£1000 to spend on desk top for parents.....any sug

  yorkshirehelen 19:32 28 Oct 2009

My mum and dad who have never had a PC are finally agreeing to buy a desktop. Can anyone recommend any good brands? I don't know where to start. I've got a DELL but they need to see one in a store really. Any thoughts on Sony Vaio?


  canarieslover 19:50 28 Oct 2009

Start off by deciding what they might want to do with a PC. If it is going to be the usual web browsing, e-mail, the occasional letter and to perhaps edit a few photos then there is no need to spend anywhere near what you are proposing. Yes, the Vaio will do all these things but be so much like taking the 'sledgehammer to crack a nut' approach. You can get a computer to thoe tasks adequately and still have change out of half that amount.

  yorkshirehelen 20:13 28 Oct 2009

Thanks Canarieslover for your reply. I see what you mean as emailing, surfing the net and basic word processing will be about all they need a PC for, seems excessive spending a grand. Sony was their suggestion cos they know its good name. Currently looking at deals on PC world website but not much idea if which brands are the best: ACER, HP, COMPAQ, PACKARD BELL.

Any comments anyone?

  wee eddie 20:54 28 Oct 2009

Can you take them into a PC World to have a look around? Everything is suitable.

If they've never PC'd before, then I suggest a Mac. Very much better for beginners and all the Software they'll ever need is included.

Don't forget that they might want a Printer/Scanner. But warn them of the potential cost of materials. If you say that Black & White is 10p to 15p a page and Colour at 30p a page, with Photos (on their Special Paper) coming out at about £1.00 a page. They will then be happy to find out ways of reducing their costs, rather than finding out the cost, after they've printed 15 copies of a Thank-you Letter.

  birdface 07:57 29 Oct 2009

£1000 is a bit over the top for a first computer.
I would go for something far cheaper if they have not used one before.
Maybe have a look in E-Buyer or Amazon you should be able to pick up something for less than £500.
If you decide to go to Pc World do not let them talk you into buying extra programs for the computer.
or have a look in the stores to see if they see anything that they like and then try the Internet to see if they can get it cheaper on there.
£1000 should get you a good Desktop and a good laptop that way they have the use of both at the same time.

  BT 08:43 29 Oct 2009

I recently bought an HP Compaq from Tesco to keep us going when I had big problems with my main PC.
Its a small format tower about 12" square
It has a very nice 20" WS monitor
160gb HD
1gb Ram
DVD/RAM Lightscribe Drive
Intel Atom Processor

Not the best spec in the world but it runs MS Office and Photoshop CS2 (and lots of other software) without any problems.

and the cost - just £289

  BT 08:44 29 Oct 2009

..and it came with XP!

  Big L 266 15:34 29 Oct 2009


I would suggest you only take them around a PC World store to get them to see a working computer and get a basic overview of how it works.

Once they've decided what they want, leave the store and buy it anywhere but PC World. They're only good at selling things and little else. Many of us in here have had bad experiences of PC World so-called 'aftercare'.

Avoid them like the plague.

I went with Dell after the 3 month hassle I had to get my money back. I have been pleasantly surprised at the kindness, courtesy and efficiency of Dell from the word go. It was a pleasure to deal with a firm who helped this older 'silver surfer' get going again.

Ahh - Windows XP BT! Another era!

Big L 266

  wee eddie 15:59 29 Oct 2009

Some here have had bad experiences at PCW.

However, 10's of thousands of people have had perfectly normal Purchase Experiences and if you were to specify any other Retailer or Manufacturer, there would be a group that had had bad Purchase and Aftercare Experiences.

Considering the volume of Goods that PCW shifts, they actually have a very 'good' record. I have never had a problem with PCW and my only experience with Tech Guys, was without blemish.

  john bunyan 17:34 29 Oct 2009

From my experience, back ups are important as one day something will happen to your main hard drive. I would go for a second (slave) hard drive. Also Windows 7. Please budget to buy a good router, Acronis True Image version 13, and get used to using it to clone and/ image the main drive. An external USB hD is also useful as a second back up. I think free Firewall, anti virus and anti malware are fine - see forums for reccomendations.
Others will comment on which hardware!

  VOT Productions 19:27 29 Oct 2009

Nettop or Netbook fits in here.

Pick up a PC Advisor mag and go to the Test Centre (last pages) and go to netbooks

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