just ordered Inspiron 8500 - having regrets

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Whelan, Nov 1, 2003.

  1. Whelan

    Whelan Guest

    Wed night I ordered the Inspiron 8500 for my son, trying to keep the cost
    below $2000.
    I ordered it at 2.4ghz with 512 Ram and 60 Gb hd.
    I ordered it with WXGA screen and 32mb video ram.
    (The 1280x1024 display on my Dimension 4500 with 1702fp? monitor seems just

    The day I ordered, the DVD-RW was a free upgrade, so we chose it instead of
    the CDRW-DVD combo that we would otherwise have chosen.

    Tonight I was reading user comments about the 8500 on CNet and they were
    more bad than good.

    I'm afraid some of these may be bad choices, especially the DVD-RW --
    Any comments?

    If I want to change, should I try to stop the order or just try it and
    return it if we want it differently equipped?

    Whelan, Nov 1, 2003
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  2. Whelan

    Tom Scales Guest

    Remember, people make an effort to register negative complaints, but fewer
    people make the effort to register positive comments. There are thousands
    and thousands of happy Inspiron 8500 users out there.

    I can't comment on the specific machine, as I don't have one, but I would
    wait for it to arrive and try it out for yourself, rather than relying on
    other's opinions. You have 30 days (from the invoice date, I believe) to
    return it if you don't like it and you're only out shipping.

    What other laptop would you buy anyway? Gateway, don't think so. Compaq,
    even worse support......well, you get the idea.

    Tom Scales, Nov 1, 2003
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  3. Whelan

    Turner Guest

    The new Inspirons are very cheaply made. You can tell by just the feel of
    the Dell laptops. They are very flimsy. I would cancel the order and look at
    Toshiba or IBM. Tom is a big Dell defender, but do your on research, and
    you'll find that most are not happy with the newer Dell laptops. Also, Dell
    support has become a mere joke these days.
    Turner, Nov 1, 2003
  4. Whelan

    Tom Scales Guest

    As predicted, I was abused for giving my opinion.

    As it turns out, I am also the proud owner of an IBM Thinkpad X31.
    Outstanding subnote -- just a great machine. Well made, etc., etc.

    Not worth the money, if I had to buy it myself. Just ridiculously

    Can't comment on current Toshibas. Swore off them years ago when they
    wouldn't last over a few months on the road.

    Of course, my bad experience PROVES that Toshibas are bad for EVERYONE.

    Doesn't it?

    Tom Scales, Nov 1, 2003
  5. Then there's what Toshiba did with the Soviet Union. Sold them banned
    technology that would have killed some of my Navy friends. They will have a
    long time living that one down with me.
    Thomas M. Goethe, Nov 1, 2003
  6. Whelan

    goop Guest

    can you give a cite on that?

    goop, Nov 1, 2003
  7. Whelan

    Tom Almy Guest

    With the system on order, he might as well have a look at it himself,
    and return after 30 days if not satisfied. People get "buyer's remorse"
    no matter what they buy, so best to give it a trial. I've got a 1+ year
    old Inspiron, have a 3 year old Toshiba, and have used several IBMs. No
    question in my mind that IBM is the best of the bunch -- sturdy
    construction, great keyboard, no-nonsense design. Unfortunately you pay
    a big premium, too much for me personally. Even when I bought the
    Toshiba for work I had a budget and there was no way I could have bought
    a decent IBM for what I was given. The Toshiba had a better case than
    the Dell and had a cover for the PCMCIA slots, but other than that I
    prefer the Dell in all other respects. Other makes just don't rate in my
    book -- Sony is classy looking but overpriced, Compaq is junk, the
    Gateway I used was ho-hum. Never used an HP. Note that I basically hate
    notebook systems, and would gladly use a desktop any day of the week, so
    I'm really critical about these things.
    Tom Almy, Nov 1, 2003
  8. Whelan

    Carol Guest

    I recently got the Inspiron 600m and it doesn't feel cheaply made to me. In
    fact it seems to be less flimsy than my other Dell laptops (too lazy to get
    up to look at the model numbers but I know that they are Inspirons).

    Before I bought this Dell I checked out IBM and it would have cost quite a
    bit more money to get what I wanted which is why I went with Dell.

    I almost didn't buy the 600m because people on this group were badmouthing
    it. I posted a "what do you think of the 600m" question and was surprised at
    all the positive responses I got.

    Carol, Nov 1, 2003
  9. Whelan

    Tom Scales Guest

    Here's one I found with about 10 seconds of googling:


    Pretty common knowledge.

    Tom Scales, Nov 1, 2003
  10. Thanks for answering that one before I even saw the question :). There
    was a small Normegian firm involved in that as well, can't remember their
    name, but they don't make consumer products for the US. I believe they sold
    the machine tools used on the propellors. The transaction was a result of
    the Walker family espionage ring that informed the Soviets of how well we
    were monitoring the movements of their subs. My Navy friends said this one
    made a big difference in the detection range they had on Soviet, now
    Russian, subs. That difference could kill a lot of our guys.

    Thomas M. Goethe

    Thomas M. Goethe, Nov 1, 2003
  11. just wait for it and check it out. you have 30 days and the worst thing
    that can happen is that happens is that you have to pay for return shipping.

    you have to be very careful about being swayed by statistics and by
    individual opinions. i find virtually all of the negative postings in this
    group are so riddled with flawed logic that they lack any credibility. read
    them closely and judge for yourself. often the complaints here about tech
    support seem to steam more out of racism than anything else and they almost
    always miss the point that a) virtually all tech support from all vendors is
    being done off shore and b) that no one says dell is some sort of nirvana,
    just that they are the best of the lot. it is a lot like voting, when is no
    one that you really want, you just have to vote for someone that is less
    evil than the others. as for the statistics listed on cnet, they are
    curious... let me summarize the statistics that they present on the three
    wide screen latptops on their site found here

    dell inspiron 8500
    cnet rating: 8.3
    readers rating: 57% positive, 43% negative, from 614 reviews

    hp zd7000
    cnet rating: 8.3
    readers rating: 65% positive, 35% negative, from 23 reviews

    toshiba P25
    cnet rating: 7.8
    readers rating: 83% positive, 17% negative, from 64 reviews

    looking just at the cnet ratings the then hp and dell are tied. looking at
    just the readers ratings then the toshiba knocks the socks off the other
    two... but upon closer inspection of the readers ratings you will see that
    the toshiba rating is only based on a small sample of 64 readers. the hp
    ratings are based on an even smaller sample of just 23 reviews. but the
    dell rating is based on over 600 reviews.... i interpret this as more
    people like the dell than dislike it and that the sentiment is shared by the
    cnet reviewers. the hp and toshiba readers ratings are based on such a
    small sample set that they are statistical inaccurate.

    so be your own judge, and put the machine through it paces when you get it
    and then decide for youself. good luck.
    Christopher Muto, Nov 2, 2003
  12. Whelan

    PC Gladiator Guest

    often the complaints here about tech support seem to
    An absolutely outrageous statement that you should apologize for.
    People posting in here have document very real tech support issues.
    Your statement reflects very poorly on you IMO. Are you a Dell employee?

    OUCH! A 43% negative rating for any product is extremely high IMO. I don't
    think that figure is something Dell, or anybody else, would be pointing to
    in pride.
    PC Gladiator, Nov 2, 2003

  13. A 43% negative rating from what sample?

    If the 80% of the people using the computer who are "satisifed" are not
    sampled and have no compelling reason to post their opinions, then the 43%
    negative and 57% positive, may simply represent the upper and lower 10%
    tails of the opinion curve.

    If that is the case, then one would expect the pro/con percentages to be
    roughly equal, assuming a normal distribution.

    One has to be VERY cautious about reading reviews in open online forums,
    including usenet, where only those with strong opinions one way or another
    are going to be compelled to post.

    If I had a product where 80% of the people who used it are satisfied with
    it, 10% are ecstatic and 10% think it sucks, I'd say that I have a pretty
    darn good product.

    Marc Schwartz, Nov 2, 2003
  14. Whelan

    Whelan Guest

    I've tried to overlook the negative biased opinions.
    But I read about 150 comments, and even the good and neutral make me
    question my order.
    I'm trying to keep cost down, but:

    *Should I have ordered the WSXGA screen instead?
    *Should I have upgraded to 64 video ram?
    *Should I have stuck with the CDRW-DVD combo drive instead of the DVD+RW
    (only chosen because it was free that day)?

    *Should I have gotten the 8600 instead? (Rich Cervenka, on 8600 topic here,
    said the 8500 is being phased out.)
    Whelan, Nov 2, 2003
  15. Whelan

    WSZsr Guest

    The 98% of Dell customers that are completely satisfied don't bother to come
    here and therefore are not represented. It is a few unhappy customers like
    you and Irene and a few othes that try to convince everyone that Dell is the
    worst choice. You guys are trying to "convert" everyone to anti-Dell status
    and thus make all the "noise" in this newsgroup. The fact of the matter is
    that Dell does a much better job than any other PC vender and it by far the
    best option for most customers.

    But don't be swayed by the obvious. Continue to bitch about Dell. One or
    two people may believe you.
    WSZsr, Nov 2, 2003
  16. Whelan

    Tom Scales Guest

    I completely agree with Christopher's assertion. If you read every post,
    which I do, MANY of the complaints are from people that are just bigots.
    They don't like non-American tech support because they perceive the PEOPLE
    to be inferior.

    Not hard to catch the drift if you read the posts.

    Tom Scales, Nov 2, 2003
  17. Whelan

    Irene Guest

    I suspect his charge is motivated more by being unable or unwilling to admit
    that many of the complaints about Dell Tech Support do have merit.

    Our experiences with Dell's support resulted in our purchasing our newest
    computer from a local "custom" shop. Oh yes, we were so happy with it, we
    just ordered another.
    Irene, Nov 2, 2003
  18. | Wed night I ordered the Inspiron 8500 for my son, trying to keep the cost
    | below $2000.
    | I ordered it at 2.4ghz with 512 Ram and 60 Gb hd.
    | I ordered it with WXGA screen and 32mb video ram.
    | (The 1280x1024 display on my Dimension 4500 with 1702fp? monitor seems
    | right.)
    | The day I ordered, the DVD-RW was a free upgrade, so we chose it instead
    | the CDRW-DVD combo that we would otherwise have chosen.
    | Tonight I was reading user comments about the 8500 on CNet and they were
    | more bad than good.
    | I'm afraid some of these may be bad choices, especially the DVD-RW --
    | Any comments?
    | If I want to change, should I try to stop the order or just try it and
    | return it if we want it differently equipped?
    | Nan

    FWIW and all the other stuff aside, I bought an I8500 with specs nearly
    identical to the one you ordered back in July and have been very happy with

    It did have the "flimsy" keyboard problem that I'm sure you read a ton about
    in the CNET reviews. The problem is really not with the keyboard per se,
    rather a design flaw that leaves about 1/16" too much space between the
    underside of the keyboard and the "supporting" structure beneath. The result
    is a discernable flex that results from the keyboard having to travel the
    1/16" until it "hits bottom."

    I fixed it myself with a few pennies worth of 3M double sided foam tape with
    the backing left on the top side of the tape. Similar to the fix found here.

    Now I realize that the average user doesn't want to take their new $2000.00
    laptop apart, and personally I think it's pretty silly for Dell to let these
    things go out the door like that when the fix is so simple. The keyboard is
    now solid and as stable as any of the computers I played around with in the

    Other than that I have not had any problems with it at all. (well one that I
    created myself by accidentally moving some files whilst getting used to the
    touchpad but let's not go there :) )

    I'm currently "torture" testing it by leaving it on 24/7. It's been running
    nonstop for about two months now with a few Internet chat and messenger
    programs running connected wireless to my home LAN. I set it to "do nothing"
    when I close the lid and just close it up when I'm not using it. The
    connection never drops and it hasn't crashed yet. I get about 5.5 ~ 6 hours
    with both batteries in and the wireless card running and just surfing, word
    processing etc...

    Disclaimer wise, this is my first laptop so I can't give any useful
    comparison information and I really don't do anything "mission critical"
    with it so I don't much care if it breaks while under warranty. It's really
    just a toy for me and helps my Wife not feel so much the Internet Widow
    since I can surf from the couch instead of having to be at my desk. :)
    Never the less IMHO a very good computer.


    I'm not an MVP a VIP nor do I have ESP.
    I was just trying to help.
    Please use your own best judgment before implementing any suggestions or
    advice herein.
    No warranty is expressed or implied.
    Your mileage may vary.
    See store for details. :)

    Remove shoes to E-mail.
    HillBillyBuddhist, Nov 2, 2003
  19. Whelan

    PC Gladiator Guest

    614 reviews. And obviously not randomly sampled. Dozing off between
    sentences? ;-)
    If you're trying to say that they aren't statistically accurate then
    yes, you are correct. HOWEVER, I don't see anything that says all
    the awards that Dell wins are statistically accurate either. Maybe Dell
    should post their ACTUAL customer satisfaction numbers here? It sounds
    like they are taking surveys.

    I would presume their surveys showed the off shore support wasn't
    cutting the mustard for the business customers so they canned it.
    Why would it be any better for consumers? IMO the answer is that
    it is the same crap, BUT Dell has made the conscious business decision
    that the home user isn't critical to company sales figures and they
    can't do any better with the competition (alluded to by several Dell
    employees/supporters here) so screw 'em (home user).

    What Dell fails to understand is that word travels VERY FAST in a
    wired world. I came here to check out Dell when a friend wanted to
    purchase one. I configured a system for them and placed the order
    but did warn them of potential tech support issues. Hopefully things
    will work out. BUT it won't take long before all these outsourced
    horror stories start appearing in the main stream press. Like most
    businesses, short term profits have taken priority over long term
    success. Then again, maybe Dell will be selling nothing but TVs pretty
    soon anyways.
    PC Gladiator, Nov 3, 2003
  20. Whelan

    PC Gladiator Guest

    Huh? I'm not anti-Dell just PRO consumer. I provide support to friends and
    family gratus. When I want a new system, I'll build one with the parts I
    know and want.

    Why are you and so many others in complete denial about the horror stories
    posted here concerning Dell's off shore tech support? Burying your head in
    the sand won't make them go away. Oh yeah, I forgot. Everybody else is
    doing it so that makes it OK and besides where else are people going to go.
    It wasn't good enough for your business buyers so why is it good enough for
    your home users? Oh yeah, because Dell thinks they can get away with tech
    support on the cheap.

    Why doesn't Dell just reduce tech support to 3/4 of a year but provide REAL
    tech support? Costs would be reduced and customers would be happy IMO. IMO
    3/4 of a year of good support is worth more than 1 year of bad support.
    PC Gladiator, Nov 3, 2003
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