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141 of 144 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2014
I waited a bit to write this review, as I wanted to test the computer out. I got it as a gift for my girlfriend, so I only get to use it on the weekends. I was shopping for an i3 computer for her and was pleasantly surprised to find this i5 computer for the same price as an i3. I got it for $449 and it's only gone up a little to $479 (I believe). Great price. It was easy to set up and runs fast and quiet. I was pleased to find that, although it said it came with Windows 8, it actually came with 8.1, which allows you to convert this to practically a Windows 7 style computer, for those who don't want to use the tiles. Since this is a desktop computer, I'm assuming that most of you want the classic style and not the tablet style. It's very easy to do by using the following article I got from an IT friend. To find it, just Google "ITPro Windows 8.1 Tips and Tricks". Use the tips in this article and, bingo, you have a Windows 7 computer.

If you're using a different virus software than the McAfee that comes with this, make sure to uninstall McAfee and install your program of choice (I had an open slot for Norton Internet Security so I just went to the website and downloaded it from my account to this computer). Then I went to see if there were necessary Windows updates and there were none. If you want to use Microsoft Office 365 trial version that comes with this computer, fine. Just follow the instructions to activate it. That is an online version of office and you pay about $100 a year, so we didn't want that. I purchased Office 2013 Home and Business (as my girlfriend uses Outlook) and installed it with the key code I got. You have to make sure to uninstall the trial Office 365, first, or it will not work, as it will think the key code is for the trial Office 365 and not the one you are installing. There was no problem with the monitor, keyboard or mouse I connected, even though they were old models. It recognized them automatically. I did the printer last, as I wanted the full HP Solution Center, so I went to HP online and downloaded the complete package, plugging in the printer at the prompt.

Everything went smoothly. Using the tips from the link I gave you, I set it up to boot to the desktop and not the tiles. Then I went to the store (which is in the tiles view) and got a free classic Start button that works just like the Windows 7 Start button (in desktop view, there is no Start button until you get one from the Store). Then I got my libraries back, as the article tells you to. For you XP users, the libraries is simply the Windows 7 version of My Documents, except that it has its own folder-looking icon in the lower left of your taskbar, and separates My Pictures, My Music, My Videos and Documents into separate libraries. Once you get used to it, you actually like this separation better. Also, be aware that if you use Outlook, once you install it and import your Outlook.pst file from your backup, it automatically stores your root Outlook pst file in the Documents section, so you never have to back it up on your computer. Just back up your documents onto an external drive and Outlook is automatically backed up. Set your default programs to be the programs in the classic desktop version, which are different programs from the tiles view (Windows Media Player, Photo Gallery, etc.) so when you click on a file it doesn't switch you to the tiles view. Do the other few hints in the article and you're all set to go. You basically have a Windows 7 computer. It works great.

As it doesn't come with a terrific graphics card I wouldn't necessarily recommend this computer to a heavy gamer. I would think a heavy gamer would want a one Gig dedicated NVidia or AMD Radeon graphics card. That said, a couple of reviewers have said, in answering the question, that it was fine for heavy gaming, as is. The card it comes with is an integrated Intel HD Graphics 4600. So you decide. Anyway, this is a great computer for just about anybody, even heavy multi-taskers. Go for it while the price is still so good. And look at the comments to Techie 1. One person has a link to whatever documentation you need - diagram with specs, user's manual and quick startup guide. Get this computer and have fun!!! Oh, one little thing - the USB3 ports are in the back, a bit of an annoyance if you have a USB3 backup drive and back it up every week. There are 2 USB2 ports in the front (as well as in the back next to the USB3) which we use, so for us that's not an issue - and it backs up fast, even with USB2.

New comment: It's about 3 months, now, and still no problems with this computer. Still running great. It's at $499 this week, which it is when Amazon has it in stock. Still a good price. Remember, it's easy to make it run like a Windows 7 computer. You don't have to pay extra for Windows 7. Oh, I forgot to mention that, although it comes with a CD/DVD burner, I didn't see the burning software in the desktop programs. So I simply went to the store in the tiles view and downloaded a free one. You can always get to the tiles view by clicking on the Windows icon in the lower left of the taskbar. You can get back to your desktop view by clicking on the tile that says desktop. It's easy to go back and forth from one to the other.

Additional Comment: I see from other reviews, and from researching on the Internet that there is another way to restore the classic view. You can download the Classic Shell Start Button. It is actually mentioned in the article I gave you as one of the start buttons you can download. But I didn't see it in the store, so I got Classic Start 8 Button, which I find completely acceptable. To get the Classic Shell Start Button, just Google it, to get to the site, and download it. I saw it on a friend's computer and, frankly, prefer the method I used and the Start Button I chose. Classic Shell, although it does some of the steps in the article all in the one download, gives a different view of the libraries and Control Panel than I am used to. It also takes away the Windows icon in the lower left, which allows you to toggle over to the tiles view. You can still get to the tiles view by moving your cursor over to the upper right-hand corner to get the charms side bar. But this is a bit tricky and I like the icon at the bottom. So if you want the classic view, you can choose your method.
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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2014
I was able to pull this from the box, set it up, and be online checking email and doing all of my basic web surfing within an hour or so.

I had to scratch my head a couple of times with Windows 8 having run XP pro for the past several years, but I've encountered no difficulties with it that I couldn't solve with a little experimenting or a quick search.

I'm by no means a techie but was able to transfer all of my documents and music easily with a flash drive.

The speed is everything I'd hoped for and video's play smoothly and reliably.

Very happy with this PC.

Oh, and quiet? This PC is absolutely SILENT.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2014
My Dell came with no instructions, but hooking up all the connections was a simple matter. I do have basic computer knowledge, so that did help. Then, I turned on the power and was instantly delighted. Every single device I'd connected worked perfectly from the first minute. This is, apparently, one of the big benefits of an upgrade to the newer Windows operating systems. My old computer was running Windows XP and I was running into problems more and more often.

Windows 8.1, loaded on the new Dell does take some getting used to. Finding files and programs is, at first, a bit daunting. I had to call Microsoft at one point for some help. The tech there was wonderful and told me I was not the only customer who had to call to figure out the new operating system.

All that aside, my Dell is blazing fast at loading Internet sites, my programs, and any apps I may have added. I'm still learning to work in the Windows 8.1 interface, but my computer itself works like a charm. It has plenty of ports to add accessories and a huge hard drive to handle all the files I may need.

This is a great desktop computer at a great price.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2014
This system is great! It's well configured with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM (more than enough for most) and a large TB drive. It's standard size case is a benefit in my opinion as it leaves room for upgrades in the future. As always, Amazon shipping was quick (I purchased from Amazon directly) and it met and exceeded my expectations. Don't let Windows 8.1 deter you. It's not as bad as most people make it out to be.

I would encourage anyone who does not like the new Windows 8 interface to install Classic Shell [...]. It will add the start menu back for you and allow you to setup the system just like older versions of Windows but with the performance enhancements of Windows 8!
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2014
If you plug it in and fire it up, it's great. It ships with Windows 8 Home. Its a great value.

PROS:
Easy to setup
Fast
Inexpensive
Quiet
built-in wireless N and bluetooth
Onboard Video Card supports VGA and HDMI

CONS:
few expansion slots (only 1 PCI-E)
only 2 memory slots
Video Card is just okay
no RAID support
Windows 8 Home doesn't let you downgrade to Windows 7
BIOS lacks granularity
There is very little documentation for this model on Dell's website that means:
[...]

* Its hard to find the drivers or even to get details regarding the hardware if you install another OS
Doesn't ship with Installation media, there is no restore partition and there is no product key printed on the computer (anywhere)
* That means you'd better have a way to back up the OS. Window 8 doesnt offer a "create system image" option either.
The computer is pretty picky about the hard drive it will accept.
* I figured I'd just pull the Hard drive, stick in another one I had laying around, install Windows 7 from a disk and clone the original drive once I got Winodws 7 up and running.
* The computer didn't recognize my hard drive (any of the ones I had laying around which were all 7200rpm 1TB SATA drives)
* I had to enable legacy boot in the BIOS and then even after I reenabled it and booted from the hard drive it came with, I had a message at the bottom of the screen stating that my Windows 8 installation was invalid.
* I couldn't get the thing to recogize any hard drive other than the one it came with so eventually, I just installed Windows 7 right over top of 8. Obviously if and when I decide to upgrade, I will have to purchase a new license (for all of the aforementioned reasons)
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2014
I've had the computer for a couple of days and find it reasonably fast. I use programs like InDesign 5 which takes some computer power.

The hard drive appears to be big enough and quick enough although I only have filled about a fourth of it. Lots of empty bays to add more hard drives, etc.

Not a five star because of Windows 8.1. Seriously thinking about buying Windows 7 and installing it. Strongly recommend looking to see if you can get 7 instead of 8.1.

Expect to get rid of various trash which Dell has included trial versions of in the hope of you buying it but I freely admit that they did not make it difficult to get rid of the trash.

Additional comments on Windows 8.1: If you haven't read it, the review by Safir is very relevant. I have been slowly removing the more aggravating parts of 8.1 out but I think that MICROSOFT should have given the user the option to use the standard WINDOWS 7 interface instead of 8.1 for those who do not need touch screen ability.

The computer itself I would give 5 stars. In two weeks the price has jumped to $569. Very happy that I bought it at $498(?). This suggests that you should check frequently since prices change in significant numbers very quickly.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2014
seems like a good little computer. i'm not gaming or doing anything too demanding on it. works well out of the box. not too much documentation, but if you've every set up a computer before, you shouldn't need it. it does come with windows 8.1 which is the worst os windows has come up with, imo. besides the os, it's good. 2 usb 3.0 jacks and i think 6 usb 2.0 (4 back 2 front), hdmi, card reader, cd/dvd drive. i wanted an hp but none of the hps had an hdmi so i settled on this one. so far no complaints.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 16, 2014
I currently have a dell computer with windows 7. I use internet explorer which has all of my favorite websites stored and I also use Mozilla with my favorite bookmarks stored. After purchasing this computer, I found windows 8.1 easy to use. Once I found the "desktop" application, I pinned my favorite browsers to the task bar and it is just like windows 7. Windows 8.1 has several applications/apps which can be helpful and save time. I pinned the applications that I use most often to the start page and unpinned all the other useless apps from the start page. After reading all of the horror stories about windows 8, I was considering downloading Classic Shell software to make it operate like Windows 7 but found out it was not necessary. The dimensions of this computer are incorrect on all websites that I searched before purchasing. It is 17 5/16" in length, 7 3/16" wide, and 14 5/8" high.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2014
Cant write to much as i do not understand alll specs but for my everyday needs this is a great piece at a great price
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2014
It includes a mouse and keyboard, although not listed by Amazon.
It is totally mfg. in China/Mexico. It works fine with my 8 yr. old monitor that came with Vista.
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