Unfortunately, the review machine could not be purchased without the XP Home operating system being supplied, but it was at a bargain price so we could forget about the Microsoft tax for once. We would subsequently try out a multi-boot system with XP Home and Xandros co-existing on the same hard disk, as well as a separate installation with only Xandros present. Why did this machine make an excellent testbed for the review? Well, it has the all the qualities that anyone would want for a desktop machine.
* It's extremely cheap and offers adequate expansion with 3 PCI slots.
* Reasonable CPU power, although the Celeron is a poor relation to the Pentium 4.
* Almost silent - it only has one large slow moving fan in the machine, making it an ideal home computer for watching videos, listening to music, or any other multimedia activity.
Of course, the specifications of this PC far exceed the minimum necessary to install the Linux distribution in question. You're looking at a miserly PII 450 MHz minimum with 128MB of RAM as the minimum recommended specification. But even if you have a machine that's incapable of running Xandros, purchasing a new machine, as illustrated, isn't going to break the bank.
We also did some testing on another machine that was currently standing idle, an AMD XP1700+ Shuttle PC, which was helpful for testing out how Xandros coped in a multi-boot situation.
Xandros has subsequently notified us that you can get the specified machine below including a slightly older Xandros OS for under $200! Again this represents excellent value for the money, although 20GB isn't going to be enough for many desktop users.
Microtel SYSAM4001 PC 1.5 GHz Sempron 2200+
Xandros Desktop Standard Edition v2.0
More powerful machines are also available from Xandros.
In the next section we'll see how the installation went on the Dell machine.