options. If you need more power, you can upgrade to the 10th Gen Intel processors or the Xeon processor. The Z2 Mini is also compatible with video applications, with an option to include a Quadro P600 GPU. It is compatible with video applications and HP is upgrading the Z2 Mini to support an RTX 3000 graphics card. For those looking for advanced graphics hardware, there are so many reasons to consider the Z2 Mini over the iMac.

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