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$300 PC Running Linux Makes A Good Starter System

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A new, built-to-order PC with a pre-installed Linux distro may not sound like much fun to a hard-core, do-it-yourself Linux geek. But if you want a quick, easy, inexpensive way to get started with Linux, Systemax and Linspire have just the ticket.

I recently took a hands-on look at the the companies' then-current offering: the Systemax Venture L335 Linspire PC. The system, which is available from Systemax subsidiary Tiger Direct carries a list price of $299.99, plus shipping and handling, in its basic configuration (see box). The system I ordered for review included some significant upgrades (see box), giving me a solid all-purpose PC for around $500, not including shipping charges.

Can Linspire and Systemax live up to their goal of delivering a system that won't make new Linux users wish they had paid their Windows tax? I think so, although there's still some room for improvement.

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