Lenovo Vs. Dell? Win 7 vs. 8?

May 10, 2013 at 11:01:26
Specs: Windows 7, AMD QL-65/3 Gb
I don't know if this is the right forum, so forgive me, but I'm trying compare 2 All-In-One PC's to see which one is the better deal.

I bought a Dell 2320 All-In-One Desktop. I have to return it to BJ's by May 7th to avoid a restocking fee.

I just found a Lenovo All-In-One "weekly deal" on-line but it won't get delivered in time to do a side-by-side comparison before the Dell has to go back.

I'd like to list the relevant specs and get your opinions on which one you folks think is the better deal. I don't do any gaming, mostly web browsing, MS Office, streaming music and probably streaming video (Netflix, etc) since both of these units can handle that.

They both come with DVD drives, wireless, etc. so those items should be a wash. It's mostly about the memory, HDD and OS differences.

Any and all thoughts are welcome. Thanks!

Machine 1:

Dell 2320 All-In-One Desktop
I3-2120 3.30 Mhz processor
4 Gb RAM
1 Tb drive
23" monitor - Touch Screen enabled
Windows 7 Home Premium
Price: $699 at BJ's

Machine 2:

Lenovo B540 All-In-One Desktop
I3-3220 3.30 Mhz processor
8 Gb RAM
2 Tb drive
23" monitor - Non Touch
Windows 8 64
Price: $749 from Lenovo (Free shipping and free return shipping within 30 days)

It seems like the Lenovo is a better deal, but I've never used Win 8 (barely used Win 7!) and I don't know how much a non-touch screen for Win 8 will matter. I've played with the Dell's touchscreen a bit, but I don't see that I would be using it all that much for normal PC usage. However, I don't have enough time with the Dell machine to actually know that. Before you ask, No, the B540 is not upgradable to Touch Screen. I would need to spend about $1,000 more to get touch and that's just not happening.

Again, any thoughts and opinions on these 2 machines would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

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#1
May 10, 2013 at 11:38:10
23" monitor - Non Touch
Windows 8 64

The question of Windows 8 comes down to if you have a touch monitor or not. If not, avoid 8. If you somehow ended up with a $1000 tablet, congratulations, you're the target audience for Windows 8.

In all seriousness, given the specified usage I don't see any significant bottleneck from the listed hardware, so it comes down to the touch/non-touch and Win7/Win8. If it were me, I'd probably go with the Dell (it has touch, even if Win7 doesn't require it), and see where the upcoming Windows Blue goes.

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#2
May 10, 2013 at 11:51:24
Yeah but...

Doubling the RAM and doubling the storage is hard to pass up for $50 - even if I never use it. ;-)

Seriously, I hear what you are saying about the non-touch/Win 8 issue - that was the biggest red flag for me.

Do you forsee a upgrade path from 7 to Blue given that they are previewing Blue for Win 8 users (only) in late June?

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#3
May 10, 2013 at 12:30:04
I honestly don't know. MS has yet to say anything about pricing, other than they are going to price it.

Traditionally, they've only offered upgrade paths from the previous version, so if MS considers Blue to be a wholly new version of Windows, there probably won't be a direct upgrade path. If they consider it something closer to a service pack (think Win98SE), then yeah I can see it.

The Lenovo's biggest problem is lack of touch. Using Win8, and presumably Blue, without touch is like using WinXP without a mouse / track pad. It can be done, but that's not the designed interaction. If these weren't all-in-one machines, I'd say grab the Lenovo and pick up a new multi-touch monitor while you're in the store. RAM can be upgraded. HDDs can be upgraded. The display on these devices? Not so much.

As it is, I don't know how many simultaneous touch points the Dell can read (and Win8 requires at least 5), so the Dell might be as bad at Win8 as the Lenovo. You don't happen to have an unused copy of Win7 lying around, do you?

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#4
May 11, 2013 at 05:39:35
Personally, I'd stay away from "all-in-ones"

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#5
May 11, 2013 at 18:17:16
Personally, I'd like to know why you say that.

I'm sure you have some valid reasons...care to share them so I can learn something?

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#6
May 12, 2013 at 03:11:09
Nothing particularly wrong with modern all-in-ones. As with many things in computing because people had a bad experience with a particular technology at one point, they continue with the same biased view. Some of the original all-in-ones had problems because they were using desktop components in a small-form chassis - Sony had a horrible one that was an absolute pain, but new ones tend to be more like large laptops so the problems have generally gone away.

As far as the Dell/Lenovo/Win7/Win8 issue. I would really recommend you have a hands-on look at Win 8 - go to your local store & have a play if necessary. Win 8 has a few good things about it, and if you are prepared to tweak it then it is fairly useable with a mouse and hopefully when Microsoft bring out the first major update it will be improved further.

If it was me I would go for the Lenovo simply because it's a better spec. I'm still using Win 7 as my main desktop PC, but I have a touchscreen laptop with Win8 and I'm fairly happy, now I've got it set up to work as I want it to, to use it when I'm out & about and, to be honest, I rarely use the touchscreen function anyway.

"I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us..." Pink Floyd


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#7
May 12, 2013 at 06:48:56
johnr,

Thanks for the response. What do you mean by "prepared to tweak it"?

How would I know what to tweak and why? Is there a list of common tweaks that others have found to be most useful?

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#8
May 12, 2013 at 07:39:08
Yes, if you do a Google you'll find a number of different things that make Win8 more useable. One that I would not be without:

Start8: ($4.99) http://www.stardock.com/products/st... it gives you back the Start button & menu on the main desktop - I tried using WinKey and X but even though that is a great way to get to some useful tools, the start menu is still better. Also gives you an option to boot straight to the desktop rather than the 'touch' UI

After that it's a case of tweaking - by default your browsers will open in the main UI - they lose a lot of functionality so have them open on the desktop by default - under 'settings' in both Chrome and IE you get the option.

Run netplwiz if you want to logon automatically. Incidentally, again by default, Win8 wants you to use a Microsoft logon every time you run it - create a local account instead.

Install your own email app - the Windows 8 one is abysmall - Windows Live email runs quite happily.

Check the settings of the mouse/touchpad, this will vary between systems - it's very easy to accidentally swipe it and find yourself on the main UI when you don't want to be.

There are more but that's all I can think of for now. As I say, do a Google for 'making Windows 8 work' or similar & you'll find many to choose from depending on your needs.

"I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us..." Pink Floyd


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#9
May 12, 2013 at 18:54:17
Thanks for the info. I'll add that to the gazillion others things to consider as I choose a new system.

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