Best bang for buck?

By phil ยท 11 replies
Jun 25, 2006
  1. A friend asked me to help select a computer for best quality and lowest price only for the purpose of basic letter writing and mostly internet use; nothing other than that. Would the Dell B110 with upgraded flat panel monitor for about $600 total cost be the best selection for novices such as we are? Is any special software required for internet use or will that be included with Windows XP Home Edition provided? We have no desire to get into computers further than this. Thanks for any advice provided.
  2. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Hello and welcome to Techspot.

    I have moved your thread to a more appropriate forum, where You will stand a lot better chance of getting replies.

    Regards Howard :wave: :wave:
  3. Peddant

    Peddant TS Rookie Posts: 1,446

    Dell computers

    Pros :
    2.will do the basic tasks you want it to.
    3.It`s off the shelf,it`s easy.
    4.Many people are happy with their Dells.

    Cons :
    1.Dell load their PCs with a lot of trial software,that you don`t need,
    that slows the system down,is difficult to remove,and asks you to buy it.
    Some of it could almost be called spyware itself.See HERE

    2. Dell only gives you recovery CDs,not a real Windows disk,
    so if You get problems,you only have the Nuclear Option
    of returning the system to the state it was when you bought it.
    ie all personal files are wiped.This puts you at the mercy of Dell
    Tech support.

    3. Dell`s tech support only has two solutions - Restore the whole drive
    or send it back to us to fix.Many dollars.

    4.Proprietary hardware.Limited up grade options.

    You say you don`t want to get into computers any further,but It think it would
    be a very good idea if you acquired the following knowledge -

    1.Spyware avoidance and removal - Use Ewido,Spybot Search and destroy,Ad-Aware.

    Be careful about what you click on,and what you download

    Be careful about the names of programs.Spyware programs try sound
    like legitimate "Ad-Aware" is good. "NoAdware" is bad

    2.Use Zone Alarm firewall and AVG anti -virus.

    3.Use Firefox or Opera instead of Internet Explorer.

    4.Disable unnecessary startup programs in msconfig start up.

    5.The Add/Remove programs utility in the control panel is useful.

    6.BACK UP your personal files regularly.Especially important when you don`t
    have a Windows CD to repair anything with.

    The next poster will give you give you some alternatives to Dell :)
  4. hewybo

    hewybo TS Maniac Posts: 435


    You need to research OEM systems. Find something in you friend's price range, then go to the mfr's (ain't it funny what that abbreviation sounds like?) website, enter the model number, and look at specs, user's manual, etc. If details are spotty, hard to come by, or can't be found- try another mfr. (teehee)

    Im assuming you/your friend don't want to build one, which would be my first recommendation. Can't be that hard- I've done it. More than once. Anyway, I had really good luck with my first system, which was a Compaq bundle from Fry's. Most posters here will rag on me about that, and I'm not saying I recommend them, necessarily, but-- HP/Compaq will show you mobo diuagrams/specs- upgrades, and how to do them, etc. Just don't expect a powerhouse, top-of-the-line system at $600, from anybody.

    There are some sites where you can pick and choose components, and some come in at fairly reasonable prices. At one time I would have said Alienware, but Dell just bought 'em out so--I'd say don't. A friend has touted cyberpowersystems- I don't know anything about them. Once again- research, Google, learn what is being offered, and what is inside. (oh, and by the way, I just had to replace PSU, mobo, and processor in a lady friends eMachine-- her OEM power supply took a dump, and took everybody else with it. That's a sort of a recommendation)

    Good luck :wave:
  5. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    Hi phil...

    any new computer that you can buy today reguardless of brand or model number is more than capable satisfying of your computing needs. in fact it's pretty safe to say that any computer built in the last 8 years is more than capable of word processing and internet browsing, so don't worry about the computer not being able to run what you want it to, because it will ;)

    as far as the specific model you chose, how did you come up with $600? i went on dell's site and the only upgrades i picked were the flat panel monitor and a set of plain speakers (yes you will need those, unless you want to use headphones) and i came up with $489.

    and to answer your other question, windowsXP will come with wordpad (a basic word processor for letter writing), and internet exploer (for internet browsing). I would recommend (as was mentioned earlier) to use firefox instead of internet explorer because it is safer and has better features, once you get your computer goto to download it for free

    good luck :)
  6. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    and don't bother buying an office suite either - download at

    Fully compatible with M$ office. And free. Also exports PDF documents and a variety of file formats to inlcude the new XML standard.
  7. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 478

    Yes--Open Office, Firefox, AVG...all free! :bounce:
  8. cfitzarl

    cfitzarl TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,975   +9

    I would suggest if you like taking risks to look for a cheap used computer on eBay. For your needs, you could pretty much use anything.
  9. fimbles

    fimbles TS Evangelist Posts: 1,185   +208

    I have a 10 year old computer in my bedroom that surfs the net and writes letters perfectly well..:)

    Think its a 386 mhz or something :)
  10. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    well Phil, you must have been reading these relplies over the last few days. have you decided on anything?

    please understand that we are not trying to insult you in any way. it's just that computer technology advances so fast that they are capable of so much more than word processing and internet browsing. we don't want you to spend too much money on an over-qualified machine. in your defense, even now days that's still all that most people use them for. so you're not alone believe me.

    anyways, i am interested in what you have decided to do. please let us know. we here at techspot are a respectful community and I don't believe that anybody will criticize your decision. good luck with your new system :)
  11. phil

    phil TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Computer purchase decision by Phil

    I had requested advice on "best bang for buck" on new computer purchase for a friend used for word processing and internet. Got several great replies for which I say "thanks". I just ordered a Dell special that came on TV today, the E310 P4 Vista capable with XP Home Edition, 512 memory, 80 GB hard drive, 3.5 floppy, CD-RW/DVD ROM, 17" Flat panel analog monitor and 1 year warranty... for $508 delivered...That is more computer than I got for over $1000 a couple years ago....appears to be a good deal...anyway, I bought it and will take the received advice on the free software, spyware, anti-virus, etc...Again, thank yo all very much.
  12. fimbles

    fimbles TS Evangelist Posts: 1,185   +208

    Good choice!

    This system should suit your needs perfectly, and more also!

    Very good price aswell.. :)
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