Dell Optiplex 390 review

18 Feb 2012

A stylish, solid all-rounder, offering good performance at a decent price

Dell Optiplex 390
Price when reviewed 
383
5

First impressions of this low-cost PC are impressive. It looks stylish and its black metal case makes it look and feel more expensive than it is. The Optiplex 390 weighs close to 8kg, but it looks relatively slim when used in a vertical position, and feels fairly solid. Dell supplies a full-sized keyboard and mouse, and the PC also comes with Windows 7 Professional preinstalled.

On the front panel are headphone and microphone jacks, two USB 2 ports and a DVD writer, which enable various devices to be connected to the Optiplex 390; it’s ideal if pupils need to work privately using headphones. However, it’s a shame that a memory card reader isn’t included, since this can save a lot of hassle when students want to transfer content from a digital camera.

On a brighter note, there’s plenty of connectivity around the back, including audio and mic jacks, VGA and DVI ports, six USB 2 ports, two USB 3 ports and a Gigabit Ethernet port.

Dell Optiplex 390

Like all Dell products, the Optiplex 390 is available in a range of configurations, and our review sample came with a 3.1GHz Intel Core i3-2100 CPU, 4GB of RAM and a 320GB hard disk. On paper at least, this is sufficient horsepower to run many applications, from office documents to full-motion video. With a benchmark score of 0.68, this proved to be the case.

The Optiplex 390 runs quietly, although the integrated DVD drive whirrs a little when running at top speed. The PC’s built-in speakers are tinny, even when turned up to maximum, so be sure to budget for headphones or external speakers.

There’s a lot to like about the Optiplex 390, not least its build quality, design, specification and performance. Our only concern is the basic warranty supplied: 12 months RTB. You can pay an extra £61 for a ProSupport warranty that includes three-year, on-site support, but that bumps up the price to almost £400.

Details

Price ex VAT £319
Price inc VAT £383
Overall rating 5
Performance 5
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 4

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 320GB
RAM capacity 4.00GB

Processor

CPU family Intel Core i3
CPU nominal frequency 3.10GHz

Memory

Memory type DDR3

Graphics card

Graphics chipset Intel HD Graphics 2000

Hard disk

Capacity 320GB

Drives

Optical disc technology DVD writer

Case

Dimensions 175 x 417 x 360mm (WDH)

Rear ports

USB ports (downstream) 8

Operating system and software

OS family Windows 7