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HP Pavilion Elite m9600t: Vista-era desktop flops on Windows 8
This tank of a desktop PC was my main workstation in the final year of Windows Vista and the first year of Windows 7. It has a first-generation Core i7 and plenty of RAM and storage. So in theory it should be just fine with Windows 8.
In practice, not so much. Windows 8's fast startups are lost on a device like this, which takes 20 seconds or more just on text-based startup screens. And the Windows 8.1 Preview has a terrible bug with this model that causes it to crash every time it tries to resume from sleep.
The real killer for me, though, is the terrible interior design of this box, which is a tangle of cords and cages where I have cut myself more than once. This one will be recycled soon.
Dell XPS 8500 is a dream desktop
In case you haven't noticed, I like Dell PCs, and this one might be my favorite desktop ever. Inside, it's clean, uncluttered, and incredibly easy to work with. That sort of easy upgradeability is the point of a desktop machine, and Dell gets that.
This box has a 3rd Generation i7 processor and a couple of SSDs, making it wicked fast. It's also been flawless with every build of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 and even has a good selection of Windows 8 drivers. The killer feature in Windows 8.1 for me is its vastly improved multi-monitor support, which is ideal for desktops. I might replace this box someday, but it won't be soon.
Dell's XPS 18 successfully mashes up tablet, all-in-one
The first time I saw this device, I was skeptical. An 18-inch tablet? On a stand?
Surprisingly, it works. If you think of this device as an all-in-one that can move into another room when needed, it makes more sense. This is a review unit, and I'll have more thorough coverage coming up shortly. But suffice it to say this is a good PC that anyone looking for an all-in-one should consider.