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We bought this as a family computer back in 2005 and were very impressed at the time with the specs and feature that were included. The 512Mb of RAM was more than enough back then and are ok now but with four RAM slots there is plenty of room for upgrading especially when the motherboard supports 4GB. The programs installed were actually very good but again there was the usual rubbish AOL program and some other sponsor software. The integrated tuner worked perfectly and compliments Windows Media Centre very well allowing the user to watch DVB TV on their computer. There are a generous amount of USB 2.0 ports situated at the front and back of the unit. I think the best thing about this desktop is the ease of upgrade so that I still use it today running COD4 on a better graphics card and more RAM than was originally installed by the manufacturer. Overall then this desktop is a must for the home user providing upgradable components with some really useful features.
18 months ago, I decided that I needed a new computer as my IMedia 3032 (that I have reviewed) just wasn't cutting it anymore. It was slow and when I installed Dreamweaver, a big web designing programme, I think it just laughed in my face and grounded to a halt. So I went down to PC World where I previously bought my PC. Unlucky me didn't know that at the time my boyfriend had applied to work there and got the job two weeks later so no staff discount for me on this one. I remember looking around and saying I want a PC with 1GB of RAM. At that time, 1GB was quite new and that translated into quite expensive. I ended up paying £599 for the IMEDIA MC 1539, I think. So what do I think of my PC and is it everything I paid for? ... The base unit ... The processor is Intel Pentium 4 2.93 GHz with a processor Speed 533 Mhz and it came with 1GB of RAM. At the time, this made it a fast computer. I was speeding around the internet and loading Dreamweaver without a problem. The problem is that technology moves on and this PC is old so it seems slower than other PCs and laptops that I've used that are newer. The DVD Rewrite on this PC is a NEC. I've never had any problems with burning or playing CDs. The Modem in the PCs is the updated version of what was in my IMedia 3032, Modem Aztech MSP2900-W. It seems like a good modem and I have no complaints. This PC also has a TV Tuner so you can hook it up to a TV or Freeview box and watch TV on your PC. I've never bother to do this as I have 32 in Philips LCD, which is a lot bigger than 17 inch Samsung. It has 2 USB ports at the front and 2 USB ports at the back which isn't too bad and the ones at the front are very useful for plugging in your digital camera or your phone so you're not fiddling at the back to get it connected. The operating system on this is Windows XP Media Centre Edition. With this, your PC is an all-in-one PC and entertainment system. For me, it wasn't necessary. I used it in the beginning as it was a novelty but after awhile, it wasn't not important. ... The Hard disk ... The hard disk is 80GB and is made by Seagate with 8Mb cache. It is a good hard disk for its time but now it's nearly filled with all my songs and the computer seems to getting slow due the PC not been able to use the hard disk as much for virtual memory. ... The Graphics Card ... nVidia GeForce 6200 LE. To be honest, this is a rubbish graphics card. It's so low end that you might as well not have a graphics card in the PC. It freezes on many of the games as it only has a memory of 256MB. I thought LE stood for Limited Edition but it stands for Lite Edition. It's a graphics card were nearly everything is ripped away to leave you with the most basic card you'll ever find. ... The card reader ... It has a memory card reader that is built in at the front. I've never used it as most of my memory cards (MicroSD) don't actually fix in the 15 card slots. It looks very fiddly to get your memory card out of the slots. The card reader supports Compact Flash Type I and II, IBM Micro Drive, MS-ROM, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, Memory Stick Pro Duo, Memory Stick Duo, MMC, RS-MMC, MMC Mobile, SD, Mini SD, Smart Media Card and XD Picture Card. ... The monitor ... The monitor that came with my package was a Samsung SyncMaster 713BM. This is a 17 inch LCD screen. It has an 8 millisecond response rate, which isn't bad for games and fast moving objects that appear on the screen. It offers a contrast ratio of 700:1 and a 1280 x 1024 resolution. It had a chrome trim, which makes it look very smart. At the bottom of the screen, the buttons are hidden underneath the rim. It has 6 buttons. Menu, MagicBright/Down, Up/Volume, Analog/Digital, Auto and the on and off button. It's very easy to change the colours, brightness and contrast on this screen, just play with the buttons and you will find what you want. It's the best little screen I've ever had. It's neat, compact as it's a LCD and the colours on the screen are rich and vibrant. ... The keyboard, mouse and remote control ... The keyboard and mouse come in a standard black. Thank god, that I didn't get the Media Keyboard that I had last time. The last one that I got with Imedia PCs didn't work properly and just annoyd me. This keyboard is just your bog standard keyboard with 2 Windows start buttons. The mouse is just bog standard too. Three buttons, left, scroll button and right. Instead of having media buttons on the keyboard, it comes with a remote that is control by a stick that you put in your USB port and your PC becomes an entertainment system. ... The Speakers ... I love my Thunderball speakers of my old PC, very stylish. With this IMEDIA PC, I got some boring looking black boxes that were meant to be speakers. They were called Typhoon 2.0 multimedia speakers. They didn't sound very good at all so I keep my old ones and gave the speakers away with the old PC. ... What went wrong but got fixed-ish? ... A few days before Christmas, I noticed that my date was randomly changing. At one point, I was in the year 1792 and when I looked again, I was in the future in 2210. I knew this wasn't right. I searched the internet what it could be. Apparently, it was the battery on the motherboard and if that went, it was bye bye PC as the battery kept the BIOS and a few things running. This PC was only 6 months old. The problem seemed to get worse over Christmas so I decided to give Packard Bell's customer services a ring on Boxing Day. Yes, poor bloke had to answer my call on Boxing Day. I wasn't expecting much as it was Boxing Day and I never expect much from customer services ever. So I got this really nice bloke who asked me loads of questions and told me that I must know a lot of about PCs to have done all the tests and etc. Anyways, he asked me what time would the best of the engineer to come round as the earliest they could send one round was 30th December. He apologised that it would be this long but because of the holidays, this was the earliest. I was shocked. I was expecting to wait at least a week or two even. Not 4 days. I told that someone would be there to let the engineer in at anytime. So on that day, the engineer came and replaced the whole motherboard. The only thing that they didn't tell me is that Packard Bell's are built in linked pieces. If something gets replaced ie motherboard or hard disk, you can never roll your PC back with XP. Because I'd tried to do so and it created a whole new user. Nicky and NickySN... One contained all the files before I tried to do the rollback and the other contained all the files that were made after the rollback. I only noticed it after a few weeks when I couldn't find something. I mention it to my boyfriend who asked one of the tech guys and they told me about the linking things on Packard Bell's. ... Where can you get one ... Well, as this model is very old in PC terms, you would struggle to find it but you can find lots of IMEDIA PCs around that are a lot high spec than this one. ... Overall thoughts on this PC ... I love this little PC although I do find that the hard disk is a bit small now and the RAM a bit slow at 1GB as my laptop has 120GB and 2GB RAM in it. Also it's starting to tell its age as it's slowed down or I've speeded up as my new laptop is an Intel Dual Core. I'd recommend Packard Bell to anyone especially after the quick service that I received with my battery problem. I've always liked Packard Bell and I find that they are the most reliable. It was a great PC for its time and good value for money. For more information or support, go and visit their website and use your code to know exactly what's in your PC and how to fix your problems. http://www.packardbell.co.uk/support.