It all depends on where you buy the system...as opposed to buying components or what is called a barebones system...regarding the question of assembly and ease of use.
For the average user, not interested in assembling/connecting anything on a system (other than a power cord, a mouse, a keyboard, and a monitor)...a system purchased will come with an operating system installed, all drivers installed...ready to run right out of the boxes.
A modem, which is the device requiring a possible "56k driver", is totally unnecessary on any system that connects to the Internet using cable or DSL. A modem exists for the connection required to a telephone line (how the modem transmits/receives data).
There are many vendors that sell systems such as I have described. Newegg is among them but...that's not their bread-and-butter...so I would not buy a computer system from Newegg, based on the premise that I can get better value for my dollars...from someone who sells lots of computers to persons just like me (just want it to work).
I've been doing a lot of comparisons on such over the last 4 days or so...I intend to send my brother a system and he's 850 miles away, so I won't assemble it and personally deliver it.
What I find is that Walmart and Dell seem to offer these kinds of systems at the lowest prices (and with Windows XP)...but the user must accept the fact that these types of systems are going to be prepackaged with software/features that the user might not necessarily want.
I just took a look at the system you specified...and the price looks pretty good, in my world. But...that price doesn't include shipping ($20-30 dollars at some vendors, more at others) nor does it include possible sales tax. I just did a quick "checkout" and I would pay $25 for shipping to my location in central TX, while I would not pay sales taxes. With my $10 discount, that system would cost me $415.
Without a monitor.
It also comes with Vista Home Premium...when Vista is about to recede into the past and Microsoft has a new Windows version which will be released with 6 months (best guess). For users who are used to XP, there seems little point in becoming used to Vista...unless a user just happens to like Vista the same way that I like XP. So, I opt to look for a system with XP (either version) installed, for my lazy brother
The best package deals (monitor, system) I found were
Dell Inspiron 531 (with 17" monitor), $508 total. With XP, not Vista. Dell thinks their 17" monitors are worth $160.
Compaq CQ2103WM-B Desktop w/ Intel Atom Processor PC with HP 17" LCD Monitor Bundle. $398 list, no shipping fees, sales tax, total of $431. XP Home.
Sooo...I'll probably go with the Compaq/Walmart. That's how I decide these things.
If this system was for me...or if I lived in close proximity to my brother...I'd just buy a barebones system or build one and use one of my XP licenses (I have about 10 legal licenses in my name) and install software which I think he'll need.
Edited by hamluis, 23 June 2009 - 05:10 PM.