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PC Advisor's 11-step designer PC buying guide

Grab yourself a stylish, souped-up bargain PC

Computers come in many different guises; some barely resemble a PC at all. We've had it with plain-vanilla and boring black machines, and we've gone designer. Here's how to get a PC that looks good, both inside and out.

And now for something completely different

Most of the options we've looked at here are unusual takes on fairly standard PC designs, with various elements hidden, miniaturised or proudly shown off, depending on its purpose and its owner's personality.

More radical designs are in the offing too, however. Most notably, there are efforts to open up computing to the developing world and the less able – hence the appearance of Linux-based machines and systems such as the OLPC XO, Gateway's ONE and the Intel Classmate.

Last year, Dixons Store Group showed off a carbon-neutral wooden PC while some distinctively non PC-like designs resulted from Microsoft's Next Gen PC design competition, including a modular tree design.

Finally, if your thirst for quirky computing has yet to be sated, we urge you to take a look at our feature on the future of the PC and our quirky predictions for computing's evolution over the next two decades.

  1. Designer PC buying guide
  2. General PC buying advice
  3. Pimp my PC
  4. Crystal-clear
  5. Super-skinny models
  6. Entertainment today
  7. All-in-one approach
  8. Miniature PCs
  9. Ever-decreasing circuit boards
  10. Silent nights
  11. And now for something completely different


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