Review Price free/subscription
PC Specialist Apollo HD2600 - PC Specialist Apollo HD2600
Rounding things out, the keyboard and mouse are the same models that I've seen on a couple of other systems recently. The Logitech Cordless Internet Pro set seems to be favoured chiefly based on the fact it must be the cheapest wireless set available. That said, the keyboard is adequate and the mouse does the job for everyday use. The only major problem is the lack of some kind of docking or charging mechanism, which necessitates having a constant supply of fully charged batteries to hand. And, without having any indication of battery level, this could be quite an inconvenience. Also, if you want to play games on this machine you'll probably want to invest in a better mouse.
As I would expect, this system did well in our testing with no one area proving a major bottleneck. As already mentioned, the graphics solution is not quite up to the level that someone who's really into gaming would want, but it will play all the modern 3D games currently available, you just might need to tweak the settings to get optimal performance.
Very little software is provided with the system, which in my opinion is no bad thing, so you'll probably want to invest in an office productivity suite and antivirus software when you get the system. Of course there are plenty of free options like AVG antivirus and the Open Office productivity suite so you shouldn't necessarily need to spend any more money.
What you do get is Nero CD/DVD burning software and Power DVD which enable you to use the DVD drive to its full potential. Most impressively, though, PC Specialist provides you with the original installation disc for the copy of Windows that ships with your computer, as opposed to the usual recovery disc that most machines ship with. This is great if you want to install a completely clean Windows build.
Warranty is one year return to base with the first month also covered by a free collect and return service. It's great to see this first month of extra cover because if a computer is going to go wrong it's most likely to happen within the first few weeks of use.
PC Specialist has put together a powerful system built with high quality internal components and housed in a decent chassis. The basic clean installation of software and having the actual Windows installation disc are also great for anyone that doesn't like their system bloated with added extras. What lets the package down, though, is the peripheral choices for this review sample - they simply aren't up to scratch. However, as nearly everything is customisable upon ordering, there is plenty of scope for creating just the right system.