A Celeron based machine with a small form factor case for those situations where you need to make the most of what little space you have. The choice of processors is somewhat limited and the specification generally seems a little less impressive than the Optiplex SX280, which is probably a safer bet.
NEC Powermate VL6
A good base specification. NEC will add in whatever additional components that buyers request.
Fujitsu Siemens Scenic E300/E620
A small form factor machine which can be fitted with the full range of Intel Pentium and Celeron processors, along with a wide choice of other components. Buyers have a choice of either Intel integrated graphics, or a high end Nvidia Quatro adapter.
Fujitsu Siemens Scenic P320
A mini-tower system with a wide range of options including various Nvideo GeForce graphics adapters for improved 3D performance. An optional smartcard reader can be fitted to provide additional system security.
HP Compaq DC5000 Range
A small form factor machine from HP which offers the full range of Intel processors and plenty of other component options. Various memory configurations can be selected and a hard drive of up to 160Gb can be installed.
RM Ascend 2000 PC
Based on Intel’s high end Pentium 4 with Hyper Threading Technology, this machine offers plenty of computing horsepower. The integrated graphics hardware might not be up to everybody’s expectations, but an advanced 3D adapter can be added if necessary.
HP Compaq DX6100 Range
A fairly standard mid to low end machine with a wide range of options. The precise nature of the graphics hardware is a little vague. HP offers the machine pre-installed with Windows XP or there is a Linux option available.
NEC I-Select D3610
Offers users the choice of two processors, the Sempron 3100 is sold as a budget chip but offers surprisingly good performance for its price. The Athlon 64 3400 however is a powerful 64 bit processor which will appeal to those who want serious computing horsepower.
Dell Dimension 5000
A small form factor PC which can be equipped with a Pentium 4 processor in speeds of between 2.8 and 3.6Ghz. A choice of graphics solutions is available, depending on how likely you are to need high performance 3D graphics.
HP Compaq DC5100 Range
A small format PC available with the full selection of Intel Celeron and Pentium processors. The integrated graphics system is about as good as you are likely to find in a low end PC, but will lag behind a dedicated graphics adapter.
Fujitsu Siemens Scenic N320
A flexible machine with plenty of component choices and lots of scope for further expansion thanks to a plentiful supply of internal slots and USB ports. Fujitsu Siemens also provides an impressive selection of additional security options.
Acer Veriton 3700G
A mid range machine based on a moderately fast Pentium 4 processor and 80Gb hard drive. Not many options available from the supplier, but plenty of room for expanding the machine.
Acer Veriton 7700G
Offers various Pentium 4 options in a tower case configuration. Not a particularly wide choice of features, but a reasonable enough base specification.
Mesh Elite B2/Plus
A mini-tower system which provide a wide choice of components, including the full selection of Pentium and Celeron processors. You get reasonably good integrated graphics as standard, or you can opt for a more powerful adapter if you need extra 3D performance.
HP Compaq DC7100 Range
A small form factor PC which can be set up as a micro tower or an ultra slim desktop, depending on your preferences. Plenty of component options, although you are pretty much stuck with the integrated GMA 900 graphics.
Dell Dimension 8400
A good midrange machine with a 17 inch monitor included in the price. Buyers have a wide choice of graphics adaptors, although as far as processors are concerned the choice is limited to a few slightly different versions of the Pentium 4 – those extra 0.6Ghz will make surprisingly little difference to most users.
Apple computers appeal to a very small niche in the overall market, so there is little else that can be said about the machines here, other than pointing out that you might want to consider the impressively tiny new Mac Mini as well as this model.
Fujitsu Siemens Scenic C620
Another small footprint machine. Can be fitted with various Celeron or Pentium processors, and the hard drive can be either a 40, 60 or 80Gb model. Fujitsu Siemens is also quite keen to point out the green credentials of their machines which use low-lead motherboards for easy recycling.
RM Expert 3000 PC
Based on the more powerful high end versions of the Pentium 4, this machine offers plenty of computing horsepower. The supplier specialises in the education market, and offers features such as hardscreen monitor to cope with the rigours of school life.
NEC Powermate ML7 – Good Value
Featuring the 3.0Ghz Pentium 4 processor and 512Mb memory as standard, this is an impressive mid to high end machine. It also features an 80Gb hard drive and uses the ATI X300 SE graphics adaptor which provides high end 3D performance.
IBM ThinkCentre A51/P
A mid range business machine from IBM, available in a range of different case formats and with a choice of Pentium processors. Included in the package is a selection of IBM software such as Lotus Notes, and SmartSuite.
An unusual looking machine that features a cunning integrated case with the flat screen monitor built in to save space. Available with a wide selection of processors and other components.
Dell Precision 370
A high end desktop which could function quite well as a powerful workstation if you selected the most powerful components on offer. Various processors are available, but the high end Pentium 4 Extreme Edition will provide an extra level of number crunching power if you plan to run resource hungry applications.
Mesh Elite B4/Plus
Features various Pentium 4 variants and comes with 512Mb as standard along with a whopping 250Gb hard drive. Various graphics options are available, depending on how much you need high performance 3D graphics capabilities.
Viglen Omnino LCD-PC – WORTH A LOOK
An impressively compact machine which squeezes all of the components into the base of an LCD flat panel screen. Despite occupying such a small space, the PC manages to offer quite a respectable specification, with a choice of processors rangingfrom a low end Celeron up to a 3.6Ghz Pentium 4.
Dell Precision 470
A high end workstation from Dell which provides the capacity for dual Xeon processors –these are very high end Intel parts which are usually found in large servers and other powerful computers. Expensive, and only really ideal for specialist applications rather than general business usage.
RM Expert 3050 PC
A high end desktop from education specialist Research Machines. A choice of powerful graphics cards are available for computer aided design and other graphics intensive applications.
IBM ThinkCentre M51
High end processing and storage options although the graphics hardware is rather mundane for this end of the market. The machine offers a single PCI Express expansion slot, which can be used for adding in a high end graphics adapter if necessary.
Viglen Genie Pro2
A single or dual Xeon workstation for high end applications. Not suited for running Word and Excel, but if you run high end CAD or development systems then this is the kind of system you should be looking at.
Fujitsu Siemens Scenic W620
A wide range of options available on this model. The quoted price is for a Pentium 4 with 1Gb of memory and a 160GB hard drive. Various graphics options are also available to choose from.
Mesh Elite B6/Plus
An expensive but high specification machine which includes a large 19 inch flat screen monitor in the price. Considering the price it seems a little stingy that integrated graphics are supplied as standard rather than a dedicated adapter, but the overall specification is impressive.
Dell Precision 670
A high end Xeon workstation with optional SCSI capability for high performance hard disk drives which run at 10,000rpm rather than the more usual 7200 or 5400rpm speeds found in standard PC hard drives.
IBM ThinkCentre S51
Although it features a good all round specification, the price for this IBM system seems somewhat high without any real justification – the same level of performance could be found in machines hundreds of pounds cheaper than this one.
Apple iMac G5
Apple’s mainstream desktop machine, loved by a small army of die hard fans and universally ignored by almost everybody else. Expensive compared to a PC, but that does not seem to matter to the Mac faithful who would not dream of using a Windows machine.
Apple PowerMac G5
A high end Mac for people who want a powerful computer but are too scared to use a PC. Widely used in the publishing industry, but not often found in many other offices.
A dual Xeon capable workstation for the education market. High end processing storage and graphics capabilities make this a specialist tool for design and development type applications.