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eMachines ET1850 review

Kat Orphanides
5 Sep 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
300
inc VAT

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

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Specifications

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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