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Old 02-08-2007, 04:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
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To those more "In the know", help Dell build me a Laptop!

Regardless of what folks feel about Dell, I've had superb luck with the two Desktops I've owned from them both in regards to service and functionality. I'm now wanting a laptop, pretty much just for surfing and gaming. I spoke with a customer last night, and he claims the XPS line is very good line (for off the shelf systems), as are the inspirons.

Heres pretty much what I'm thinking, again...this is what someone more in the know suggested I look for in regards to specs:
-Intel Core 2 Duo Processor
-At least 60 or 80gb HD the higher the rpm the better
-Good Graphics Card
-15" or 17" screen preferably.

Again, I'm somewhat of a noob when it comes to building systems although I do know my way around pretty well, but this is all new to me so I figured I'd seek guidance from those more familiar.

If theres another off the shelf system you could suggest, I'm also open to suggestions. The primary reason I'm wanting to stick with dell is because of my past experience with them. I've only had 3 problems, all relating to hardware, and Dell would literally have the part to my doorstep the following day with a return calltag in the box to ship back the defective part. The tech support I've found to be very helpful and very quick compared to some other companys I've dealt with. So I'd really like to stick with them, but I'll certainly entertain all suggestions.

Budget wise - Ideally I'd like to keep this at about $1200-$1500 but willing to go as high as $2000 if necessary. I realize the XPS tend to be a bit more for the specs I'd prefer, but I was also told the Inspirons were good as well, and you can configure them for alot less.


All help/suggestions greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-08-2007, 04:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My advice is that you look at your current comp and how it goes together. It really isn't that complicated and you will find it easy to build one yourself if you do a little research on parts. You will also pay significantly less.

My current comp has better specs than a 3000+ dollar XPS but cost me 1600 to build with all peripherals, all necessary software, and a 21 inch LCD monitor. I reused the speakers and keyboard from my old comp but that's it.

The cons are you lose the Dell support, but if you built it yourself you'll know better how to fix something that goes awry anyhow hardware wise.
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Old 02-08-2007, 05:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My Dell laptop has served me well since 2001 and is still running strong (obviously can't run modern games though). If you do get a Dell, I'd suggest getting their "complete care" additional warranty, it saved me a bunch of money when my LCD screen got broken.
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Old 02-08-2007, 05:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surge-NS View Post
My advice is that you look at your current comp and how it goes together. It really isn't that complicated and you will find it easy to build one yourself if you do a little research on parts. You will also pay significantly less.

My current comp has better specs than a 3000+ dollar XPS but cost me 1600 to build with all peripherals, all necessary software, and a 21 inch LCD monitor. I reused the speakers and keyboard from my old comp but that's it.

The cons are you lose the Dell support, but if you built it yourself you'll know better how to fix something that goes awry anyhow hardware wise.
Thanks for the advice, however I'm looking at laptops/notebooks, not desktops

Thanks anyways
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Old 02-08-2007, 09:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I just got my new Inspiron on Monday and it rocks! All that I can say when buying a laptop is... Pay for the upgrades. Laptops are not as upgrade friendly as desktops. I got the 4MB 2.0ghz core duo 1 gig ddr ram with the 15.4 widescreen wsxga monitor. Get the 7200rpm hard drive instead of the 5400.
I think it ended up costing around $1300.
My opinion for what it is worth!
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Old 02-08-2007, 09:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Whoops read the wrong way, good luck!
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Old 02-09-2007, 08:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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If you're already sold on Dell, I'd go w/ the Precision line.
More of the important features are standard.

With the XPS line, not every model includes things I would consider a "must have" these days, like SATA hard drives, etc.

With any laptop, don't skimp now. As has already been stated, very few things can be upgraded later on laptops.

That having been said: I have to say that Dell isn't my favorite brand for laptops anymore. Their construction just isn't up-to-par with other mfg's. If you're buying this to really be mobile, I'd suggest at least taking a look at some other options.

Last year I switched our company laptops over to IBM from Dell. Not a single complaint from any of our mobile users. Their lighter, and in general, just better made.

My staff (network support guys) got the hand-me-down Dell's (since most of us have at least 3 workstations and 2 laptops). All of us have noticed things like "it just feels chinsey" to the screens getting loose relatively quickly. Etc. Even their "corporate grade" laptops are really just beefed up versions of their home-user machines.

Not to steer you in away from a manufacturer you already like, just presenting some food-for-thought. (Personally I love their workstations, buy scads of them every year)

Whichever brand you go with though, I would consider the following to be mandatory:

1) SATA hard drive
2) Best video card you can put in it.....it makes a huge performance difference in laptops, and you WILL need it when Vista hits the public.
3) RAM, go with 2 gigs. If you can't afford that now, make SURE you get at least 1gig in a single dimm.....can can upgrade later! If you get 2 dimms (usually cheaper) you'll have to throw them out to make room later. And believe me, you will eventually be upgrading to 2 gig!
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