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This review is from: Dell D2015H Black 20" VA Panel Widescreen LED Backlight LCD Monitor 250 cd/m2 3000:1
Pros: Seems to work OK without any fiddling.
Cons: Drivers are not 100% compatible with Windows XP.
Other Thoughts: This monitor was purchased to replace a worn out Dell monitor on an existing Windows XP PC. I don't know why but the INF file for this monitor is not digested well by Windows XP. It works but not without complaints every time you boot.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: These little HP biz machines are generally bullet-proof, and quiet-running too. The 8000 series has a slightly better power supply and more USB ports than the DC7900s which are also popular refurbs. Also lots of legacy equipment capability with two serial ports (great for hams, networking and PC support folks) and a PCI slot in addition to three PCIe slots. Even a parallel port! The 4GB of RAM was supplied on 2 sticks leaving another 2 open for upgrades. The OS is Win7-64 Pro, thanks! The HD is supplied with a Windows recovery partition.
Cons: No recovery media supplied, and I really wish these machines would be supplied with DVD writers. The power cord included looked really dirty and chewed up. Java is pre-installed. It is rarely needed for anything and is a giant security hole, comparable only to Flash in making web browsing a perilous adventure. The relatively ancient Hitachi HD is noisy during seeks and can quite literally sound like a vibrator when doing random I/O intensive things like installing OS updates. If you want to install a drive or card reader in that little 3.5 inch position, you'll want a set of those Compaq panhead screws or something very close. And when I was done putting in all the Microsoft software updates I noticed that IE's "Meet your new browser" tab would not go away. Had to screw with the policy settings via GPEDIT.MSC to get rid of it.
Other Thoughts: NewEgg's free shipping services never cease to amaze me. I ordered this PC on Saturday and it arrived on the dinner-time UPS truck on Monday. Technically that was less than one day shipping. Then the card reader I ordered moments before the PC wasn't scheduled to arrive (from a warehouse that is 30 miles closer) for another five days but showed up less than a day later.
This is another US Micro refurb (my second one so far) with a flimsy keyboard (with giant old-skool [Enter] key) and an optical mouse that actually isn't bad at all. Some light scratches on one side where the prior user must have had it resting in the floor, and where I inevitably will do likewise. No dents. Most of the dust had been blown out and the machine was generally clean. Nothing needed re-seating. There was a stray little piece of plastic floating around inside which didn't look like anything that could have come from the PC itself.
The machine feels fairly snappy in spite of the relatively pokey 7 year old (!) Hitachi Ultrastar HD. Yeah, just wait until you try to defrag it. LOLz. Part of the snappiness is the blissful lack of bloatware. It does install Microsoft Security Essentials right away but I consider that a good thing.
OpenOffice 4.01 is pre-installed as well as a program called CDBurnerXP, which would do most of what you would want to do with an optical media writer, if you replaced the DVD reader that the machine came with. A package of codecs - Combined Community Codec Pack - is also installed. Win7 comes with most of what you should ever need but this fills in a few holes if you download a lot of videos from various places. Speaking of downloading, 7-Zip is also included which not only handles ZIP files but RAR, etc. An $8 Tek Republic flash reader from NewEgg and a DVD burner from my stockpile will make this a nearly perfect all around machine.
If you're thinking of making this into a media center PC, the good news is that it has more than enough horsepower to handle even the highest bitrate videos. The bad news is this PC like many in the HP business line does NOT support audio out of the Displayport connector. If this is crucial I suggest an efficient half-height video card such as the PowerColor HD5450 which after rebates is quite nearly free through NewEgg.
Pros: Inexpensive. Handles everything I've thrown at it.
Cons: Cheap. Flimsy.
Other Thoughts: There have been many complaints about the bright red LED which is lit all the time. This is correct. This also takes just a moment or two to remedy. The case comes apart without tools and the faceplate comes off just as easily. The LED is on the circuit board. You can put a piece of black tape over the surface mount LED on the bottom side of the circuit board, or you can coat the inside part of the little translucent plastic piece on the faceplate with some nail polish. Easy!READ FULL REVIEW