A guide to the desktops, at prices from $99 to five figures
Choosing a computer, like selecting a spouse, can be a daunting undertaking. Hundreds of nearly identical models are out there, the packaging can be misleading, and once you make a choice, you are stuck with the family it comes with. The machines listed here, bestsellers in their price ranges, have attracted the largest communities of users, dealers, suppliers, programmers, publishers and writers. In most cases, the manufacturer's list price buys just the computer; a complete system can cost two or three times as much.
Timex Sinclair 1000 ($99). This tiny...