novice needs new computer

  Richard Hillman 23:41 11 Jul 2004


a friend of mine is looking to buy a new computer (desktop i think) to use for accountancy work, word processing and internet predominantly but doesn't have a great knowledge of computers. can anybody recommend any pcs? i'm thinking a dell could be good for her as excellent customer service would be a very important factor. i presume she'd want it fairly future proof aswell.

thanks in advance, richard.

  spuds 00:57 12 Jul 2004

Dell are well recommended, and have a good presence in the commercial market, which should speak for the quality of the product.With Dell you have to look out for their special offers, usually in various media publications,good savings are usually offered with free delivery.

Mesh and Evesham have a presence within the PCA forum, so any problems can soon be remedied via this channel. Again, both companies and products have a good recommendation ratio.

For the 'see before you buy' approach, PC World carry a fair range, with help on hand should any problems arise.Staples and Office World carry a very small range of branded computers,and these are usually available on special offers.

So the market is really open, and the above suggestions should result in a price range of £399.00 upwards.

  rickimalone 11:47 12 Jul 2004

Yes i'd second the above post, if the computer is not going to be used for 3D gaming and things this resourse intensive then future proof brings on a new meaning.

Many business and academic institutions are still using upto 5 year old PC's as the gain from the latest PC's in terms of word processing and excel type account work, simply is not cost effective.

So I guess for you friend something AMD 2800+ or Intel 2.8ghz based with 512MB DDR RAM and 80GB+ Harddrive word suit there needs for years, there is no need to worry about the oncoming 64Bit age as windows XP would keep your friend in good sted for many years as no doubt windows 98 etc still keeps many people happy.

I dont need to add any PC compaines as the poster above has covered the main providers but purely as a technical point of vieww the above spec's would be fine for the tasks you have indicated and around the £400-£600 mark would be where they would be looking to spend, this should be about the right price and towards the £600 end should get you a nice TFT flat pannel screen.

  zootmo 14:40 12 Jul 2004

and non-gaming stuff your friends computer needs can be met very cheaply.Look for maybe four USB2 conns. plus firewire (for later easy connectivity to peripherals).Dell's reliability is well rated and Evesham's support is two years on site ,one year return to base for desktops. If your friend is going to be involved in extensive use of office apps then an external hard drive should be considered essential for easy backups Also obviously a firewall and anti-virus installed and configured before venturing on the net.The good news is that the whole lot will come to less than £500-£600.....good luck!

  Diodorus Siculus 15:01 12 Jul 2004

My only problem with Dell is the problems which can arise when it comes to upgrading - and your friend needs it to be "future proof" (whatever that might be nowadays).

  AndySD 17:59 12 Jul 2004

Have a look at Evesham click here they have been arround for some years now and have a good reputation and the support phone number is at a national rate.

  Richard Hillman 03:07 29 Jul 2004

thanks all for your replies i passed all your information on. i like the sound of the dell, mesh and evesham computers but my friend has taken a liking to the sony vaio v1 for £999 at pc world. can anyone give me any information on this? i realise it's a more expensive option but if she got the £200 printer&digital camera option thrown in would it be a good deal? (she'd probably go for the 3yr (£329)support package aswell bumping the price up to £1328).

...or should she just go for a dell?!



  carver 08:13 29 Jul 2004

If I can ad a word of advice about the PC world offer, don't do it. For the sort of money that she is talking about £1328 she can get a top end P/C from Mesh/ Evesham for a lot less with better specs and a 3 year warranty, if she needs a printer and digital camera she can get the ones she wants separately. I haven't seen the printer on offer at PC world but I presume it's a Lexmark, these are very expensive on ink, as for digital cameras, these are coming down in price all the time and £200 will buy her a very good spec one. Dell make very good P/Cs but as for future proofing I don't think there is such a thing in the P/C market, the only problem with Dells p/cs is that they tend to use unique hardware that can sometimes only be replaced by them, which can be expensive.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 08:46 29 Jul 2004

Irrespective of Carver's remarks, your friend would do a lot worse than PCWorld. £499/£599 will get an Emachine or Compaq + TFT that is more than enough for the job. Don't take up their offer of the firewall and AV, you can get free ones from here and I would have a rethink on taking the extended warranty.

The computer is guaranteed for the first year by law and by Europen law for a 'reasonable' amount of time after year one.

I have now bought over 35 Emachines/Compaqs from PCW...I speak from some experience.


  ouijaouija 09:36 29 Jul 2004

As I am on a budget, I noticed dixons, pcworld, currys are all selling reconditioned emachines. They seemed too good to be true, and I was right.

Go to and search "emachine complaints" There has to be hundreds of complaints about this US company.

After a little more research I found these computers also sold in supermarkets, stores like that in the dodgy is that?

I'm steering clear of these.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 09:55 29 Jul 2004

Look at any manufacturer and you will see a lot of complaints, Dell and Evesham figure quite prominently in complaints. You will find that many complaints are about the 32mb, W98 models; we are in 2004 now...suppose I must have been lucky then........

Why is selling a computer in a supermarket dodgy? Medions are sold in supermarkets. Emachines are Chinese. With unsubstantiated prejudices you will never get the correct machine.


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