The unit I currently use is a lot like the Klingon War Vessle that the Star Trek guys used to go back in time to save the whales. It works, but has no sound, cannot handle video, has extreme delays, etc etc.
So, I've decided that it may be time to upgrade and build some credit up at the same time. I went to the Dell site and saw a 4600 machine that looked like a fair deal, until I realized that I haven't the slightest clue what it is I'm looking at or for.
My computer needs are very simple. I use it to surf the web, play fantasy sports, admire porn (stills only, remember no video here), read about wrestling. ESPN.com is currently my enemy as it stalls my computer and I would also like to download music and eventually do stuff with pictures (when I go digital). That's pretty much it. I don't want to use it for gaming, I have a PS2 and I'd probably fuck the computer up trying to game on it.
What should I be looking for and looking out for? Do I need extra warranties? Will the 4600 models go out of style to quickly? My needs are pretty simple and probably mildly pathetic, but I'm sick of everything I own being a piece of Klingon shit. I am ready to drop back and punt this thing, so any advice would be appreciated.
Another idea... go to your closest Office Depot. If you see a system that looks nice, on clearance, ask for the manager. Ask them how much they can knock the price down... for some systems, in the 6-700 range, originally 1200 or so, they can go down another 100-150.
I was *just* looking at basic end-user Dell machines for a friend of mine. Dell's web page for the 4600 series is here (us.dell.com) , BTW.
The basic core machine is probably a fine start for your needs. However, the couple of questions/comments I had from looking at their specs:
1) Basic system has CD-ROM, but not CD-RW. For that matter, they don't even specify a floppy drive. You will want some kind of writeable media to be able to do backups of some sort! (You can ugrade, of course, or they may be offering a free-upgrade deal. But do make sure you get something somehow.)
2) I don't see specified anyplace how many USB ports it has. I *assume* it has some number of USB ports ...
3) I also don't see anything about how many (if any) available internal card slots there are.
4) Doesn't say a word about modem &/or ethernet cards included. (I'm guessing that Klingons typically use dial-up.) You'll want to clarify your needs for getting onto the web, what additional parts you'll have to buy, etc. (It's very annoying to get your shiny new computer, hook it up, get psyched for some crisp, new porn, & realise that you can't get onto the web 'cause you're missing parts!)
5) Basic system price *does* appear to include a 17" monitor. You didn't say whether you also have a Klingon monitor that needs replacing. Personally, I'm *very* fussy about my monitor -- I'd never buy one without checking it out live at a store, but that's just me.
6) I believe they bundle WordPerfect (rather than MS Word) with the system. Don't know if you care, but that matters to me...
7) Need a printer? Speakers? Scanner? Would you like fries with that, sir?
I have several friends who have bought Dell machines & are basically all quite happy. My friends are generally tech-geeks & know what they need, but I have the imprssion that Your Dell Guy is thrilled to chat with you & answer your questions. Overall it's a pretty reasonable solution, so long as you're clear on what you're getting.
I got the Dell 4600 in March, and so far I've had no problems with it at all. It's Internet ready and setup was pain free. What's more, is I Haven't got the Blue Screen since I bought the thing. Which was an everyday occurrence on my HP.
Well, I use a HP 501n, that I bought at Best Buy for about $500, it has everything to get online, and has never ran short of storage space for me, but then again, I go and clear out my disc space every night when I shut down, and I always keep my Spyware Gaurd, McAfee Virus Scan and SPyware Blaster up and running, and scan every other day. If you are a basic, net surfer and nothing else, this type of system works great, its cheap and easy to use and set up.