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Desktops

Dell Inspiron 530, 531: Unbelievably cheap PCs

Dell's colourful new Inspiron and XPS are the talk of the laptop world, but the company also has a few new desktops it would like you to crave

Dell's colourful new Inspiron and XPS are the talk of the laptop world, but the company also has a few new desktops it would like you to crave. It's all part of the 'revamped' Inspiron consumer range, and apparently it's designed to help you "take control of your digital life". Where would we be without pointless slogans, eh?

Two new desktops were launched: the Intel-based Inspiron 530 and the AMD-based 531. Why should you be interested? Because prices start from £329 including VAT and delivery, and you can customise them with some relatively potent hardware.

The top-spec 531 is only £821, and that includes a monstrous 1TB of hard-drive space, 4GB of RAM, a 20-inch TFT, an Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 5600+ processor, and a 256MB ATI X3100 graphics card.

If you prefer to go the Intel route, the high-end 530 will run you £1,077. That includes a Core 2 Duo E6600 Processor (2.4GHz), 4GB of RAM, twin 500GB hard drives (with auto backup), a 20-inch monitor and X3100 graphics.

Both are great value, but there are also versions for people who think spending 75 per cent of their pay on rent in London's Zone 1 is a good deal. The bottom rung 530 (£329) has an Intel Celeron 420 (1.6GHz), 512MB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, Intel X3100 graphics and Vista Home Basic. The equivalent 531 (also £329) has an AMD Sempron 3600+, 1GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, Nvidia GeForce 6150 LE graphics and Vista Home Basic. Both exclude a monitor, but you can add a 17-inch flat panel for £135.

It just goes to show: laptops may be sexy, but they'll never be as cheap as a desktop. Well done, Dell. Can we have some PCs that look half-decent now? -Rory Reid