Dells extensive desktop family now includes the new Inspiron 518. Backed by the Dell name, quality, and power, this mini tower desktop provides high performance for any type of user. With a shiny black casing and beautiful chrome accents, this desktop can make any office or room look a bit more exotic. The Inspirons budget, along with functionality, is geared a bit more towards families and students than those techy individuals out there.
The bare-bone system starts are $329. (Bare-bone, in this sense, means the minimal technical specifications discussed in a bit.) Additional features can be added through Dells interactive build process. The Inspiron 518 may not be the cheapest desktop on the market, but is decently priced when you consider the performance and functionality that it offers.
Under the hood you will find a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600, 2GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM, 256 ATI Radeon HD 3450, and a 320GB 5,400rpm hard drive. The Inspiron 518 also has gigabit Ethernet for fast connection speeds, dual-layer DVD burner, and operates on Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 (32-bit).
Notice that there is no option for the installation of the 64-bit version of Windows Vista. Unfortunately, the Inspiron 518 is not flexible in this sense, as it only supports a 32-bit operating system. 64-bit operating systems require more memory, which this system does not have. If you are planning to upgrade to Windows 7, you will first have to upgrade the memory, and any other necessary hardware, to get the desktop up to speed to handle a 64-bit OS.
The overall design, of the Insprion 518, is quite sleek and easy on the eyes. Dell did not stop with the overall appearance; they actually added a tray, to the top of the mini tower, for easy storage of small plug-n-play devices. Additionally, there were two USB 2.0 ports added, near the tray, to allow users to conveniently charge and connect with these devices.
Dell provides consumers with friendly interfaces and easy navigation. To increase the user experience, they have now added what is called the Dell Dock. Similar to Vistas sidebar, you can customize this dock to hold icons for your favorite applications and files. This gives you easy one-click access to those things you use most. You can customize where the dock appears, on your desktop, along with the option to completely shut it off.
The Dell Inspiron 518 does not offer consumers the option to add a Blu-ray optical drive. Depending what you had in mind for the desktop, this may not be a hindrance at all. The graphics card, which comes with the system, is a bit on the low end as well. Unlike other Dell machines, there is no option to upgrade this feature upon customizing your build. The graphics card that comes with the Inspiron 518 is decent, but is not a high-end card for gaming.
The Inspiron 518 is a budget friendly computer. Combine this with its high performance and the number of features it offers, and you’ve got yourself an amazing everyday computer. Whether you are looking for a computer for a student or an entire family, the Inspiron 518 is a good fit.