We compared Dell vs HP to find the best desktop for your home

Dell and HP have been near the top of the computer manufacturer standings for a while, and for good reason – both can scale according to budget, meaning there’s an option for affordable workstations all the way to ultra-portable laptops and powerful gaming machines.

Both have plenty of build-to-order options, too, but for the purposes of this comparison, we’re pitting the Dell Inspiron 27 against the less-than-catchily titled HP Pavilion 27-ca1003na. Both are priced similarly (around $1200), and both are all-in-one machines so they come with everything you need to get started.

Which is best? We’ve taken a look at the display, specs, speakers and plenty more to help you pick a winner in the Dell vs HP battle. For more comparisons, be sure to check out our comparison of the Dell Inspiron 27 with Apple’s M1 iMac.

Dell vs HP: Design

At first glance, much of the HP Pavilion all-in-one we’ve chosen for comparison looks a lot like the Dell. It’s got a “chin” that houses the speaker, thin bezels, and a pop out webcam.

There are some differences, though – the stand is central, and the ports are located above it on the back. It feels a little like HP’s attempt at an iMac from the pre-M1 days, and it’s all the better for it.

Your choice of stand setup will be entirely subjective of course, but both machines come in just one color – white for the HP, and silver for the Dell.

There’s honestly not really enough to differentiate them in this category, so we’re calling it a tie.

Winner: Tie

Dell vs HP: Display

Again, there’s little to differentiate the two machines here outside of the clear difference in resolution.

Both offer 27-inch panels, but the jump to 1440p resolution is more than enough to recommend the HP here. It’s not 4K (or 4.5K like you’d find in the iMac 24-inch).

There is the option for a touchscreen on the Inspiron 27, but unless your workload and processes are dependent on it, we’d always opt for resolution.

The HP does offer an anti-glare panel as standard, which may make a big difference if your office or workspace lets in plenty of light, and remains “flicker-free” due to its ability to adjust the current.

Still, the resolution alone gives HP a win here, particularly if you do any image editing whether that added detail will be a huge boon.

Winner: HP Pavilion 27-ca1003na

Dell vs HP: Audio

Both machines offer stereo speakers in a “soundbar” style setup at the bottom of the monitor, but you’d be hard-pressed to pick a winner.

The HP’s 4W speakers are developed in partnership with B&O, meaning there’s a pedigree, but the Inspiron matches it for most playback scenarios and also offers the ability to use its speakers as Bluetooth output for other devices.

As is always the case, all-in-one speakers pale in comparison to dedicated speakers, particularly those with a subwoofer, but for watching a movie or playing back a Spotify playlist, these will do the job.

Winner: Tie

Dell vs HP: Performance

This is where we really start splitting hairs between the machines, and where the Dell gets a win, too.

That’s largely down to the GPUs on offer, although it’s worth noting we’re looking at build-to-order options here. The basic, straight out of the box, basic configurations’ differences are negligible because they’re both integrated GPUs that lack grunt.

Scale up slightly, and the Dell gains a boost from offering an MX550 over the HP’s MX450. In truth, neither are particularly powerful (they’re designed for laptops), but the MX550 has faster memory speed and is more recent than the older variant.

They’re not the GPUs you’ll want for demanding games of video edits, but for editing photos and flicking through browser windows and tasks, they’ll do very nicely indeed.

Winner: Dell Inspiron 27

Dell vs HP: Value

There are plenty of ties in this guide, and this is another. The value you find in either the Dell Inspiron 27 or the HP Pavilion 27-ca1003na will come down to those two differentiating features – display and performance.

We’re inclined to go for the former since the difference in performance is slight and even then the SSD makes up some ground, but there really is no right answer here.

Winner: Tie

Dell vs HP: Verdict

While there’s little to distinguish the two in terms of performance, the combination of a 1440p display and significantly faster SSD storage make the HP Pavilion our pick between the two computers.

Neither is perfect, though, and we’d recommend looking elsewhere for video editing or gaming purposes.

Lloyd Coombes
Customer Advisor, Computing

Lloyd Coombes is Top Ten Reviews' Computing Customer Advisor, and a freelance writer with a specialism in tech, gaming, and fitness. Since starting out as a blogger, he’s written for sites like IGN, TechRadar, and more.

An expert on all things Apple ever since he got a second-hand iMac, Lloyd can regularly be found testing software on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac — when he’s not testing the platforms themselves, that is. He’s also Dexerto.com’s Games Editor, and a podcaster.

When he’s not writing, you can probably find him running after his son, playing Destiny 2, or at the gym.