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PCs, and Other Delights Within.

I broke down, went into debt, and bought a new computer - with an odd choice for me.



I got the Dell Inspiron Zino HD, their entry into the "total" entertainment system market.  Actually this does 2 things: it's a personal computer that runs on Windows 7; and it can hook up to your HDTV and play BLU-RAY.

As you can see the Zino HD is an 8" by 8" desktop, almost looking fragile compared to Dell's elephant-size desktops.

Dell had a Black Monday sale the Monday after Thanksgiving so I got a smaller version of what they are currently offering, but it's adequate for my needs.  My Zino HD came with the Athlon 3250E 1.5Ghz dual-core; 640GB hard drive; 4GB memory (upgradable to 8GB), and DVD+/-RW with BD-ROM.

So far after a week it is working OK, although there is alot more I got to explore - and setup.  At least I can log into my computer after a minute or two, were my old computer was taking about 10-15 minutes to load.  Also Internet pages come up right away, not having to wait for all the pieces to download.  It's worth the price just for that.

I got MS Home & Office also which pushed up the price of the PC I bought, but I need my Office!  I like the stupid little sticky notes that come with the system.  I did install my HP scanner but it took me awhile to find the compatible Win 7 version of the driver.  After install, it worked fine.

ZINO only has 4 USB ports but does have a HDMI port for digital display.  So far I'm using my regular VGA monitor, but it still played the Blu-Rays I rented without problem, looking very sharp and colorful.  You can really see the limitations of DVD video when you use this.  Luckily my monitor is DVI adaptable; I'm eager to try a HDMI to DVI cable.

Of course I did Windows 7 update with no problems, but it did freak out on two updates I don't even remember what they were for now - Windows just absolutely did not like them.  I did one of those previous system restores with no problem, and the PC works fine now.  Dell does have a Local Backup where they recommend doing a recovery disk since you don't get disk anymore with the systems.  Dell local backup only takes one-use DVD-R disk, not the DVD re-writable.  I don't think the backup program even takes CDs.  So, caveat emptor on the backup disk!

There is a slight fan noise but not enough to throw out the PC.  It does blow out hot air so I would not recommend this unit in the hot outdoors or enclosed table.  Zino HD runs on an AC adapter which does get warm when you play DVDs or Blu-ray.

Perfect PC, no, but so far I give it 4 out of 5 stars.  Still have to transfer my files from my old XP PC to this new WIN 7 PC.  That should be interesting!   Also like to try the Windows Speech Recognition program - at least to help me write my LiveJournal entries.