Kelly's Getting A New
As far as Gateway is concerned, every Gateway we've had the opportunity to see or work on (back in our "computer repair person" days) was slow because they were really overloaded with pre-installed software (even more than Dell and about the same as HP/Compaq). In all fairness to Gateway it's been several years since we've worked on one or even used one. But in talking to a computer tech I know, he informs me his opinion of Gateway is about the same as ours. Not very good. And, for the most part, they're overpriced.
HP/Compaq computers are over-priced and they suffer from Nortonitis. Nortonitis is a computer-borne disease named after Norton (Symantec) software products - which are generally bloated, consumer-unfriendly, and sometimes barely compatible with the operating system for which they were created. While HP/Compaq's customer service appears to have improved, we can't say much for their computer. HP/Compaq computers do not come with Windows CD (at least not the ones we've seen). They come with a "Restore" disk. Not good. Many people swear by HP/Compaq - if you've had one and been satisfied with it, that's great. Our opinion of them is not that good.
Actually, we've heard good things about the new E-Machines. E-Machines is a company that nearly went broke a few years back. Now they've apparently made a commitment to improving quality and they've stopped using low-end component inside their computers. For a low-priced, low-end computer, E-Machines provide a lot of bang for the buck. But, they come with a lot of (read: OVERLOADED WITH) pre-installed software, and the ones we've looked at do not come with a Windows CD-ROM. They come with a "Restore" disk. Not good. Expect to pay around $600.00 for decent "E-Machines" computer.
Alienware provides top of the line computers if you have money to burn. Alienware is the choice of demanding gamers. Even if you're not a gamer, you can be sure that extreme gaming computers are very powerful and very robust machines. If you want to spend a lot of money for a very top-quality computer, you might want to consider Alienware. Expect to pay about $1600.00 or more for decent Alienware computer. Most Alienware computers are not over-loaded with software and do include a full Windows CD-ROM. (Late addition- We've just learned that Alienware computers, arguably the best computers you can buy, are now available from Dell.com.)
More important, though, than brand name, is what's inside. Here are a few things you should consider when buying a new computer:
1. Get the new Intel "Intel®
Core 2 Duo"
processor if you can afford it. However if you don't need a super-computer
you might be able to find a real bargain on slightly older Pentium 4 computers
right now. Intel phased out the "Pentium" processors this past summer and is
now offering "Intel® Core 2 Duo" processors.
We hope this helps you Kelly - and we hope it helps any of you thinking about getting a new computer now or during the Christmas season. (Yes, we said "Christmas"!)
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