While there are many computers on the market to choose from, finding the right one can be an overwhelming experience. Prices can range as high as a few thousand and as low as few hundred. The main thing to consider when shopping for a new system, is that although higher end systems may appeal to many, more often than not, a low-cost budget friendly computer is often very realistic, and usually sufficient enough to handle common and daily computing needs.
When shopping for a computer system, the best initial step is to make note of the reason for purchase, and the computer’s intended use. If the need is for high-powered gaming, or graphics and video production, then a powerful system is in order. If the need is for basic computing, Internet use, audio and video entertainment, and other common activities, than a budget system is perfect. Here are some wallet-friendly computers to consider when looking to purchase.
TopTenREVIEWS recently reviewed the top 10 Economic Computers for 2010. Based on professional review, and consumer feedback, an interesting mix of brands and styles made the top 10. Common amongst the budget systems are not only similar components such as disk space, DVD +/- RW, and audio – but those that are also near-state of the art. That is, some components are no longer the latest and greatest, yet may have been at one time. Either way, the systems still pack a punch for everyday computing. Also of note when pricing a computer – differences in CPU and GPU (video card) have a significant impact on the bottom line.
Starting from the end of the line, Gateway, eMachines, and HP round out the last five systems. Coming in at number 10 is Gateway’s SX2800-03. This system actually packs quite a punch for price with the included Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 CPU. An appealing 4 GB of RAM is also included as is Intel’s GMA X4500 which seems to be standard on many of the budget systems as it is easily considered a run-of-the-mill video card. The eMachines similar mini-tower sized EL1331-03 takes the number 9 spot. Sporting an AMD Athlon 2850e CPU, and an NVIDIA GeForce 6150 SE video card, this system may appeal to those desiring some occasional gaming. HP enters the top ten with both the number 7 and 8 spots with the HP Pavilion p6310t, and the HP Pavilion Slimline s5300z. As a true budget PC, these systems include budget-line CPUs, the Intel Celeron Dual-Core E3300 on the p6310t, and the AMD Sempron LE3100 on the s5300z. Compared to those with higher end CPUs, these systems should guarantee a lower price-point at checkout. Of note, compared to the included Intel GMA X4500 on the p6310t, the included NVIDIA GeForce 6150 on the s5300z should offer much better graphics performance. Closing the second half of the top ten is the eMachines ET1810-03. As a previous generation system, this one contains once state of the art components such as Intel’s Pentium Dual-Core E2210, and the powerful NVIDIA GeForce 7050.
Kicking off the top 5 systems in the top ten are a set of Lenovo’s that for the most part differ in form factor. At number 5, the minidesktop Ideacentre Q700 features the slightly slower Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5200 compared to number 4 Ideacentre K300 mini-tower’s Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5300. As found on most of the other budget systems, the standard Intel GMA X4500 video card is ample enough for casual gaming and video playback. Dell makes an entrance at number 3 with it’s really cool looking Dell Inspiron Zino HD. This mini-desktop not only offers style, but a complete AMD chipset with high the high performance AMD Athlon 2650e CPU coupled with the ATI Radeon HD3200, a reputable and mid-range video card found on many sub-notebooks. Providing the biggest bang for the buck on the PC side of things is Gateway SX2800-01r. While some of the other systems may be found with slightly configurable options before puirchase, the SX2800-01r sells as it is and features a very power Intel Core 2 Quad Q8200 CPU along with the most RAM of any of the budget systems (much like the SX2800-03) – 4 GB.
Based on professional review and feedback, TopTenREVIEWS number 1 budget friendly computer is the Appla Mac Mini. This compact device includes impressive specs such as an Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 and a very powerful NVIDIA GeForce 9400M video card. The sum of all parts mac the Mini a great system, however, software and needs should be considered when deciding between a Mac or PC.
TopTenREVIEWS: Economy Computer 2010