PC Specialist MPC-2100 review
A fine advert for Intel's Sandy Bridge processor and a great choice for schools on the lookout for bang-per-buck
Review Date: 14 Jul 2011
Reviewed By: George Cole
Price when reviewed: £399 (£479 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
PC Specialist builds computers to specifications provided by the customer, and caters for the consumer, business and education sectors. The MPC-2100 is geared towards the last of those three.
Our review sample included a dual-core 3.1GHz Intel Core i3-2100 processor, 4GB of memory, a 500GB hard drive and DVD writer. That’s identical to the CCL PCPro-003, and although neither company knew what the other was supplying, it shows that this mix of components is the hot spot for value and performance right now.
It should be no surprise that both performed similarly in our benchmarks, with the MPC-2100 returning a 0.78 score - this is a very versatile machine.
Schools can customise the machine’s specification, for example changing the processor or amount of RAM, and adding peripherals such as a mouse, keyboard, speakers and monitors. The warranty runs for a laudable three years, but unlike the CCL this doesn’t include on-site support.
However, PC Specialist says it can collect machines the next business day, and the warranty can be upgraded. The price above includes Windows 7 Professional, although schools can order the machine without an operating system for £319 exc VAT.
The MPC-2100 has a squat design and is solidly built, with its case composed of metal and hard plastic. It feels solid, robust and well equipped for the rigours of classroom use. The chassis measures 112 x 230 x 246mm (WDH) and can be used in a vertical or flat position.
The front panel is home to a usefully large power button, the DVD writer, three USB 2 ports, and headphone and microphone sockets. There’s also a card reader with dedicated slots for Memory Stick, SD/MMC, xD, Compact Flash and microSD cards. The only notable omission is support for SDXC cards.
- Raspberry Pi unveils DIY tablet kit
- Chromebooks get version of Photoshop
- Microsoft offers free Office 365 directly to students
- Asus EeeBook X205: the netbook's (sort of) back
- Raspberry Pi unveils HTML5-optimised browser
- Who's buying Chromebooks? American schools
- Adobe keeps low-cost Photography "promotion"
- Archos ArcBook: £140 for an Android netbook
- Microsoft supercharges PowerPoint with Office Mix
- Computing in schools "not only about code"
- Google Glass: mugger bait, pub problem and other lessons learned from two dangerous weeks
- Twitter, please don't fiddle with my feed
- How Satya Nadella can get some pay-raise karma
- Windows 10: a step back to go forward
- Michael Dell: Cloud infrastructure is the roads, bridges and highways of the 21st century
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- What's changing in the computing curriculum
- Block party: why do millions play Minecraft?
- Ebooks: the final chapter for libraries?
- The world's most powerful computers
- Rise of the code schools
- Create a Python game for the Raspberry Pi
- Develop your skills in ICT
- Buyer's guide to tablets
- BenQ MW860USTi vs SMART LightRaise 40wi
- Buyer's guide to foreign language software