Pros flexible and powerful options
Cons little over priced
Summary Just wanted to clear up some of the other reviews. I found the dell site flexible, there is an option for no monitor and depending on which 420 base model you start with you have plenty of options.
I researched other similar computers, the closest competition was the HP Pavilion Elite. I chose the Dell because the HP system does not have a good graphics card option, likely because of the weak 350 watt max power supply. Contrary to the other review the power supply is automatically upgraded to 425 watts to match the nvidia 8800GT video card (which is the ultimate card for the price hands down). Also the video and sound card options were more complete with the Dell vs the HP. Check out the Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic card that is not offered on other systems, THX certified HD music!
So if you can handle a weak graphics and sound card then check out the other systems...
Pros It is a very powerful machine, quiet operation, and looks really cool
Cons It feels like I been transported back to Windows 95 in terms of stability
Summary I'm not sure whether my problems with stability are specific to this machine or with the Windows Vista operating system. Either way I am very disappointed.
The machine keeps suffering from "unexpected restarts" particularly when it goes into sleep mode. The hot fix that Vista identifies as being required to address it (see KB938194) will not install (it says that "update does not apply to your system"). The most recent restart resulted in Vista going through its "Startup Repair" process. So this really disappoints me as I decided to buy rather than build a new machine specifically to avoid this sort of nonsense. I'm not even sure I can trust this PC with documents and spreadsheets I am working on.
There are several other annoyances that are more to do with Vista
- Windows media center's TV guide does not support broadcast digital TV sub-channels (even though its TV guide provider does. This, along with the instability problems, makes it a useless DVR for me . . . . So that was a waste of $100 or so on the TV receiver card.
- Added Bluetooth capability and a set of Bluetooth headphones to the configuration I purchased from Dell. Using the headphones is a real pain. There is way too much fiddling about in the control panel and audio properties before they can be used. I still can't get some of types of audio to be delivered by the headphones. This should not be so difficult. . . and I feel I wasted more money on these options.
I have had the machine a couple of weeks now and have spend many hours installing software and transferring data from my old (but stable) PC. I don't want to start again with another PC. So I am hoping that Windows updates will eventually fix the stability problems.
In summary, I am disappointed by this machine and the operating system that comes with it. To give you some idea of how disappointed I am you should know that this is the first time I have ever taken the time to submit a review for any product.
Pros Total system versatility and amazing potential
Cons DELL JUST WON'T LET YOU ORDER WHAT YOU WANT
Summary So the new XPS 420 has been described as mediocre, receiving polity applause, and not quite there to compete with other machines in the same category. Let’s take a quick look at why, hope someone from Dell reads this and fixes these simple oversights.
Things that are just too limited:
1: Any Video Card choice with any model. Let people choose NVIDIA or Radeon if they want to.
2: NVIDIA cards in any model and without Blu-Ray. Don’t force people to buy Blu-Ray just because they want a high end video card. (The format war is not over, and consumers should play neutral until it is)
3: Why can't you get any monitor you want (or none) Dell is very limiting here, you can't even get the 24" Ultra sharp which CNET rated as very good, (or no monitor for that matter).
4: A variety of 2nd HD choices
5: A variety of dual dvd/r/rw components
6: More 1333MHZ FSB offerings.
The Bottom line, Dell, just let people order what they want. Everyone knows you package and push what you have when you have it, and that is how you stay price competitive, so push it, and discount it. But if people don't want it, give them the option of what they do want. Why can I build a computer I am happier with (24" monitor and better HD choices and video card options) if I go to www.Dell.ca than www.Dell.com?
If Dell makes a few simple tweaks and lets the consumer decide what they want in their XPS 420, rather than letting them choose from a limited pool, they will sell XPS 420s like crazy. But if the consumer doesn't have options, the HP Blackbird and plenty of other machines are just waiting to be picked up.
Pros When it works...fine
Cons When it doesn't, can't get tech support.
Summary Truly a waste of money. Once you finish upgrading you spend a ton on a fancy aluminium box...because when it stops working (and it will), Dell tech support ("welcome to the XPS Experience"--hint: it sucks) will be unwilling to help you fix it. You'll be shunted from one tech in the Philippines to another.
I hope that I was clear on how awful the XPS Experience is.
Pros Quad Core Processor, Future Upgrade Capabilities, and Superb Performance (Once You Format The Entire Drive, & Create Your Own Image)
Cons No XP Support, Wish It Had A More Powerful Power Supply Out The Box!..
Summary I got a great deal on this computer, a 4 year warranty, 2.4 Quad Core Processor, 3GB 800mhz memory, 320GB SATA 16mb cache hard drive, 256mb Nvidia HD 2600XT DDR4 video card, bluetooth, media card reader, dual layer DVD+RW drive, Wi-Fi, & 56k modem all for $1200.. When I got it I had to re-format the entire drive (got rid of Dell's BS restore partition, I want all of my hard drive space, hell I paid for it!) & re-installed Vista w/o all the B.S. Dell puts on their images that makes the computer crawl.. After doing so & tweaking it just the way I wanted it, the computer was great, performance was right where it was suppose to be!.. I love the case, & the XPS Mini gadget viewer on the top of the tower (Don't really use it, but it looks good! LOL).. I love the speed of this computer and the fact that I can upgraded this machine to my heart’s desire.. Plan on upgrading the power supply some time down the line, perhaps a 500+ watt power supply?... Memory is expandable to 8gb, which is very nice.. RAID capabilities are a nice added feature in the BIOS, plan on utilizing it when I add another hard drive.. So far so good! My money was well spent on this machine.. If you’re looking for a mid range computer that you can expand later on, this is it!.. Nice job dell!..