Getting IT professionals to agree upon the worst PC ever is probably impossible, but there are several computer models that repeatedly come up in discussion threads as the sorts of machines they never want to lay eyes on again. Here, in no particular order, are 5 computers you would probably glad to banish from your memories.
1. Toshiba 100S Notebook
With the strong emergence of tablets, notebooks aren’t as popular as they once were, and few IT professionals would be aggrieved if you told them they’d never work on another Toshiba 100S. The display brightness combined with glare made them hard on the eyes in bright light, the speakers (like those of many computers of this type, to be fair) weren’t very good, and the battery life was disappointing. Furthermore, many IT folks got to where they weren’t surprised to find a Toshiba 100s dead on arrival due to faulty motherboards.
2. Compaq Presario
These machines from the mid-1990s were frustratingly slow and ran Windows 95. Power issues, motherboard issues, and display issues all came to be expected, and random freeze-ups plagued users as well. Fixes often involved bizarre routines of applying pressure here and there and tapping the back of the screen in specific places. For some reason, plenty of users (and IT workers) found having to do the Hoky Poky whenever the display messed up to be a real hassle.
3. A Packard Bell Anything
Claiming the dubious honor of PC World’s Worst PC of All Time, Packard Bell PCs made through the mid 1990s were responsible for many a high blood pressure reading among users and tech workers. Sold under a variety of aliases from different vendors, one out of six of these machines sold from retailers were returned by unhappy customers, which was twice the industry average. Some of the systems sold in 1994 and 1995 as new actually contained used components inside, prompting millions in lawsuit settlements. Packard Bell left the US market in 2000, but people didn’t seem that upset about it.
4. IBM NetVista X Series
Though hailed as nice looking, the IBM NetVista X Series from the turn of the century was slow, equipped as it was with an older-generation graphics system. Reviewers typically gave it mediocre reviews and suggested that buyers spring for a three-year on-site warranty upgrade. While giving the machine’s LCD display high marks, reviews of performance couldn’t gin up enough enthusiasm to call the IBM NetVista anything more than a “meat-and-potatoes” computer.
5. Dell Dimension 4600
In 2004, the LCD display was still cause for excitement, and this computer had that going for it. But for the price, you didn’t get much in the way of bundled software, and there was no DVD burner, which was a popular feature at the time. Buyers did have the option of foregoing the floppy disk drive and saving twenty bucks, however. Reviewers offered faint praise, saying that a Dell Dimension 4600 was a good machine to buy if you planned to trick it out with aftermarket graphics power, memory, or hard disk space. Later Dells didn’t do much to impress buyers either, prompting one disgruntled user to devote an entire blog to the brand.
Do you have any tales of woe of a particular computer model that made the vein in the side of your forehead bulge? Feel free to let us know in the comments section.