Compaq's budget desktop will do the job, but others do it better

If you're buying a budget computer, it's worth your time to look into the Compaq Presario SR5610f desktop. It's not far off from a barebones machine, and you don't get a ton of extra features, but the price is so low that it's hard to complain.

Play

If you're buying a budget computer, it's worth your time to look into the Compaq Presario SR5610f desktop. It's not far off from a barebones machine, and you don't get a ton of extra features, but the price is so low that it's hard to complain. You get a dual-core 2.5GHz AMD processor, 3 gigs of ram, an integrated video card, and a 320GB hard drive, which should be enough power to get you through the standard applications, stuff like word processing, streaming video, mp3 playback, etc...but you definitely shouldn't expect it to handle intense gaming or programs that require accelerated graphics. If did have to raise a stink, it'd have to be about the lack of a dedicated media card reader! Sure, it's a sub-$600 system, but even this eMachines has one built in! If you decide on this computer, dust off that USB cord--you'll be seeing it a lot more in the future.

You'll have to read the full review for our complete analysis, but the long and short of it is that you can spend a scant $50 more and get a much better deal in the Acer x3200, a slimline PC that adds gigabit Ethernet, a more powerful video card (still integrated), more memory, and even an extra CPU core that will let you handle a wider breadth of applications. In the end, it's your choice and totally dependent on how you'll use it, but check out both reviews--they'll help you with your difficult shopping decisions.

Read our full review of the HP Compaq Presario SR5610f

About the author

Justin Yu covers headphones and peripherals for CNET. When he's not wading through Web gulch or challenging colleagues to typing tests, you can find him making fun of technology with Jeff Bakalar every afternoon on The 404 show.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Galleries from CNET
Tech industry's high-flying 2014
Uber's tumultuous ups and downs in 2014 (pictures)
The best and worst quotes of 2014 (pictures)
A roomy range from LG (pictures)
This plain GE range has all of the essentials (pictures)
Sony's 'Interview' heard 'round the world (pictures)