Walt Mossberg

Recent Columns by Walt Mossberg

Mossberg’s Mailbox

On the Dell XPS One All-in-One Computer

Here are a few questions I’ve received recently from people like you, and my answers. I have edited and restated the questions a bit, for readability.

Do you still recommend the Dell XPS One all-in-one computer that you favorably reviewed last December? I am not a techie at all but need to replace my 5-year-old Dell and was interested in an all-in-one.

Yes. In fact, I now own two of these Dell XPS Ones and use them as my Vista desktop computers, at home and in the office. I still believe, as I wrote in my review, that this Dell’s hardware is superior to that of the competing Apple iMac, though the Vista operating system is inferior to Apple’s. And the base XPS One now costs the same as the base iMac — $1,199 — instead of $300 more, as it did last year. So, if you want the Windows operating system, and like the look and convenience of an all-in-one desktop, I still favor the XPS One. You can find my review at tinyurl.com/2xw 6mv.

Will Apple’s new MacBooks and MacBook Pros run Windows directly without an intervening “virtual machine” program like Parallels or Fusion?

Yes. All Apple Macs running the current Leopard operating system, including the new laptops, come with the ability to directly run Windows XP or Vista. Using Apple’s built-in “Boot Camp” feature, you can start up the computer in Windows, instead of the Mac’s own operating system, which turns the Mac into a pure Windows machine, with no trace of the Mac operating system running. The upsides of this approach are maximum Windows speed, and compatibility with the most graphics-intensive Windows programs, including games. Note that, to run Windows on a Mac, you must obtain and install a fresh, boxed, full version of XP or Vista. Apple doesn’t supply Windows.

I have a Yahoo email account, and wonder if Yahoo allows receipt and storage of email directly via a computer email program, such as Outlook, or is it all Web storage? Can you do both?

Yes. Yahoo offers a “Plus” option, for $20 a year, that permits users to receive and store their Yahoo email using a locally installed, instead of Web-based, email program. This approach does work with Microsoft Office, as well as many other local email programs. And you can still use Yahoo’s Web-based email interface at the same time. The Plus option also includes other benefits, including the elimination of ads and a doubling of the size limit on individual messages, to 20 megabytes.

  • You can find Mossberg’s Mailbox, and my other columns, online free of charge at the new All Things Digital Web site, http://walt.allthingsd.com.

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