I think if you're shopping for a desktop these days, you should be looking for a system that can go the distance, that can run everything you throw at it today, tomorrow, and even five years down the road.
What does 700 bucks buy you nowadays? In the case of the XPS 8500, a 3.4GHz Intel Core i7-3770 processor, 12GB of RAM, and a 2TB hard drive, for starters.
The system also includes a discrete Nvidia GeForce GT640 graphics card with 1GB of dedicated video memory, a DVD burner, Bluetooth, and a 460-watt power supply.
It's not clear what's available inside, expansion-wise, but on the outside you get a whopping 10 USB ports -- four of them USB 3.0. As for video, Dell supplies DVI, DisplayPort, and HDMI connections.
I like the design of the tower, too, which has upward-angled memory-card slots and a little indented tray on the top with a couple of the USB ports -- a convenient place to lay your phone, camera, or whatever else you're plugging in.
The only thing I don't see listed is Wi-Fi, which strikes me as an odd omission. (I'm checking with my sources to verify that it's not included. If not, you can easily plug in an inexpensive adapter.) Update: According to a DealFisher exec, the XPS 8500 does indeed have built-in Wi-Fi.
Because the system is new, not refurbished, it comes with a full one-year warranty. CNET hasn't reviewed this exact configuration, and in fact the only review I found was from a single buyer on Amazon -- but he gave it five stars, for what it's worth.
If you're in the market for a blazingly fast desktop that should be able to handle your computing needs for years to come, this ranks among the better deals I've seen.
Bonus deal: Tablet Tuesday! I don't know how long these will last (nearly 2,000 had already been sold at press time), but Direct Source Liquidations (via eBay) has the refurbished current-gen Amazon Kindle Fire HD for $99.99 shipped. Great price, though keep in mind these are "seller refurbished," not Amazon-refurbished, and "may have very slight scuffing or wear." Also, although no warranty information is shown, the seller says the Kindles are "100% guaranteed."
Bonus deal No. 2: You'll need something to read on that Kindle, of course. For a limited time, you can get a free Superman digital comic book when you sign up for the Amazon Comics Newsletter. Make sure to follow the sign-up instructions on the promo page.
Bonus deal No. 3: CNET is currently running two awesome contests that could win you cold, hard cash (which in turn will make you feel warm and soft). Start with the Cash in on Tech Sweepskates, which has a grand prize of $2,500, then head over to The 404 SuperWeakness Contest for a shot at $404. To enter the first one, all you have to do is register with CNET. To enter the second, you simply leave a comment. How easy is that?
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