Pros Neat quiet system, 3 yr on-site cover reassuring
Cons No feet for upright orientation of system unit, keyboard not the best
Summary I liked the idea of a small quiet system in the office and looked at HP as well as this system. I was able to buy a small form factor (not the very smallest) with a 24" Dell wide screen at a good price, through a reseller.
I chose the DVD/1Gb RAM/80Gb HD/ 128Mb video card system in order to future-proof it.
It has a variable speed fan which calls for cooling as required, a neat laptop style DVD and plenty of connectivity, clearly labelled.
The widescreen allows you to have several progams open and visble at the same time.
I also purchsed the "soundbar" that clips to the base of the screen and an optional 5 speaker sound system. This give very good music sound quality, the bass adds depth.
I have used the technical helpline on one occasion, in order to get the sound system working. The helpline is for business systems (3 yr onsite) only and was answered quickly.
The advisor was possibly based in India; he was clear, patient and accurate in his advice and solved the problem.
The whole system (with MS Works, i.e. Word, Autoroute, Encarta, MS Money etc) would have been £2,000, although I paid much less than that for a perfect system that had possibly been a return.
I will probably replace the keyboard, as, although it looks neat, the action is too long and not delicate, like, say, the Sony wireless that I have.
All in all, very happy so far and recommended.
Pros At least it's still under warranty.....
Cons If even one component gets hosed, the machine is unusable.
Summary I have a lab with 56 of these machines with the super duper small form factor. During the course of the last two weeks, 26 machines have failed with at least blown capacitors on the motherboard. Some have needed CPUs in addition to the motherboards. Some have needed new power blocks, too.
This lab is very cool, with it's own air conditioning. Speed Step protection is on, and the extra cover on the case is off.
For whatever reason(s), these machines fail constantly. If you do the simple math, I have experienced a 46% failure rate. Maintaining this lab has turned into a full-time job in itself and I have never been so frustrated with Dell products in my life.
If you do have to buy this machine, get a 4-year warranty and then extend it to however long you think you might have the machines.
Pros hase enough horses for PVR duties, video editing and DVD burning, all in a quiet small form factor
Cons the small form factor version has no expansion and no firewire capability
Summary I have the 3.2ghz dual core cpu. My 56 inch TV has a vga port and they are very happy with each other at 1280 x 768 res. I get great pictures, video and movies from the on board graphics chip. The small size fits on the audio shelf (horizontally and looks great. The Dell logo can be rotated, so it doesn't look like its on its side.
I bought a USB ATSC/NTSC/QAM capable tuner and I can watch or record over the air STD TV, HDTV, Cable, Digital cable and HDTV cable. The USB tuner came with great PVR and video editing software. The DVD drive is a flimsy (laptop style) with the click the disk on the hub, but I'm careful and its worked fine for over a year now.
I also bought an Orbit webcam to another usb port and make regular video phone calls to my grandkids thousands of miles away (using MSN network). Seeing them on a big 56" screen is just great.
And adding a wireless keyboard and mouse to usb ports still leaves me with all the front ports open for camera unloads, and usb drives. I only need a vga port.
Web browsing on a big screen is an interesting experience. Since the TV is only 1080i, text is not so crisp as I would like, certainly easy to read, just not pop off the screen dazzling. Some websites however are just spectacular. Its great for E-mail, or office apps as well, although on the big screen its not exactly private.
I have no idea what cpu or memory some of these other posters have, but for the price, performance, functionality and most of all the size, it has been just a great machine for me.
"Awesome Office Desktop"on by PSME
Pros Small, Very quiet, and fast with professional software. Good input/output options for an office environment. Computer stand is well designed for keeping wires neatly arranged.
Cons Limited upgradability due to compact size
Summary I was given the OptiPlex at work with a dual core pentium processor. It is a fabulous machine, much faster than my 64 bit AMD dual core computer at home. Technically, it shouldn't be faster, but it is. The OptiPlex is also very quiet running. and the screen looks pretty nice. The stand is convenient for keeping wires arranged and provides a wide range of heights and angles for the monitor. The monitor adjusts very easily.
The only real downsides to this machine are that the amount you can upgrade it is limited by the size of the box, and the range of outputs, which is sufficient for business operations, only supports basic entertainment options. This machine does what it was designed for very well.
Pros Fast enough, dependable
Cons Runs very hot, very crowded inside
Summary We have 16 GX620 all desktop models, which leaves very little room for any expansion. We had one unit that was constantly rebooting, and I installed heat monitoring software. The software only monitors hard drive heat, and so far, all of our computers run between 140 and 157 degrees, which is way too hot.
Has anyone else had similar issues or even tested their computer?