Are the product specs sufficient?

I fondly remember performing my first upgrade to my home PC. It was shortly after I had installed the recently released Windows XP, only to find that my PC didn?t quite meet the system requirements.
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After expanding my RAM to the (at the time quite impressive) total of 128MB, I remember being astounded by the increase in performance that such a simple upgrade could achieve.

I was so impressed that, to this day, I firmly believe that no self-respecting software developer should ever place minimum specs on their packaging, as people who own these minimum spec machines will blame the software if it fails to meet their expectations.

When looking at the specifications for this month’s entries in the desktop and laptop charts, one thing kept jumping out at me – most of these machines expect to run the 64-bit version of Windows 7 on two or three gigabytes of RAM, whereas the recommended amount of RAM is 4GB.

Yes, it’s possible to do so, but this is not the optimal level of system memory. 64-bit versions of an OS are designed to make the most of systems that have a higher RAM capacity, so why put that version on a system that has a decidedly average level of system memory?

While there is an argument that a certain amount of future proofing is going on, this doesn’t really hold up for the laptops. It’s not a simple job for most people to upgrade a laptop’s RAM, so maybe there is a silver lining to this story. It means that upgrade and repair shops can offer to boost a laptop’s performance simply by adding enough memory to meet recommended spec.


Are you covered?

Last month I wrote about the power of leasing and how this could be put to good use by indies during these tough economic times. My email inbox has had some interesting correspondence in it.


A letter to Apple UK

Dear Apple, Firstly, I really, really want to say thanks for reading my column, because it was only recently that I had it confirmed. I know not everyone at Apple UK reads me, but some of you do. I wish I?d heard this directly from the source, but ? and I?ll sing this in my best Cliff Richard falsetto voice ? I guess ?we don?t talk anymore...?

Are tablets the future?

Barely a day seems to have gone by recently without a new tablet PC being launched. The question really is whether there is an actual need for such a device outside of certain established niche markets. Apple and many others certainly seem to think so.


Tottenham Court Road

Tottenham Court Road is the traditional home of UK PC retailing, but the industry has transformed in recent years. Andrew Wooden disguises himself as a consumer to find out what it still has to offer?

Are desktops still relevant?

A look at our top selling desktops and laptops shows an interesting pattern. In terms of specs, there?s very little to differentiate the top three laptops from the top selling desktops.


Creative Zen Stone Plus MP3 Player

The most major upgrade is the addition of a round blue OLED display for at-a-glance track and feature selection even though the size of the player hasn?t increased.