These days even the lowest, most basic system you can find in any computer store is capable of performing just about every task you could ever want it to do for you and your family. Furthermore, the progressive nature of the IT industry means that the speediest system that you were eyeing off in the store eighteen months ago is now the slow one this year with the 'Reduced to Clear' sticker on it. PCs or notebooks for the home are peculiar beasts as they have to wear many hats. They have to be capable of playing games, handling home accounting or small business spreadsheeting or serving as the jukebox for archiving the family CD collection in MP3 format, not to mention being able to edit your home movies and digital photos, then burn them to CD or DVD if you wish. They're also about DVD playback. Many think that home PCs mean a compromise of performance and components over price - and to some extent this is true. But have a look at the sixteen machines over the following pages and you'll see that this is not necessarily so. We've got some powerhouse machines here, with some surprisingly low prices.Last month we looked at some excellent PCs and notebooks that fit right in amongst your stereo and TV in the lounge room and help augment your current equipment. This month however, we're looking at all-round capable machines for the home that bring that multimedia experience to any room, but are also capable of handling any family's needs.We've also got our first look at Windows XP Media Centre Edition 2005 (MCE), which is the shipping version in Australia. Four of the PCs and one of the notebooks features this innovative multimedia application, but how do MCE machines stack up against others? Read on, and find out...
This Group Test appeared in the December 2004 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
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Two weeks to go on our Perfect PC competition
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Home Multimedia PCs and Notebooks
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