Repairs may be issue with all-in-one unit

HELP DESK

Plugged In

July 10, 2008|By BILL HUSTED

I am considering a new Dell XPS model with all the processing hardware built right into the monitor, plus a wireless keyboard, mouse and Blu-Ray player. What is your opinion of this system compared with using a separate desktop computer and monitor? Essentially, the top-of-the-line Dell XPS unit that I am considering has no options - it comes with just about everything except a backup hard drive, which can be added. Price is about $2,099.

- Chuck Woods

There's nothing in the world wrong with the technical specifications for the machine you want. And there's nothing new about the notion of an all-in-one machine. The now-iconic Apple Classic introduced in 1990 is still a legend because of the innovative design, and the popular iMac line combines the video screen and other components, but if the monitor or processing hardware goes out, you have no choice but to get it fixed or junk the entire computer. I have never used that specific PC, but I would guess it gets a little crowded inside that monitor. And that would make routine maintenance more difficult.

If you decide the all-in-one best fits your needs and budget, you might consider an extended warranty.

I am changing the batteries on my Microsoft Wireless Comfort Keyboard 4000 and Wireless Laser Mouse 5000 way too often. What am I doing wrong? I use Costco batteries. Do I need a different kind or should I use rechargeable?

- Helene Lilac

I don't know enough about Costco batteries to have an opinion. But I'd guess they work fine. Replacing them with rechargeable batteries probably will save you money in the long run. However, rechargeables lose their charge even when not in use, which isn't true of regular batteries. So you may have to spend even more time replacing and charging batteries than you do now.

bhusted@ajc.com

Bill Husted writes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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