Most helpful positive review
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Returned original PC; replacement seems fine
on July 10, 2014
This will be returned tomorrow because it appears to be defective. When its replacement arrives I'll probably revise the 3-star rating, up or down.
About three hours after setup I was using the mouse while online and the screen went black, then the "Windows is starting up" screen appeared, then the "Welcome" screen, then the "Logging off" screen. This was occurring in a kind of loop. The screens were coming and going quickly and I just sat back and watched the show for about four cycles, then shut off the machine.
This afternoon, the monitor would go black after a very short period of time. Thinking it might be doing a sleep mode I tried to change it in Control Panel / Power Options, but Power Options were greyed out and "not available" to me. Something about a "handle".
Two online chat sessions with Dell, and then a 2-hour phone tech support call, didn't remedy the situation. Giving credit where it's due, the rep was tenacious about finding a fix.
So the tower goes back tomorrow and I've requested a replacement. When that comes and setup is complete, I can revise the 3-star rating up or down. Right now I'm assuming the best, i.e., these issues are an anomaly and the replacement will be fine. (My husband's Windows 7 system has none of those issues.)
There are pros: The compact size makes sense. (Old desktops were big boxes filled with mostly empty space.) It's quiet. It's Dell and we've had excellent luck with many of their systems. It has Windows 7 so I could load my antique MS Office 2003 programs.
The cons: The CD/DVD tray is vertical so when a disk is inserted, gravity kicks in and the disk doesn't seem to be stable.
UPDATE 7/14/14: I had intended to return the replacement today. Received replacement PC on 7/12; did setup on 7/13. As before, setup was easy. I was thrilled when both issues on the first system were fine with this one. Then I tried to install programs. The CD/DVD drive was defective. When MS Office Suite CD was inserted there was no auto run; it did nothing. In Explorer file manager, the drive read as empty. Tried to play music CDs; none would play. Launched Media Player to see if they were recognized; they weren't.
I laid the tower on its side so the CDs would be horizontal. Tested 7 or 8 discs, both musical and data. For some reason it played Johnny Cash -- but no others -- and wouldn't play Johnny Cash a second time.
I requested a refund from Amazon and printed labels, etc. Then, this morning I turned it on to uninstall the antivirus I'd loaded yesterday to prepare for packing. First, just for kicks, I tried the CD drive... and it worked fine. Every CD played fine; my Office program loaded fine. I'll test it for a week or two and may end up not returning. It seems like a good unit and if no other glitches, will keep it.
Regarding the first issue when Control Panel/Power Options weren't available, per the internet this is common. A "fix" is not consistent, and sometimes never happens. Some have fixed it by disabling/uninstalling Bluetooth or Roxio software. If Samsung, disable their "fast start" function. Some uninstall some battery option, shut down the system, and when it reboots the battery is restored automatically and the Power Options are available. Some go deep into the registry and make changes in DOS, which I would never attempt. Often, once "fixed", the next time the system boots the problem reappears. Saw same complaint about systems by Dell, Samsung, HP, and Lenovo. Sounds like computer companies are loading systems with programs and options, but they don't bother to test to see what impact that will have on the overall functionality of Windows.
Per the Dell Rep, the system should be shipped with two CDs: (1) operating system, and (2) drivers. Neither of mine had CDs enclosed. (Loses 1/2 star.)
Also note that if you'll want/need Dell support in the future, you'll need to contact them and do a Transfer Of Ownership from Amazon to yourself. No big deal; I just wouldn't have known. There is absolutely ZERO documentation/information included. (Loses 1/2 star.)