Business laptops can be great daily drivers for workers who are often on the go, but there are many reasons why desktop systems may be a better fit for a company’s workspace and workflow. Desktops often contain more powerful hardware than many laptops—making them better suited for heavy workloads—and they may have more room to add storage and memory down the road. Desktops also typically have more ports and support a greater variety of connections, allowing workers to easily link more peripherals such as external displays, input and output devices, and external storage and networking hardware. On top of those benefits, all-in-one (AIO) and compact desktops can take up less physical space than a laptop in some setups.

For buyers that see the benefits of desktops for their organization, it can be difficult to wade through the potential pros and cons of all the options on the market. Objective performance data can provide buyers with confidence that they’re getting the best systems for their desktop buck.

In two separate studies, we used a wide range of industry-standard benchmarks and hand-timed tasks to compare the performance of two pairs of desktop systems. In the first study, we compared a 24-inch Lenovo ThinkCentre M90a Pro Gen 4 AIO powered by a 13th Gen Intel Core i9-13900 processor to a 24-inch Apple iMac powered by an Apple M1 processor. In the second study, we compared a Lenovo ThinkCentre M90q Gen 4 Tiny compact desktop powered by a 13th Gen Intel Core i7-13700 processor to an Apple Mac mini powered by an M2 Pro processor. In our tests, both the Lenovo ThinkCentre M90a Pro and the Lenovo ThinkCentre M90q Tiny proved to be good multitasking systems, consistently achieving higher benchmark scores—and completing hand-timed workflows faster—than the iMac and Mac mini, respectively. Our results show that Lenovo ThinkCentre AIO and compact desktop PCs can be high-performance alternatives to Apple’s corresponding systems.

For more details about our AIO and small form factor desktop system performance comparison tests, check out the reports and summary below.