When I opened up an email from iBuyPower announcing a new gaming desktop only available at Best Buy, my reaction was probably similar to yours after reading the title of this article—basically a reactionary groan born out of skepticism (and experience). To my surprise, however, the Slate (as it's called) seems like a pretty decent system for the money.
To be clear, this isn't a sponsored post—it would say so otherwise. Having said that, the Slate is (subjectively) a nice looking system with a tinted tempered glass side panel providing a view of the parts inside. I'd probably prefer it wasn't tinted, but I haven't seen this in person to decide if the "signature Halo" LED fans affects the interior in a way that would change my mind.
Beyond the aesthetic, iBuyPower opted for tempered glass because of its durability.
"Tempered is much stronger than standard glass, and breaks into smaller, more blunted pieces, meaning less risk to the user if the unthinkable happens. This treatment also leaves the side panel more resistant to scratches and other blemishes," iBuyPower says.
In any event, here's what the Slate comes equipped with:
- Intel Core i5-6400 processor
- 16GB DDR4-2133 RAM
- AMD Radeon RX 480 graphics card
- 120GB SSD + 1TB HDD
- Windows 10
I'm assuming that's a SATA 6Gbps SSD and not a PCIe-based model. There's also no mention of what make/model power supply is in this thing, which is important to know for future expansion and overall reliability.
Nevertheless, I tried to replicate the setup on Newegg using some of the least expensive parts I could find (while still sticking with name brands). Here's what it looked like after a quick and dirty window shopping spree:
- Intel Core i5-6400 w/ Retail Cooler: $190
- Patriot Viper Elite 16GB DDR4-2133: $76
- Asus Radeon RX 480 4GB OC Edition: $200
- Kingston SSDNow V300 Series 120GB SSD: $58
- WD Blue 1TB HDD: $50
- Corsair CX500 500W PSU: $50
- Windows 10 Home 64-Bit OEM: $100
The tally comes to $724 and doesn't include a motherboard, case, mouse, or keyboard. If you figure around $130 for a decent motherboard (call it $126 to make the math easier), the total comes to $850, still without a case or accessories. I haven't spent a ton of time looking, but several of the enclosures with tempered glass side panels are north of $150, save a few options such as the In Win 303 ($90).
Anyway, I wouldn't necessarily use those same parts if building my own system in that general price range, but considering the Slate's MSRP is $900, it's worth looking into if you're wanting a pre-built machine.