Q: I have a Microsoft Windows XP desktop computer. It is 9 years old ... still works, but I would like to update.
I like the feel of a desktop (used mostly for searching the Net, e-mail, burning CDs) but do not want the wires, speakers, etc., that come along with it.
I would appreciate your opinion on the Dell Vostro 330 all-in-one desktop and the HP all-in-one desktop with Intel Core i5 2300 processor.
I would also appreciate your thoughts on a laptop (I like a bigger screen) for those times I would like to go on line, but from another place other than my desk.
A: I can see why you like all-in-one computers, Jeannine. They attach the computer to the back of the monitor for a sleek look that gets rid of the tower that usually hides under the desk.
And I can see why you like the Dell Vostro 330, which is a business computer; business machines usually pack more processing punch than consumer models, and they usually aren't bloated with trial offers for antivirus software and other programs that you don't need or want. What they lack in frills they make up for with bang for the buck.
Not sure what HP model you're comparing here, but the Vostro's 23-inch display will be bigger than the 20-inch display on comparably priced HPs, so that's a plus for the Dell since you prefer bigger screens. No matter what machine you get, buy the most RAM you can afford. That will make a bigger difference than processor speed. And for what you plan to do, any processor speed will get the job done.
When it comes to laptops, keep in mind that the bigger the screen, the more that puppy's going to weigh. That won't matter if the computer's sitting on a desk, but it will make a huge difference if you're using it on your lap. The weight and the heat might become uncomfortable.
Large-display HP laptops get high marks from Consumer Reports in its fall Electronics Buying Guide. The 15.6-inch, $600 HP Pavilion DV6-3225DX is a Consumer Reports Best Buy, as is the similar-size HP G62-373DX. Consumer Reports likes the 17.3-inch, $600 Dell Inspiron 17Ri3 as well, but it weighs 1.5 pounds more than the HP models. If your laptop won't spend a lot of time on your lap, that one just might be the one for you.
No matter your choice, get the maximum amount of RAM for best performance.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times