1st Place: Apple iMac 27in
It's not often the entire office can reach a consensus, so when all of us agree that it's a 27in iMac we want adorning (or should that be dominating?) our desks, both here and at home, you know we've stumbled upon something special.
Apple has now refined the iMac design to the point, if not of perfection, at least in view of it on a clear day, fitted it with a surprisingly impressive array of components - not least Core i5 or i7 CPUs and that LED-backlit, 2,560 x 1,440 pixel display - and made it available for a price that seems almost impossibly low, given what's on offer.
There are a few flaws, yes. There's no high adjustment to speak of, the Magic Mouse has been considered a revelation by some but an abomination by others and, of course, good value or not £1,349 is a heck of a lot of money to spend on a computer. Nevertheless, if all that we at TrustedReviews are treated to this Christmas is a 27in iMac on every desk, we'll not be holding any grudges against Santa.
2nd Place: Wired2Fire HellSpawn ALC Gaming PC
Pre-built systems such as the Wired2Fire HellSpawn ALC have a lot of benefits. Not least if these is the much greater convenience of having someone else assemble your computer for you. It's also a lot easier to buy a system pre-tweaked to get the best performance possible from the components within than to go to all the effort yourself.
The HellFire ALC sports a watercooled Core i7 920 processor, overclocked to a massive 3.8GHz. As such the CPU will handle any task you could possibly throw at it, without so much as breaking a sweat.
This CPU is combined with a well considered array of components, including an ATI Radeon HD 4890 GPU and 6GB of RAM, inside Antec's non-too-shabby Three Hundred case. And if this doesn't suffice there's a good array of decent value upgrade options, too. Maybe you could build an equivalent system yourself for a bit less money, but is it really worth the effort? The answer is almost certainly: no.
3rd Place: Acer Aspire Revo R3600 Nettop
Nettops had potential, yes, but for the longest time didn't live up to it. nVidia's ION platform promised to change that and as the first such system through our doors we had high hopes of the Acer Aspire Revo. It didn't disappoint. Until the Revo came along, nettops weren't garnered with the same level of praise and admiration which netbooks had been enjoying for months prior.
Although still Vista ran a little sluggishly at times, at last here was a nettop which could handle tasks we'd take for granted on better specced systems. Aero Glass? No problem. GPU-accelerated Blu-ray and other HD video decoding? Certainly! To cap it all the Revo was housed in a stylish, well laid-out chassis and the price wasn't off-putting either. Better still, even the dual-core Atom version can be had for cheap now.
Few systems will make a finer budget living room media PC.