The Best Bargain PCs

At a Glance
  • Everex gPC TC2502

    PCWorld Rating
  • Mirus SITLC420

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Sub-$750 Desktops

Our value-system lineup included three different case sizes. The three compact models--from HP (the very smallest), Polywell, and Sys Technology--are all based on microATX motherboards. The Compaq and the eMachines units came as minitowers with microATX-based motherboards, and the other two models, from Acer and Dell, were midsize towers. As far as connectivity options go, the larger the case, the more ports you get, as you might expect. But even the smallest compact PCs here offer at least a handful of USB ports, so connectivity shouldn't be an issue--unless you need FireWire (not all of the models provided such a port as a standard feature).

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Sub-$1000 Laptops

These all-purpose notebooks have screens ranging from 14.1 to 15.4 inches in size. Most have 2GB of memory, at least 120GB of hard disk space, dedicated multimedia shortcut keys, and underpowered integrated graphics. All the models we tested include 802.11b/g wireless networking; the second-place Acer Aspire 5920-6954 was the only one to support draft-n Wi-Fi, and it also featured discrete graphics and an HD DVD-ROM drive. Additionally, the Acer and the Dell Inspiron 1525 sported HDMI connections--extras we didn't expect at this price point.

See our full reviews at these links:

At a Glance
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  • PCWorld Rating
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