If any of the PCs we tested looked as though they might struggle to satisfy the demands of Vista, it’s the Solar GSI. With a specifications list that falls short in almost every respect, the Evesham isn't really in the same class as the other Windows Vista PCs we tested. It' will be available soon for £749 inc VAT from www.evesham.com.
The Chillblast Fusion Vista 6300 OCTV 2.1GHz PC was the only other £750 Vista PC we tested to resort to using the E6300 version of the Intel Core 2 Duo. But without that machine’s careful overclocking, the Solar struggled for pace – its WorldBench real-world speed score is a massive 15 points slower than the best £750 Vista PC we saw, from Zoostorm.
But it’s not just the speed of the processor that's at fault. Having only 1GB of DDR RAM was another failing, while the graphics card is driven by the GeForce 7600 LE chip – this doesn't get close to the GeForce 7900 GS, let alone the mighty 7950 GT.
That's not to say that it's all bad. The 19in Cibox screen is quite decent, and the onboard sound is aided by the pleasing 2.1 Creative I-Trigue 3220 speakers. And none of the other PCs we tested at this price point could better the 320GB hard drive. But all in all, the Solar is too off the pace and lacks any outstanding features that might compensate for its lack of heft.
For full reviews of the very best Vista systems available right now, look out for the April 06 issue of PC Advisor, which hits the news stand on 15 February. For a full, in-depth review of Windows Vista, click here.