Replace an ageing desktop on a budget, UK version
August 23, 2022 1:40 AM   Subscribe

No gaming, just web browsing and light photo editing. He has monitor, keyboard and mouse, need a replacement Windows 11 (or 10 to upgrade) tower to transfer stuff over to and start using, hopefully for another 10-15 years.

Happy to buy refurbished, under £300 would be a bonus, can go higher if it's worth it. Frequent Ebay buyer so links there to good sellers and makes/models are also welcome.
posted by humph to Technology (7 answers total)
Best answer: If web browsing, etc are all that are required - then I would argue that a Tower form factor may not be necessary for a desktop. Something like a ThinkStation (Ebay example) provides something with which still provides upgradability - robust build and more than adequate power - without taking up so much space. It will also work with existing monitors/keyboards etc. The "Tiny" range are smaller and cuter looking - but a little more pricey. I use one of these for work and find it excellent.
posted by rongorongo at 1:59 AM on August 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thank you rongorongo, I used "tower" to mean a (black) box with motherboard, graphics card etc. but you're absolutely right, any form factor will be fine as long as it has a good selection of usb ports and old fashioned serial ports for mouse/keyboard/headphones.
posted by humph at 2:05 AM on August 23, 2022

Best answer: They do sell adapters for serial ports>USB. So perhaps don't use them as criteria.
posted by koahiatamadl at 2:54 AM on August 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: With that budget, I'd be looking at either ITZoo or Morgan Computers for a refurbished Lenovo PC.

(Serial ports are probably not what you're after unless you have an early-90s mouse - you probably want PS/2 ports. You can get an adaptor from USB to two PS/2 ports for about £5 - avoid "passive" adaptors which only work with some devices.)
posted by offog at 5:32 AM on August 23, 2022

Best answer: old fashioned serial ports for mouse/keyboard

If a mouse still connects to a serial port you will definitely want to replace it, as it will be a mechanical one with a ball, which collects lint, cat hair and other gunk. For keyboards and mice that still have PS/2 connectors you can get appropriate converters (I still use a trackball that uses a connection like that), but again, replace the mouse if it still has a ball, and a PS/2 to USB converter is about the same price as a decent USB keyboard. And both USB mice and keyboards are plentiful and cheap in thrift shops and on Freecycle.

In short, the average PC user today has no need for serial ports, and a lack of PS/2 ports is better solved with getting a new or replacement mouse and keyboard than with a PS/2-USB converter.

Headphones use an entirely different sort of connector, which the average PC today still offers.
posted by Stoneshop at 5:57 AM on August 23, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Amazon dell desktops are in that price range, and are pretty great.
posted by The_Vegetables at 7:20 AM on August 23, 2022

Response by poster: Thanks everyone, plenty of great stuff here to make a much more informed decision!
posted by humph at 12:11 PM on August 23, 2022

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