The Dimension E510 lies in the middle of Dell's overall desktop offerings: it headlines the Dimension line, but it's still a notch below the XPS models. It's not a system to load up with upgrades, but you can configure a capable mainstream PC for basic home and office tasks for less than $1,000.
Matt Elliott, a technology writer for more than a decade, is a PC tester and Mac user based in New Hampshire.
The Dell Dimension E510 looks like its glossy-white, high-class XPS brethren and offers many of the same features found on the XPS 400 and more options than what you'll find on the slim XPS 200. What you don't get is the XPS-specific support; you'll be on hold along with the rest of Dell's customers when you call the toll-free desktop support number. The Dimension E510 lies in the middle of Dell's overall desktop offerings; it headlines the Dimension line, but it's still a notch below the XPS models. The baseline E510 model costs $699 and boasts a dual-core Intel Pentium D 820 processor, Microsoft's Media Center OS, and a 17-inch analog LCD. Less impressive is the small 80GB hard drive and the lack of a DVD burner. We would recommend buying an E510 without going overboard on upgrades. If you find yourself building an E510 on Dell's site and the price climbs above $1,000, take a look at the XPS 200 or the XPS 400, which feature new technology and better support. The only upgrades we'd suggest for the E510 is moving from the default Pentium D 820 processor to the newer Pentium D 930 chip and doubling the memory to 1GB. If you are looking for a basic PC for basic office tasks, however, the baseline model will suffice.
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