Most helpful positive review
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Great for the Right User
on June 2, 2011
This USFF (Ultra Small Form Factor) is really 10 x 10 inch but pretty heavy. Seems like solid metal construction. No keyboard, mouse or WiFi though. No bloatware either. No VGA port, but comes with an adpater to change its DVI port to a VGA. This adpater sticks out so much that IMHO can break or bend the pins. So I'm using a DVI cable instead of the DVI to VGA adapter. But since DVI port is right next to the power supply inlet, its a pretty snug fit. For routine reliable office use, you'll appreciate the size, price & performance.
What's really surprising is the B-I-G external power supply. Its size is maybe a third the size of the PC itself and it is heavy. When the PC turns on you get a disconcerting alert message that says battery is low. You are prompted to press F1 to continue or F2 to setup. Initially I thought that the big heavy power supply probably has a battery in there and after charging, the low charge message will go away. But no, several days later I get the same alert every time. I don't know if it will be a problem later.
Of course this old PC's parallel and serial ports are useless nowadays. No PS2 ports here either. So you'll need either a USB keyboard/mouse or your own Bluetooth adapter if you want to use wireless keyboard & mouse. Initially I used a USB keyboard/mouse and now I'm using a Logitech wireless combo.
This PC is no slouch; boots fast, speedy hard disk. The graphics & video is good. The only software it comes with is the XP Professional and IE6. So, most people will probably download IE8, install WiFi adpaters, connect their own speakers, Likely other browsers, add ons, drivers for office peripherals, Microsoft Office, etc. etc. Point is, its going to be a while before being productive. Oh, it has VLC player and AVG anti virus (free version) dowloaded in case you want to install them. Unit runs cool and quiet. Several USB ports in rear, 2 USBs in front; audio ports in front too. No problems using 24 inch monitors 1920 x 1200 (not 1920 x 1080) resolution for nice multi-window work. I did test HD video too. Of course with 1200 vertical resolution, it leaves a dark narrow band of black. But for watching video, its not a big distraction. Also, with no HDMI port, the DVI port puts out the video and I use a USB based external speaker set for audio.
So, skimpy on peripherals & software, yes but seems like a commercial unit that will probably last. My office has had so many problems recently with laptops (HP, Lenovo, Compaq, Dell, Toshiba) - seems like I'm constantly replacing defective/mal functioning laptops. I'm through with laptops. I've been getting off lease corporate used desktops and so far they are holding up better and are better buys for a small office.
Update: I've tried to connect my digital 46inch LCD TV and it does not work. I connected the VGA cable from the TV VGA port to this PC's DVI-VGA adapter. PC boots, goes through windows usual screens (with MSoft Logos, sound, etc) but just before displaying the Windows screen with program icons, the screen goes dark. After a few seeconds, TV shows "no input signal" message. Oh, also, I've begun to get an annoying message that says I should download some MSoft software that will tell me if this copy of Windows is genuine or not!