In the electronics world, we have a tendency to equate high cost with high quality. But as computers become faster and cheaper, there are fewer and fewer compelling reasons to break the bank on your next desktop computer. The Dell Inspiron 570 is out to prove that. With its price tag of $279.99, it is the absolute cheapest Dell desktop you can buy as of now (not including refurbished models). But is this enough computer for your needs? Read the full review to determine if you are getting a good deal or skimping too much by buying a Dell Inspiron 570.
The base configuration of the Dell Inspiron 570 comes with an AMD Sempron 150 2.7 Ghz processor. True, the standard these days is a multi-core processor—a dual core processor at the minimum. But for everyday computing, the single core AMD Sempron is more than enough.
The primary benefit of a dual core processor is better performance while multitasking. But typical users won’t likely have anything more than a web browser and perhaps a word processor open at any given time. Choosing the AMD Sempron processor will not be prohibitive by any means—but if you want a bit more power when multitasking, pay the extra $40 for the AMD Athlon X2 Processor. The upgrade is definitely worth the money, but not a necessity.
The Dell Inspiron 570 comes with Windows 7 Home Premium edition. Don’t bother upgrading for $100. The main thing you’ll be missing with Windows 7 Home Premium is the XP Mode that’s included in the Professional version. This may be necessary for older business applications, but the other features you forgo by choosing Home Premium won’t be missed.
The price tag on the Dell Inspiron 570 is somewhat deceptive—it doesn’t come with a monitor. That, unlike the dual-core processor upgrade, is a necessity if you want to use your computer for anything other than holding doors open. If you have a monitor from your old computer ,that’ll work just fine. Otherwise, you can get a passable 18.5 inch VGA HD monitor for $130.
The base configuration comes with 2 GB of RAM in a single unit. Don’t bother upgrading unless you got the multi-core processor upgrade. Also, if you decide down the road that you do want that extra RAM, buying and installing RAM yourself is one of the cheapest and easiest computer upgrades you can do at home.
The Dell Inspiron 570 comes with a 500 GB hard drive. According to Dell’s calculations, each 100 GB is enough space to hold 28,400 photos or 12 hours of HD video. With that size hard drive, you aren’t likely to ever run out of space—especially if you are even marginally conscientious about removing old files and programs.
The Dell Inspiron 570 doesn’t come with speakers, which is kind of a drag. Again, you can use the speakers from your old computer or buy some from Dell for about $99. If you don’t care about sound quality at all, you can find an even cheaper pair of USB-powered speakers for $20 or less at any big box store.
The Dell Inspiron 570 is more than enough computer for everyday computing and business use. It comes with Office 2010 Starter (which includes reduced functionality versions of Word and Excel with ads), which is sufficient for writing reports and making simple spreadsheets. The only limitation you may encounter is with gaming—but by choosing the upgraded processor and investing in a GPU or video card, you can likely run some of the more demanding 3D games as well.