Itâ€™s been a few months since our last PC round-up so with the new year approaching we felt it was time to look at another collection of computers. We wanted a machine that was well-rounded enough to cater for the whole family. With that in mind we asked the suppliers for a PC that focused on features rather than pure speed, with extras such as printers, gaming controllers or software bundles as welcome inclusions.
To keep the kids happy, we wanted a machine that would be great for games. We specified a 3D graphics card with no less that 128MB on board.
If your new year resolution includes keeping your partner happy, youâ€™ll also want a space-saving TFT display to keep the PC unobtrusive. We stated that a 15in panel was the minimum size allowed but did hope weâ€™d see larger displays.
With games, music, and video all eager to eat up all the available storage space, we wanted the systems to feature no less than an 80GB hard disk and a CD-RW drive as the basic removable storage device. Of course we were hoping to see larger hard disks and DVD writers.
Finally we wanted no less than 512MB of memory in the system as the price of RAM is relatively reasonable. This would ensure that even from the start performance with Windows XP wouldnâ€™t be compromised.
The big catch however was that we wanted all of this is a PC costing no more than Â£999 including VAT, delivery and any credit-card surcharges. After all, Christmas is likely to have made a large dent in your finances. You also want to be able to afford the real family essentials â€“ such as the games and DVDs youâ€™ll want to play on your incredible new system.
So to see which PC will keep you going for 2004 and possibly beyond, read on.