In the land of far-reaching layoffs, the budget desktop is king

If you find yourself running low on cash but still need a desktop computer for your home or office, the Dell Inspiron "S" series will fit the bill.

If you find yourself running low on cash but still need a desktop computer for your home or office, the Dell Inspiron "S" series will fit the bill. We recently took a close look at the Dell Inspiron I530S-119B, a system that retains the "S" series' slimline chassis and a baseline set of components for a very affordable price tag. For around $500, you get a 2.5GHz Intel Pentium dual processor, a 128MB Intel graphics card integrated with the motherboard, a 500GB hard drive, and 64-bit Windows Vista Home Premium.

We put the Inspiron I530-119B through its paces and found that this little guy packs a serious performance punch, especially in our Photoshop and Cinebench benchmarks that make full use of its speedy processor. In addition, the multitasking and iTunes encoding tests went off without a hitch, and the scores are enough to blow the eMachines ET1161-07--another Best Buy exclusive system--out of the water. Although it's missing extra AV features, like HDMI and a multimedia card reader, that would make the computer useful in a home theater environment, the Dell Inspiron still makes out with a solid configuration at a price that won't split your wallet.

Check out our full review of the Dell Inspiron I530S-119B

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