We still have a few laptop reviews to knock out, but the desktop portion of our back-to-school retail PC roundup was completed as of yesterday. Our overall winner is the Gateway SX2800-01, an overachieving, quad-core slim tower you can find for less than $500.
On the higher-end, Asus comes out ahead with strong bang-for-the-buck on both its $750 and its $1,200 PCs, but we're hesitant to award the category to either system because of questions about Asus' customer service. We need to see, if not 24-7 phone support, at least some after hours and weekend availability before we're willing to give our full endorsement. Asus' online support needs help, too. At the moment, you can't find its Essentio retail desktop brand mentioned anywhere on Asus' Web site, including via its own search tool.
Before we get back to our regularly scheduled review programming, we thought we'd present some of the more general findings from our retail desktop overview, in the time-honored, eternally ripped-off style of the Atlantic.… Read more