Of course, we all enjoy PC DIY and everything it has to offer, but we can certainly learn a lesson or two from various creations that have come to the fore over the years. We’ve had some excellent machines, but also some awful ones too.

In a world full of technological advancements, we’re lucky to be witnessing growth in all kinds of devices. Our Xbox’s are getting better, our handheld devices such as Nintendo Switch are taking the world by storm and our mobile phones have become more versatile than ever before, be it for ordering food via an app or playing a roulette game at sites like Mansion. But PCs and the technology and software behind them have also come on leaps and bounds. We’re essentially spoilt for choice now.

So, with that in mind, we thought we’d take a look back in history and highlight further just how far technology has come with a look back at some of the worst PCs ever to have graced the planet. You may need a sick bag handy for this one.

Dell Dimension 4600

A Look Back at Some of the Worst PCs of All-Time 1

This was hell from Dell, all right. Its main and obvious flaw was the fact that after a year users were reporting issues, namely that most machines’ power supplies began to fall. On top of all of this, Dell’s customer service team handled the farce horrendously, misdiagnosing these issues and pinning it down to motherboard issues, which simply wasn’t the case. After endless complaints on message boards and in the media, Dell still refused to acknowledge the fault with their power supply, damaging their reputation in the process. Dear oh dear.

Texas Instruments TI-99/4

By Rama & Musée Bolo - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.0 fr, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36785342
By Rama & Musée Bolo – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.0 fr, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36785342

Their first foray into the world of home computers, Texas Instruments failed spectacularly. At a time when people were used to connecting their machine to a television, the 99/4 worked only with its own display – which was a horrifically bulky 13-inch Zenith TV. The keyboard was dreadful too and – worst of all – could only type in capital letters. This frankly dreadful creation ultimately led to the company’s downfall as they left the PC world and focussed on producing laptops only from then on in. Probably for the best, really.


A Look Back at Some of the Worst PCs of All-Time 3

This was IBM’s second attempt at making a consumer PC for the masses, but it bombed in a rather big way. The original PS/1 had a power supply inside the monitor which subsequently made swapping out displays a real pain, plus it couldn’t accept standard ISA cards, preventing upgrades. Then, in 1991, IBM moved away from the PS/1 in an attempt to capture the mass market once again and decided to introduce the Aptiva line which, once again, proved to be another bad call. In 2000, IBM finally decided to give up on the whole Aptiva idea, thankfully.

Mattel Barbie PC

The “concept PC” used to be hugely popular in the late 1990s, which is exactly what the creators of Mattel Barbie PC were hoping to capitalise on. Instead, though, they managed to produce easily one of the worst PCs ever made. Pink and tacky as anything, this machine got even worse when Patriot Computer, which manufactured these boxes for Mattel, went bust in December 2000. More than 3000 customers who spent $599 on it sadly paid the price. Literally.


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