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Thread: Any thoughts on this purchase are appreciated.




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    Well gang, the wife has been wanting a new laptop. No doubt her current one is a dinosaur.
    So she put her ducks in a row and comes to me and says, "I got X amount of money, go online and find me a good laptop.".

    I go looking, and with the budget rubbing up against the performance and all, I came up with this solution.Dell Inspiron 5100

    Did a bit of fiddling based on the particular user vs. price and configured it with.

    P4 2.4G (that's a full bore 2.4 -- not an m class or Celeron)

    384Mb 266 DDR

    30Gb 5400RPM HDD (saved a few bucks over the 40Gb - she never filled up 3Gb previously)

    15" SXGA+ screen

    ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 16Mb (as she's not a gamer, again shaved the bottom line with this option)

    Combo drive - 24x10x24 CDRW + 8x DVD (free upgrade) :D

    She demanded that a carrying case be bought at the time of purchase, and for ease of use I had them include a USB optical scroll mouse as well.

    Primarily, it will be used while plugged in so only getting 1 battery with about a 3 hour charge.

    This pretty much falls into the category of a "desktop replacement" notebook, and should give her plenty of options/power.

    2 drawbacks I see;
    1.) It's a fixed drive (not the best design in my opinion)
    2.)Running Windows XP (not installed by me, so my record is clean still) :laugh:

    OK, so she'll have 3 times the computing power that I have --- so what, I can still do more:p Except for the DVD:cry:

    Anyhow, dollar for dollar I think it blows away the other notbooks I looked at.
    What do you think:?:

    Is it a keeper, I got 30 days to send it back?
    The reason a diamond shines so brightly is because it has many facets which reflect light.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Winnipeg, Canada
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    I have heard lots of stories like this.
    First of all stay away from dell, hp, compaq, gateway and ibm. If u don't, u will be sorry, very sorry.
    Don't u know better by now?

    This is a tweekers website.
    Just the fact that u are a member, tells me that u should know better.

    I had a customer the other day that thought that $500 could not get a capable machine. So he went and bought a used 2 year old dell for $400 thinking with a few bucks of upgrading it would blow away what i had offered him for $500, NOT!

    Well the only things that could be used were the cpu and mobo(the worst part of a dell). The 3gig hd only had 895mb left after windows xp , versus the 40gig he could have got. The sound card is garbage The 4mb pci video card is so crappy. The cpu fan was integrated into the case and was dead, the board needs a special dell power supply(which has to be used), the hd switches and led's are integrated into a dell pc board that has to be used with the mobo,(no pinout diagrams), the memory was pc100 128mb.
    U get the drift, nothing but junk from a machine that cost over $2000 just over 2 years ago.

    So the poor guy ended up spending over $900 in the end and still has a 3gig hd, crappy sound, all he could afford for video after all that was a radeon ve, and he still had to buy the os, which was included with what i offered him for $500.

    And he has just a cd rom, a 48x burner would have come with my product.
    athlon xp-m@2456mhz(12x204)
    tt aquariusII liquid cooled/ arctic silver ceramique
    asus a7n8xe-dlx
    thermaltake xaserIII lanfire
    bfg 6800gt
    seagate sataII 250gb/seagate 7200rpm 160gb ide
    samsung dvdrw
    2x1024 kingston hyper-x pc3200/ windows xp pro sp3
    logitech mx518/ logitech wingman rumble
    2x samsung 955df 19"/ canon i960
    creative x-fi fatal1ty 64mb/ altec lansing 251-5.1
    mushkin 550w

    opteron 146 @ 2850 (10x285)
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    thermaltake tsunami dream -black
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    ocz fatal1ty 550w

  3. #3
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    Nov 2001
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    maximus7001, remember that Mr. C is looking for a laptop, not a desktop

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Winnipeg, Canada
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    Still the bad rep should be enough to steer anyone away for good.

    Besides, i've seen better locally built and small company laptops that are more futureproof, the top 5 are the worst for being futureproof.

    And also the factor of feeding fat cat giant corporate tyrants that care little for their customers or anyone for that matter.

    And what about the high failure rate shortly after the warranty runs out. Thats just plain neglegent. Too much like a disposable lighter.
    athlon xp-m@2456mhz(12x204)
    tt aquariusII liquid cooled/ arctic silver ceramique
    asus a7n8xe-dlx
    thermaltake xaserIII lanfire
    bfg 6800gt
    seagate sataII 250gb/seagate 7200rpm 160gb ide
    samsung dvdrw
    2x1024 kingston hyper-x pc3200/ windows xp pro sp3
    logitech mx518/ logitech wingman rumble
    2x samsung 955df 19"/ canon i960
    creative x-fi fatal1ty 64mb/ altec lansing 251-5.1
    mushkin 550w

    opteron 146 @ 2850 (10x285)
    DFI infinity nf4 ultra
    thermaltake tsunami dream -black
    seagate sataII 500gb
    evga 8600gt oc ssc edition
    samsung sata dvd-rw
    2x1024 ocz black
    logitech ifeel/ nec accusync 75f
    ocz fatal1ty 550w

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    Ontario, Canada
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    If she will be using it while plugged in most of the time - have a look at the ECS desk notes

    they look like a notebook - but they don't have an internal battery (you can buy an external battery pack if you want)

    they're significantly cheaper than a notebook - & they use std. desktop CPU's and DDR Ram - so they can be upgraded relatively easily

    I'm always a bit hesitant when anything made by ECS is involved - & I've never used one of these myself - but I have a friend who bought an AMD based desknote & he thinks it's the greatest thing since sliced bread....he needs the portability - but can always plug it in to use it - so the lack of an internal battery is not an issue.

  6. #6
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    http://discountlaptops.com/

    they sell Sager, Chembook and Twinhead. three brands that a lot of other vendors OEM and sell as their own. For example the Sager's with the onboard ATI Radeon 9000's are the Alienware Area 51M notebook [at about $5-700 less].

  7. #7
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    Apr 2002
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    maximus 7001 you don't know what you are talking about, there is nothing wrong with Dell laptops.. That sounds like a really good choise I can tell ya..

    One should stay away from buying dell desktops but when it comes to laptops then it's nothing wrong with em'.. ;)

    :cheers:

  8. #8
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    Even their desktops aren't that bad...way better i think than compaq and others out there. I still will prefer "building my own" over a dell..but someone who don't have the needs us tweakers have then it will be a great choice. As for laptops i think that is a good buy.:thumb:
    - Damien

  9. #9
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    Jan 2003
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    My :2cents:
    Upgradeability in a laptop is pretty moot. They're near impossible to find parts for, and in my opinion, fall into the category of: Use til obsolete and replace. Tipoff: She didn't fill the LAST harddrive up. Lots of folks use their machines to much less than their true potential, and that's why companies like Dell, Gateway, etc are still in business and thriving. I understand from an upgrader or power user's perspective why you'd want to stay away from big corporations(I had an Emachines....learned ALL about maxed out upgradeability), but for the typical user, their products are very usable, priced great, backed by a warranty and good service, and finally, although sad....they carry namebrand recognition. In other words....you'll be able to sell a Dell (Just like your customer bought one based on the name Maximus) once it is obsolete for your uses. Try that with an outdated homemade box.
    :cheers:
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  10. #10
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    I'm seeing some have finally found the opportunity to reply:)
    (been difficult of late, I understand only too well)

    True, it's a Dell - but hey, it's a lappy!

    Totally configured, at just over $1,300 US -- a darn site better than many I've seen for $300+ more.
    IMHO it's a lot of potential that is pretty much wasted on her. Though she may just surprise me and get bitten by the bug - stranger things have happened:laugh:

    Worse comes to worse, I still got a P4 2.4 & some DDR to play with:thumb:
    though there are certainly cheaper ways to get that

    I figure she'll burn a bit of tunage, and maybe play a DVD from time to time. And of course some surfing and such.

    Main reason her taste runs to notebooks is comfort, her health is poor and the notebooks she can use and maintain a degree of comfort. First thing I gott'a do is set up the display so she can view stuff on the days her eyes are bad.

    Should be arriving between 1 - 2 weeks from now.

    Anyone had any hands-on experience with this particular model ( it is fairly new in the Dell offerings) :?:
    The reason a diamond shines so brightly is because it has many facets which reflect light.

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