WHAT’S HOT: Armed with an Athlon-1333 CPU and 256MB of 266-MHz DDR SDRAM, the MicroFlex 1333A sped to a PC WorldBench 2000 score of 231, setting a new record for Windows 2000 systems. The inclusion of both a modem and a network interface provide multiple ways to hook up to a network or to the Internet. The Microsoft Natural keyboard allows smooth, quiet, and comfortable typing. Color-coded rear ports and a handy setup poster make getting up and running easy, and the spiral-bound system manual is full of helpful illustrations.
WHAT’S NOT: We noticed uneven color along the top edge of the monitor screen, along with a vertical stripe of twinkly pixels. Micro Express Inc. earned a rating of only Fair in our latest rounds of anonymous tech support calls. The Micro Express Web site often features systems that closely resemble those reviewed by PC World but cost several hundred dollars more, so be sure to check the specs carefully when you order.
WHAT ELSE: To access the interior of the gray-and-beige midsize tower, you must removing a thumbscrew, take off the top panel, and then pop off the side panel. Inside, the large, well-kept interior offers three available PCI slots (one of which is located too close to the AGP graphics board for comfort on the Gigabyte GA-7DX motherboard) and three open, externally accessible drive bays. The included 8X/4X/32X CD-RW drive is far from the fastest on the market, but it does a capable job of burning audio CDs and handling data backups.
BEST USE: Though it isn’t loaded with top-of-the-line extras, this fast MicroFlex 1333A gives you far more than its sticker price would suggest.
Micro Express MicroFlex 1333A
PC WorldBench 2000 score of 231, Athlon-1333 CPU, 256MB of DDR SDRAM, 256KB L2 cache, Windows 2000, 40GB hard drive, 12X DVD-ROM drive, 8X/4X/32X CD-RW drive, Gainward GeForce Ultra 2 graphics card with 64MB of DDR SDRAM, 15-inch LCD monitor, integrated Creative Labs SoundBlaster Audio PCI128 sound, Altec Lansing ACS 48 speakers, network adapter, V.90 modem, midsize tower case. Four-year parts and labor warranty; free, unlimited, 24/7 tol-free tech support.