"Awesome PC! I hate Desktops but I love this one!"5.0 starson by Delmarco
Pros: Small, Fast, Cool, Looks sleek and VERY Upgradable!!!
Cons: DVD/CD burning and software installing is loud.
Summary: It's been a full month since I got my 5100c and I love it. I've always used laptops and this is my first desktop which I only bought because I needed the higher graphics function and didn't want to spend $3,000 for a laptop with the same specs. I bought my 5100c factory brand new in the DELL box for $359.99 off eBay (of course the DELL LCD was not included, but I already own a Samsung 19" 192MP LCD.)
Initially I was wavering between this 5100c (with Pentium 4 at 3.0gHz, ATI 600 128MB, 13 in 1 memory card reader & 80 GB Hard drive) and a $599.99 XPS 200 (with Pentium Duo 2.8, DVD burner, 160 GB Hard drive, dell's integrated graphics & NO memory card reader or DVI output). I needed the graphics and the memory card reader so I went with the 5100c. So far I've upgraded to a 250 GB hard drive, 2 GB RAM Memory, added Wireless G & Bluetooth v1.2 capabilities, TV-Tuner card, and my 5100c is now the same specs as the top of the line $1749.99 XPS 200. Most of the upgrades I bought online or off eBay and I saved a bucketload of money. I'm also for about $100.00 upgrading the ATI x600 128MB card to the newer more powerful ATI x700 256MB card. I may also get a DVD burner down the road if I find I need it.
PERFORMANCE: Everything is blazing fast, I found that the 2 GB RAM on a Pentium 4 at 3.0 gHz was faster than my gfriend's XPS 400 Pentium Duo 2.8 with 1 GB RAM when using photoshop and internet to the max. After a month I've had no software or hardware issues. I did delete the Microsoft Works/Encarta and DELL Internet subcription adverts pre-installed software. I found that DELL PCs are more crowded with pre-installed advertising or sample-ware junk than other brand of computers. Frankly, its annoying. I do love the DELL Support pop up. I found it very useful especially after I upgraded the RAM & Hard Drive and the Support pop up re-configured "virtual memory" to properly suit the new set up (something I didn't even know I had to do). The fan is nice and quiet and the machine never gets hot on me. Unlike the CNET review I found the 5100c to very upgradeable with LOTS of low cost-high quality options readily available all over the internet. I definately recommend the memory upgrade and the PCI express half-height ATI x700 256MB graphics card (you'll eventually need it when Windows VISTA becomes available).
MANY PROS: Everything, but my favorite feature is the flexibility of upgrading this PC. Also compared to my gfriend's XPS 400 the 5100c is tiny and fit will in any environment. Also unlike every other desktop I've ever used, the 5100c's interior remains dust free and somhow keeps dust outside. Performance is also a plus.
FEW CONS: the 5100c flip open front door could have been as sturdy as everything else on the machine. The DVD/CD-R drive made ALOT of noise when I was installing Microsoft XP Professional Office, and made some, but not much noise, when I was burning some Music CDs. I thought the rear USB ports were too close together and I needed to get a USB extension HUB to fit all my connections onto the 5100c. The ATI x600 card's DVI output disables the propriety VGA output so forget about having two LCD monitors in tandem. Dell Phone Support/Service was very WEIRD; I had to answer way too many personal questions, get interviewed, screened and leave my home and work phone numbers with them, BEFORE they would sell me optional parts for my 5100c. As a first time DELL customer I have to ask "whats up with that?"
OVERALL: As a reluctant Desktop PC buyer, I've been very pleased with this machine and totally recommend it to someone with a sense of minimalist zen sense of style, or small apartment, or someone that wants a lot of power, upgradability and performance in a laptop size package!