The PC Specialist Apollo Home XT isn't one of the most stylish PCs.

Still, at least it's not beige and by avoiding spending money on a flashy case PC Specialist is able to throw in a digital TV tuner card and deliver the whole system for free. Now that sounds good to us.

Sharp display

Other notable components inside its more average case include a 500GB Western Digital hard drive. Elsewhere, 20x DVD writer will burn your discs quicker than most of the competition.

The 22-inch V7 L22WD monitor is also a decent choice, producing sharp and accurate colours over a wide viewing angle. That's probably more important than having a cool-looking case.

Mid-range components

The remaining core components of the PC Specialist Apollo Home XT are in line with most of its rivals: a Core 2 Duo E6750 CPU, 2GB of DDR 667MHz RAM and an ATI Radeon HD2600XT graphics card.

So it's no surprise that the PC hits mid-range scores right across our benchmarks, including fourth place in both 3DMark 2006 (4,670) and PCMark Vantage (4,036).

The ordinariness continues elsewhere. The Creative Inspire 5.1 speakers are reasonable, for instance; the 500W power supply is acceptable, but others manage a 600W model.

Overall then, the PC Specialist Apollo Home XT is a capable PC, and you'd probably be more than happy with it, but the system's not quite got that extra something to win out over the competition.