I dont know what your personal relationship with your desktop is, but mine is definitely ambiguous. Mine can move through being Master, Mistress and downright enemy. I am, to begin with, speaking from the standpoint of, not exactly a clueless technophobe, but certainly a consumer of limited but informed IT proficiency. Therefore this review is simply written as a consumer and not as an expert. I will describe my experience of the use of this computer and will not, as if I could anyway, be a diatribe involving vast lists of numbers and specs, although a certain amount of that insanity is unavoidable.
Just for the record, I see my relationship with my computer as that of a coy mistress with due respect to Andrew Marvell. It serves me well, but god dont I suffer for my pleasure!
We are talking about the Dell Dimension 5150c Desktop Computer. And theres the rub! Anyone who has bought a Dell computer will know that they are essentially custom ordered and bought. There is not a standard Dimension 5150c. You phone the nice man/woman in Mumbai and the battle commences. They try and sell you the top spec version and you try and resist. That said, the Dimension 5150c is really only the basic tower design and all specs, monitors, mice, peripherals and software after that are what you pay for. I went in the end for the multi-media edition which seemed to be the jack of all trades.
My experience of the basic 5150c tower:
Physically my mistress is a babe. She is dressed in silver and much smaller and leaner than your average tower. Sexily petite. Shes 2 foot tall and just wide enough to accept a disk drive. Suspiciously so, given the memory involved. However I personally think that buxom towers were a selling point of the past. Although Im open to offers! She runs cool. Much cooler than the simple 5150 I had before. That is; none of that annoying cooling fan noise when youre trying to listen to Womans Hour.
Her working brain comes in two main components; the processor and the RAM. We have a dual core 2.80GHz Pentium D, which Im told isnt so fast but is made up for by a 1Gb of RAM. The RAM can be upgraded to a frightening 4Gb. It has, apparently connections inside to do this. Please will someone tell me how! Ive seen the components and they look horribly fragile, not to mention expensive. My experience as a consumer is good here. Applications can run offline and online 5 or 6 at a time without too much noticeable lag in any of them.
I can enter my mistress in many different ways. There are 7 USB ports in all; 5 at the back and 2 at the front. There are also 3 of the old fashioned variety; sockets for headphones and microphone at the front and an extra microphone at the back. A wanton computer Im sure youll agree.
Will she remember me! She bloody should do! Shes got 250Gb of hard drive. Thats probably more than I have. I get embarrassed about this degree of memory. I have had this computer for about 6 months now and I am only using around 15Gb. What can I do. I feel inadequate. What can I find to satisfy her?
Introducing her to outside influence apart from her ports is easily done by use of a 16x DVD/CD-RW drive. The computer comes with ready installed software for all uses of this drive and I have had no problems thus far. I just touched wood. It does also come with built in Wi-Fi adaptor.
As Ive already mentioned all software and peripherals are up to your initial negotiation with Dell apart from a few standards:
Mine came with Windows XP home edition. I have enquired, and all future orders will come with Vista, of course.
It comes with the usual Dell 15 month MacAfee virus zapping software.
It comes with CD/DVD burning software.
I bought a TFT 19 flat screen monitor but there is a 24 version available. Thats a big face.
I like this computer and find our relationship gets stronger as time goes by. I have had no problems that have not been caused by my own ineptitude. I like Dell because you can buy quite a powerful computer and by whittling away at the extras get it at a much better price than anything made by the more sexy brands.
I use mine for some massive RTS games and a lot of memory demanding mathematical programmes. I remain satisfied but spent! I have noticed recently that dell are offering the E520 for the same approximate price at the moment but which is roughly twice as powerful.