New laptop, choices, choices

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Tom Scales, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. Tom Scales

    Tom Scales Guest

    Well, since I killed my daughter's I6000 (well, it was dead and I didn't
    fix it), I am going to buy myself a new laptop. (that's the way it
    works, right?)

    Anyway.

    I'm torn on the choices. I was sure I wanted the little XPS1330, but
    wow it is expensive. I went to the kiosk to see it and all they had was
    a mockup. What's up with that? Since I couldn't see a working screen,
    I couldn't form an opinion. If I was a serious traveler like I used to
    be, it would be a no-brainer.

    But I'm not. The most this will move is home office to bedroom to back
    porch.

    So, I am looking at the 1420 and 1520. The 1520 is the updated I6000.

    I'm leaning towards a little smaller and lighter, hench the 1420. The
    limitations are:

    1) No nVidia 8600, the best is the 8400
    2) No WSXGA+

    The first doesn't seem to be a shopstopper as I very rarely game and the
    games I have are old enough that they'll likely run just fine.

    The second is tougher as I haven't seen the sizes and resolutions. I
    may hit Best Buy to look at other machines and see what they look like
    for comparison.

    My gut reaction is that 1680x1050 on a 15.4" screen would be tough to
    read. Yes, I know I can play with the dpi, but what would the real
    estate do for me? I don't really program anymore, which is where it
    would be helpful.

    The 1420 offers WXGA+ which should be 1440x900, which is the resolution
    on my I9300. I like that resolution and think I could live with it on a
    3" smaller screen.

    So, I'm leaning towards the 1420.

    I have a 10% off outlet coupon, so I have two days to decide and find
    the right one on the outlet. One quirk I have noticed on the outlet is
    that the T7500 processor is cheaper on outlet machines than the T7300.

    So, I am leaning towards a 1420 with the T7500, 2GB memory, 120GB
    7200RPM drive, WXGA+.

    Should be just under $1000 with the coupon at the outlet.

    Comments and suggestions welcome!

    Tom
     
    Tom Scales, Aug 20, 2007
    #1
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  2. Tom Scales

    Tom Scales Guest


    Well, I ended up fixed my I6000, so no new laptop.

    Shoot, I wanted one..
     
    Tom Scales, Aug 20, 2007
    #2
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  3. Tom Scales

    me Guest

    yep it's PRICEY!!
     
    me, Aug 20, 2007
    #3
  4. Tom Scales

    notaguru Guest


    It won't be for long.
    One of the great benefits of this economy is that consumers
    support (relatively) high prices only as long as the
    differences/advantages are clear. Dell was the second (after
    Sony) to combine that level of power and functionality in such a
    package. The XPS1330 is about 20% less costly than the Sony
    products with which it directly competes, and Toshiba already
    has a toe in the ring.

    As Acer, HP, and others enter that marketing battle, prices will
    fall quickly. And each new entry will bring with it some new
    benefit or feature.

    For the consumer, it's great. For the market planner at Gateway,
    it's a puzzlement.




    I know lots of facts, but don't understand them.
     
    notaguru, Aug 20, 2007
    #4
  5. Tom Scales

    WSZsr Guest

    More info Tom. How did you fix it??


     
    WSZsr, Aug 20, 2007
    #5
  6. Tom Scales

    Journey Guest

    See you below...

    Another alternative would be an outlet M1210. They are priced very
    well and I love mine.
    I seem to remember that you have a larger notebook already, with
    either a 17" or 20" screen (true?). The advantage of a larger
    notebook to me would be to use it with Remote Desktop to connect to my
    desktop computer.
    Agreed -- based on what you say you'll use it for, video wouldn't be a
    show stopper, although I know you stream TV (I have no idea how, it
    would be interesting to know) so I don't know if more powerful video
    would help with that.
    't really program anymore, which is where it
    I found the 1680 x 1050 to be very readable, even with my 44 year old
    eyes that now need progressive lenses, however you hit the nail right
    on the head when you said you might not need it anymore because you
    don't program. The main advantage of the WSXGA+ has always been for
    programming tasks (which I don't do anymore either).
    Someone else may be able to calculate how the 1440 x 900 on a 14.1"
    screen compares to 1680 x 1050 on a 15.4" screen. I have used both,
    and have the 1440 x 900 resolution on my 640m, and it seems like the
    text size was very close.
    One thing I don't like about the Inspirons, like my 640m, is that the
    build quality seems sub-par. On two different laptops of that type
    the screen needed to be tightened after a while. I found out that
    it's not that hard to do. Also, it doesn't have a solid feeling.
    That's a good configuration. I have stayed away from the 160GB 7200
    rpm drives because they have been having problems (if I wanted that
    capacity I'd Google to see what drives and if problems have been
    resolved). I have never regretted getting a 7200 rpm drive -- it
    doesn't seem to decrease battery life.
    My favorite laptop in that price range right now is the Latitude D520.
    It's very solid -- magnesium roll cage and steel hinges. A modular
    battery can fit in the drive bay, getting up to 11 hours (as one
    review reported) with the primary and secondary batteries. I like
    that it has a standard aspect screen rather than wide. It has more
    verticle resolution, which is good for many applications, such as web
    browsing and word processing. It doesn't have the glossy screen which
    could be a show stopper -- for me I like the non-glossy when using it
    for "business" purposes (at meetings, etc). I don't have to worry
    about window glare behind me or have to adjust the angle to avoid
    glare.

    Another option would be to go the Lenovo Thinkpad route. They have
    been deeply discounted, and there are coupons that can be used on top
    of their discounted prices.
     
    Journey, Aug 21, 2007
    #6
  7. Tom Scales

    Tom Scales Guest

    Reseated the CPU, but it didn't last long.
     
    Tom Scales, Aug 21, 2007
    #7
  8. Tom Scales

    Alex Stern Guest

    Tom, what's your opinion on the Nvidia video cards vs. ATI video cards on
    the Dell laptops?
     
    Alex Stern, Aug 21, 2007
    #8
  9. Tom Scales

    Tom Scales Guest


    On a laptop, I don't know. On a desktop, I generally prefer nVidia as
    ATI's drivers are terrible and their control panel consumes a huge
    amount of memory.

    On the new laptops, the only choice is Intel integrated or nVidia.
     
    Tom Scales, Aug 21, 2007
    #9
  10. Tom Scales

    me Guest


    What screen resolution would you go for if getting the
    D520?

    Would you stick with XGA?

    Or go for higher SXGA+?

    Something weird abt Dells web page....when you click on
    14" models only you still get the D520. But the blurb
    says its a 15" screen
     
    me, Aug 21, 2007
    #10
  11. Tom Scales

    Journey Guest

    The D520 may come with a 14" or 15" screen choice. I don't remember
    because I've had former D5xx laptops and already know that the 15"
    screen is great so when I helped my friend order we automatically went
    for that.

    Definitely the SXGA+ -- very readable.

    I really like the non-glossy screen for business uses.

    You sound like me in the past buying and selling systems. I was able
    to do it without much financial loss when Dell had the $750 rebates.
    They don't now, so my timeframe for having a laptop is back to the
    usual 3 years for me.
     
    Journey, Aug 21, 2007
    #11
  12. Tom Scales

    me Guest

    Hmm.... I will double check

    Maybe since the D520 is 15" and not 15.4"..... they've
    classified it in the 14" range or something
    Really?! I would have thought that high off resolution
    would make for VERY small text and such. No?
     
    me, Aug 21, 2007
    #12
  13. Tom Scales

    Journey Guest

    What did you replace your 640m with -- you sold that to your
    brother-in-law right?

    What are your needs for a laptop. Start with your needs and then
    decide how to proceed.

    For example:

    - Portability (and how portable)

    - Cost (including the length of warranty you'd like)

    ..- Use: business note taking, multimedia, games?

    and fill in your other relevant factors.

    Once you do that then it makes sense to go into these details more.

    On your 640m what resolution did you have?
     
    Journey, Aug 21, 2007
    #13
  14. Tom Scales

    Zack Guest

    =====

    For whatever it might be worth ... I recently bought an Inspiron 6400,
    as
    a needed 'fix' to my 4.5 year old Ins. 4100 (which is still *almost*
    fine) :

    I think this is "T7200" -- core 2 duo 2GHz; 15.4'' WSXGA+ (1680x1050);
    100Gb 7200rpm (the biggest 7200rpm they had), 2Gb ram; ATI Mobility
    256Mb (but the offers were alternating between this and nVidia). I
    was
    waiting for a few months for a deal where the "stars
    aligned" (somebody
    here nicely called it this way -- and it may have been you? :); and
    then
    I got it, with a few extras (extra big battery, faster RAM for
    programming,
    70-Dell-dollars, and a little more), for 1500. This is with 3 year
    warranty.

    Without these extras I believe it would've been, very loosely,
    somewhere
    between 1200 and 1250. Still with the 3-year warranty. (Maybe around
    a
    month after I actually bought it, a deal showed up which would've made
    it
    up to around 100 cheaper. I didn't regret it, one can't wait forever;
    but the
    fact is that the price went down a bit more.)

    I've been reading advice here (thanks!) on checking out the Outlet --
    and
    I did ocassionally -- but this machine was needed and supposed to be
    as
    reliable as possible, so I somehow did not feel comfortable enough
    with
    the Outlet. Altogether I am very happy with the box and the price
    point,
    given the configuration I got. (Btw: it's got basic Vista; I do agree
    with what
    seems to be a prevalent opinion, that it is not production ready yet;
    but my
    system of choice is Linux and it only made sense to use an opportunity
    to
    actually get Vista. I believe that it will replace XP as the main
    system.)

    Also, I think I can say that the resolution seems to me to be almost
    exactly
    the same as 1440x1050 (or so) was on 14.1'' screen (on my old I4100).
    If
    I did not need it for programming (I do), I'd still find it much more
    pleasing
    than anything lower. I really enjoy the big 15.4 with this resolution.
    But then
    I cannot comment on how hard is to read it, really.

    Hope this may be of some help, let me know if I can supply more info.

    PS. Btw ... could anyone supply advice on where to get an inverter
    for
    an old (Ins4100) machine ... but a reliable source? I got two over
    eBay
    and they in fact do not work ("100%, tested, etc"). They do start --
    and
    this is better than what mine does -- but then auto shut off, which
    only
    confirms it that is the inverter. That whole ins.4100, which is
    otherwise
    still very fine, is now not really usable, just because of this tiny
    piece.
    An advice on a reliable source would be much appreciated.
     
    Zack, Aug 22, 2007
    #14
  15. Tom Scales

    Zack Guest

    =====

    For whatever it might be worth ... I recently bought an Inspiron 6400,
    as a needed 'fix' to my 4.5 year old Ins.4100 (which is still 'almost'
    fine) :

    I think this is "T7200," core 2 duo 2GHz; 15.4'' WSXGA+ (1680x1050);
    100Gb 7200rpm (the biggest 7200rpm they had); 2Gb ram; ATI 256Mb
    (but the offers were alternating between this and nVidia). I was
    waiting
    for a few months for a deal where the "stars aligned" (somebody here
    nicely called it this way -- and it may have been you? :); and then I
    got
    it, with a few extras (extra big battery, faster RAM for programming,
    70
    Dell-dollars, and a little more), for 1500. This is with 3 year
    warranty.

    Without these extras I think it would've been, very loosely,
    somewhere
    between 1200 and 1250. Still with the 3-year warranty. (And maybe
    around a month after I actually bought it, a deal showed up which
    would
    have made it up to around 100 cheaper. I didn't regret it, one can't
    wait
    forever; but the fact is that it went down a bit more.)

    I've been reading advice here (thanks!) on checking out the Outlet,
    and
    I did ocassionally, but as this machine was needed and supposed to be
    as reliable as possible, I somehow did not feel comfortable enough
    with
    the Outlet. Altogether I am very happy with the box and the price
    point,
    given the configuration I got. (Btw: it's got basic Vista; I agree
    with what
    seems to be a prevalent opinion, that it is not production ready yet;
    but
    my system of choice is Linux and it only made sense to use this as an
    opportunity to actually get Vista. I believe that it will replace XP
    as the
    main system.) The build quality does leave a little to be desired, but
    my
    experience with these is ... excellent, actually. (Well -- so far.)

    Also, I think I can say that the resolution seems to me to be
    practically
    the same as 1440x1050 (or so) was on 14.1'' screen (on my old I4100).
    If I didn't need it for programming (as I do), I'd still find it much
    more
    pleasing than anything lower. I really enjoy the big 15.4 with this
    crisp
    resolution. But then I cannot comment on how hard is to read it,
    really.

    Hope this may be of some help, let me know if I can supply more info.

    PS. Btw ... could anyone supply advice on where to get an inverter
    for an old (Ins4100) machine ... but a reliable source? I got two
    over
    eBay and they in fact do not work ("100%, tested, etc"). They do
    start
    -- and this is better than what mine does -- but then auto shut off
    within
    half a minute, which only confirms it that is the inverter. That whole
    ins.
    4100, which is otherwise still very fine, is now not really usable,
    just
    because of this tiny piece -- which I am certainly prepared to buy.
    An advice on a reliable source would be much appreciated.
     
    Zack, Aug 22, 2007
    #15
  16. Tom Scales

    Zack Guest

    =====

    For whatever it might be worth ... I recently bought an Inspiron 6400,
    as a needed 'fix' to my 4.5 year old Ins.4100 (which is still 'almost'
    fine) :

    I think this is "T7200," core2duo 2GHz; 15.4'' WSXGA+ (1680x1050);
    100Gb 7200rpm (biggest 7200rpm they had); 2Gb ram; ATI 256MB
    (offers were alternating between this and nVidia). I was waiting for
    a few months for a deal where the "stars aligned" (somebody here
    nicely called it this way -- and it may have been you? :); and then
    I got it, with a few extras (extra big battery, faster RAM (only for
    programming, 70 Dell-dollars, and a little more), for 1500.
    This is with 3 year warranty.

    Without these extras I think it would've been, loosely, somewhere
    between 1200 and 1250. Still with the 3-year warranty. (Maybe
    around a month after I actually bought it, a deal showed up which
    would've made it up to around 100 cheaper. I didn't regret it, one
    can't wait forever; but the fact is that it went down a bit more.)

    I've been reading advice here (thanks!) on checking out the Outlet,
    and I did ocassionally, but as this machine was needed and meant
    to be as reliable as possible, I somehow did not feel comfortable
    enough with the Outlet. Altogether I am very happy with the box
    and the price point, given the configuration. (Btw: I got basic
    Vista;
    I agree with what seems to be a prevalent opinion, that it is not
    production ready yet; but my system of choice is Linux and it only
    made sense to use this as an opportunity to actually get Vista. I
    believe that it will replace XP as the main system.) Now the build
    quality does leave a bit to be desired, but my experience with
    these is ... excellent, actually. (Well -- so far.)

    Also, I think I can say that the resolution seems to me to be
    practically the same as 1440x1050 (or so) was on 14.1'' screen
    (on my old I4100). If I didn't need it for programming (as I do),
    I'd still find it much more pleasing than anything lower. I really
    enjoy the big 15.4 with this crisp resolution. But this would be
    a personal preference and, for thing, I cannot comment on how
    hard is to read it, really.

    Hope this may be of some help, let me know if I can supply more
    info.

    PS. Btw: could anyone supply advice on where to get an inverter
    for an old (Ins4100) machine ... but a reliable source? I got two
    over eBay and they in fact do not work ("100%, tested, etc"). They
    do start -- and this is better than what mine does -- but then auto
    shut off within half a minute, which only confirms it that is the
    inverter. That whole ins. 4100, which is otherwise still very fine,
    is now not really usable for me, because of this piece -- which
    I am certainly prepared to buy. An advice on a reliable source
    would be much appreciated.
     
    Zack, Aug 22, 2007
    #16
  17. Tom Scales

    Greg Guest

    Doesn't matter what you get. Expect it to be delayed.
     
    Greg, Aug 22, 2007
    #17
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