Our family computer is a Dell Inspiron 531S. The processor is an AMD Athlon 64x2 dual core processor, 4000+ 2.10 GHz. With four children ranging in age from 5 to 15, we needed a computer that would serve many different purposes. We have had this computer for approximately six months and it has served our needs quite well.
Our previous computer was also a Dell. We had it for almost nine years. So, when it was time to upgrade, we decided to purchase another Dell computer. They do offer financing, although we did not choose this option. The cost was very reasonable and included a standard monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers. The price did not include a printer. Shipping was extremely quick (and this was around the holidays!).
We decided to add some software upgrades because many basic items are not included with many of the models. We had to add Microsoft Word. Also, we added Adobe Photoshop Elements. The operating system we went with was Windows Vista Basic. I know that there have been many complaints about Vista, but it has worked perfectly for us! We did upgrade to 3GB because we had heard that more memory was needed to run Vista quickly. I would definitely recommend spending a bit more money for more memory.
We chose the Inspiron 531S instead of the Inspiron 531. The difference is the 531S is the slim design model. The computer looks great- it is very sleek and measures only about four and a half inches in width. My one major complaint with this style is the number of USB ports. There are only four. This may be fine for some people, but it does not work for our family. With a printer, four mp3 players, three digital cameras, and various other devices needing USB ports, four is not enough for our family. I believe the 531 model that is not a slim design has more USB ports.
So far, we are happy with this computer. The children our constantly using it and we have to set a timer to avoid fights! Our internet service is DSL and, though we had the same internet service with our old computer, the system is so much faster now! My oldest son is an avid gamer and he is able to load games much quicker now. The CD/DVD burner is pretty basic, but has met our needs just fine. I would definitely recommend this computer to those who need a basic computer for everyday use.