HotHardware Holiday Gift Guide 2010

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Pre-Built Gaming Desktops and Conclusion

When it's time to take down the tree and look forward to ringing in the New Year, you'll probably have a much easier time dealing with the letdown if you've received (or have given) a brand new PC. Or, at least that's our best guess. To close this year's Holiday Gift Guide out, we'll point you to a few of our favorite pre-built small form-factor systems and gaming rigs that emerged this year. Good luck out there shopping, and Happy Holidays!

ZOTAC ZBox HD-ID11 - $228


Small? HTPC-capable? Easy to wrap? Somewhat cheap? This Zotac SFF PC is one of the nicer desktops to buy, mostly because you won't go broke gifting someone with it but it also has dual core Atom goodness and NVIDIA Ion graphics under the hood.

Asus Eee Box EB1501 - $499

Asus  has been dishing out quite a few new devices here lately, with a 3D laptop and a TS mini NAS server heading things up. The company looks to close out the year with the introduction of an Ion-based nettop, which looks mighty stylish and includes a dual-core Atom N330 processor, Windows 7 Home Premium, an HDMI output, and a slot-loading DVD drive. Nice and compact, like any gift giver would like.

Lenovo ThinkCentre M90z - $755

Built for business, but perfectly fine for at-home use, the ThinkCentre M90z offers a 23" touch screen (glossy) with a Full HD 1080p resolution. Windows 7 is the operating system of choice, and the options from there are fairly varied. Our test unit had a powerful 3.2GHz Core i5-650 under the hood, paired with 4GB of DDR3 memory, a 500GB hard drive and a side-mounted DVD-ROM drive. Graphics are handled by Intel's integrated GMA HD processor, while IO port selection resides on the rear.  As all-in-ones go, this one is fairly spartan and so is the price, though its build quality is top-notch.

Dell Studio XPS 7100 - $808+

Dude, it's a Dell! AMD's hexa-core chips don't pack the same punch as Intel's six-core architecture, but the upshot is you'll save a king's bounty by riding into the sunset with AMD, and in this case, with Dell as well. The case is also compact, so it's perfect for the student in your life.

HP TouchSmart 600 All-In-One PC - $1600

Taking advantage of a good thing when they see it, HP has produced a few major updates to the TouchSmart line, culminating in the latest release of the TouchSmart series, the 20-inch TouchSmart 300 series and 23-inch TouchSmart 600 series. Other than screen size and specs, both the 300 and 600 series have much in common, including a relatively thin chassis, glossy 16:9 widescreen display, and a plethora of touch-enabled features and applications. Talk about an exciting unwrapping!

Origin's Genesis Gaming System - $2000+

It doesn't get much nicer than this, and if you buy one, you're the nicest Santa we've ever known. All the system configurations we tested against it qualified as fast, but Origin's Genesis waves at fast while rocketing past it in the left-hand lane. Best of all, Origin doesn't compromise build quality or component stability in an attempt to juice their system farther. This is a rig that's absolute top of the line now, and will carry any buyer for years to come—DX11 games, even when plentiful, won't be an issue. Short of opting for an Intel SSD RAID 0 or an even more esoteric storage solution, there's not much an end user could do to improve system performance at the moment.

Maingear SHIFT PC - $2399+

The SHIFT's subdued styling and sleek brushed aluminum finish are similar to Corsair's 700/800D chassis, but the resemblance is only skin-deep. Both the interior and exterior of the SHIFT are uniquely designed to cut system noise and improve thermals in ways that other cases on the market can't. Get it decked out with a pair of GeForce GTX 580 cards and you'll be stylin'.  This is for the one you want to marry, after they see your gift to them.
This concludes our 2010 Holiday Gift Guide, but we'd like to point out that these items are far from the only ones deserving. We've highlighted a few of our favorites in 2010, but we'd love to hear some of your alternatives down in comments. Got any good gifts you're giving away or begging to receive? Let us know!

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