Short answer: you can't!
I'm in the market for a new base unit. I'll be attaching it to my LCD TV, so I don't need a monitor, but I do need HDMI. I'll be using it for multimedia and a bit of programming, which might extend to some 3D stuff if I get around to it. So I've started to look around to gauge prices. I found a deal on HotUKDeals that looked perfect:- The Medion Akoya P7300 from Aldi at £499 - then reduced even further to £487 in line with the recent VAT cut in the UK.
As noted in the comments on HotUKDeals, it's a very good deal. In terms of a pre-built PC with a 3-year warranty, the next nearest competitor is about £100 - £150 more! For me, it ticked the boxes on 4GB memory, 1TB hard disk, built-in TV card, reasonable (although not fantastic) graphics card, 64-bit Windows option, and the quad-core processor could come in handy for experimenting with writing parallel-programs. The full specs are here.
However - the problem is that this PC is only available in one place (Aldi stores) and they sold out of all stock in less than a day. In fact, because of people crafty enough to start queuing at 7:30am, some stores didn't even have enough stock to supply everyone in the queue so they had effectively sold out before they opened!
One of the HotUKDeals forum members, exile, wrote to Medion to ask if they would be selling the PC from the Medion online shop (or if any other retailers would be selling that model) and received this disappointing response:
"Dear Medion Customer,
Thank you for your message.
Unfortunately the P7300D is exclusive to Aldi and therefore won't be stocked by our webshop I'm afraid.
We will have a similar spec PC out mid-end of January, but I don't know exactly when or at what price.
I can only suggest that you keep checking back on the webshop for this PC becoming available.
Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience caused.
There is another Medion PC available for a similar price from Tesco, which has the advantage of a Blu-ray drive, but falls down on the graphics card, memory, and slightly on the processor. It may or may not come with a 3 year warranty. I'll probably give that a miss for now.
So, I'm going to keep my eyes and ears open, especially in the post-Christmas sales and see what comes up ... and I will use the specs of the Medion Akoya P7300 to compare the prices of any deals that do come up. I'll keep an eye on HotUKDeals and also AVForums, where I found a lot of useful links to companies that build and customise desktop PCs.
Failing that, I may attempt to build my own PC, but I just know I'll buy the wrong PSU, wrong case or break one of the components!
Medion have now released two similarly-specced PCs, the Medion Akoya P7316D at £499 (plus £4.99 shipping) and the Medion Akoya P7321D at £529 (plus £7.99 shipping).
Here's a comparison of the three models (as of 5th March 2009) ...
|Availability||None||Through Medion Shop||Through Medion Shop|
|Price||£487||£503 shipped||£537 shipped|
|Processor||Intel Q8200||Intel Q8200||Intel Q8300|
|Processor Speed||Quad 2.33Ghz||Quad 2.33Ghz||Quad 2.5Ghz|
|Memory||4GB DDR2-SDRAM||4GB DDR2-SDRAM||4GB DDR2-SDRAM|
|Graphics Card||NVIDIA® GeForce® 9600 GT 512Mb||NVIDIA® GeForce® GT120 1024Mb||NVIDIA® GeForce® 9500 GT (256/512Mb?)|
|Optical drive||DVD Rewriter||DVD Rewriter||DVD Rewriter|
|Windows||Vista Home Premium||Vista Home Premium||Vista Home Premium|
|Warranty||36 months||12 months||12 months|
|Other||Digital/Analogue TV tuner||Possibly no HDMI port|
The bundled software seems the same, as does the number of USB ports, audio ports, etc, etc.
In my opinion, the original deal is still the best of the 3!