The £250 Challenge: Vote for the High Street
To recap: after quite a lot of legwork up and down Tottenham Court Rd and copious use of the magic phrase (“What’s your best price on this?”) it soon became obvious that getting a desktop PC with a monitor, as required by the £250 Challenge – wasn’t possible for £250. I could have managed £280, but not £250. So in the end I went for an Acer Aspire laptop. Alas, it wasn’t brand new, but reconditioned by Acer and on offer for £250 on the dot. Given that the original selling price was £399, I was pretty chuffed with the deal. The picture above is the actual laptop – isn’t it pretty?
So how does it measure up to the other machines in the challenge? Well I don’t want to be negative about my lovely colleagues, but this is a contest so the gloves are off: frankly the competition is a bit feeble.
David Bayon put together a capable but slightly dull PC – without a monitor. Alongside him, Mike Jennings put together a capable and slightly insane PC – without a monitor.
There’s clearly no point in a PC without a monitor. They both might as well have put together a system without a hard drive. It’s just daft and clearly doesn’t represent a full, working PC. The challenge wasn’t to buy a base unit, it was to buy a complete PC, which they have patently failed to do.
So as far as I’m concerned, my only competition is Darien’s Ebay-sourced system, which came not only with a monitor but also speakers and a multifunction device (albeit one with a piece of plastic broken off it).
Trouble with Darien’s machine, though, is that aside from whatever statutory protection he has in buying from Ebay, the machine essentially has no warranty. My laptop, on the other hand, is guaranteed by Acer for a year.
And that’s got to be worth more than a cheap printer and set of speakers.
Plus, of course, it’s a laptop. And that means it’ll go anywhere. And it has a wireless adapter. And a modem. Which none of the other machines have.
So it’s more flexible, better equipped and has a guarantee that none of the other PCs can match. The others will be putting their case on the blogs soon, but why wait – I clearly got the most PC for £250 and you should vote for me. And if you do you might even win the laptop itself.
If you’re fortunate enough to be living in the UK, you can pick up the latest issue of PC Pro – complete with The £250 Challenge feature – at any good newsagent until the 15th of April. This month’s issue also includes group tests on laptops from as little as £304 (the “netbook killers” shown on the front), motherboards and over 50 CPUs. Other highlights include a guide to setting up a no-risk web business and our step-by-step guide to exploring the stars from your PC.