Today's Best Tech Deals
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#8. eMachines eTower 366c (1999)
In 1999 eMachines zoomed from nowhere to become one of the top five PC vendors in the country, thanks in large part to its knack for selling full-fledged systems for peanuts ($399 sans monitor). Better yet, you could get the eTower 366c for "free" if you signed a three-year contract with a dial-up ISP (cost of the contract: $720 to $790). But consumers who thought they had snagged a great deal often got less than they bargained for--noisy fans, faulty power supplies, bad modems, and tech support that was missing in action.
Among other problems, some users reported their eTowers would simply turn themselves on in the middle of the night. Quality rebounded after the company changed ownership in 2001, and the company continued to improve after merging with Gateway in 2004. But when they first appeared, eMachines were simply eGregious.