eMachines ET1850 review

Kat Orphanides
5 Sep 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

It may be basic, but this cheap PC is excellent value for basic tasks and it's very well made, too



2.93GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E7500, 3GB RAM, N/A display, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

At £300, eMachine's ET1850 is definitely a budget system. EMachines is the low-cost sister brand to the more well-known Acer, but we've been often been pleased to find that there's little to choose between them in terms of build quality.

The ET1850 occupies a tower case which, although a little flimsy and very plain-looking inside, doesn't make much noise; not least of all because the only noise-making component is the CPU fan. The case has three internal 3½in bays - one occupied by a 500GB hard disk. Two external-facing bays are also present, but they're permanently wired into the fascia of the PC, where you'll find an extremely versatile memory card reader and a couple of extra USB ports. Only one of two 5¼in bays is occupied by a DVD drive, leaving room for another disc drive if you require one.

eMachines ET1850 side off

ET1850's motherboard and processor combination is modest, with a budget Intel Core 2 Duo E7500 processor and an own-brand motherboard which uses Intel's G41 chipset. Its test scores were predictably low - the system's overall score was just 31; about the same as a budget laptop. Nonetheless, if you just need a PC to get you online and run typical desktop applications, you're unlikely to need much processing power, so this isn't a major issue for an entry-level machine.

Graphics are provided by an on-board Intel GMA X4500. Unusually even for on-board graphics, there's only a VGA output, but you can still output a maximum resolution of 1,920x1,080. On-board graphics are fine for desktop applications and watching DVDs, but the PC failed all of our 3D gaming tests. If you want to upgrade to something a bit more capable, there's a free PCI-E x16 slot, but the 250W power supply has neither the connectors nor the available power for anything but the most entry-level of graphics cards.

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