Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My new Dell XPS M1530

As a lot of tech people I'm pretty particular about what type of computer I use. I've given up going to the store because they never have the computer I want with the features think I need. That along with the fact that I get a pretty good discount through Dell's EPP program makes my choice a no brainer.

I get the computer I want at a decent price. I started off looking at the d830 which is the business line performance notebook. I figured that the latitude line may be a little more reliable since businesses usually use it. After looking around a little I found that I was getting a better deal with the XPS line. I got nearly $1000 off list price.

The key benefits were:

  1. Its default configuration came with more memory @ 3 gb (saving me from having to purchase 2 gb of ram from crucials online site.

  2. It came with Photoshop Elements and Premiere (Isn't it funny how so many tech people have a photography hobby?)

  3. It had an identical processor (Intel Core 2 Duo T7500 2.20ghz) That seemed like value point for the processors.

  4. A larger hard drive with the free fall sensor and 7200 rpm. 200 gb

  5. It also had the video card I wanted the NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT 256 gb

  6. I was able to get Vista Ultimate for $50. The verdict is still out on this. I like the OS, but it's no where near as stable as even a young Windows XP. I do think that some of this is due to 3rd party software not running as stable. My most recent BSOD, yeah I've had 4 in less than a month, was caused by my AVG free anti-virus.

  7. I also upgraded my battery to the 9 cell. This seems like a no brainer, but I didn't realize that it was going to stick out from the bottom of the PC.

  8. The thing that really limited me to the d830 and the 1530 was my screen and resolution requirements. Have to have the 1680 x 1050 and 15.4 inch screen. This tends to eliminate a lot of other options even outside of Dell. I did look at some lenovo's and HP's, but their cost far exceeded that of the Dell. And I have 3 year in home service, so I'm not too worried.

  9. These didn't make me buy it, but it was nice that it comes with a remote, noise cancelling ear buds, and it looks nice also.

I read a lot about the pc before I got it. I wasn't worried about complaints of a loud cd/dvd drive (It's not that loud). The computer definitely gets hot on your lap. Years ago I once asked a dell support person why they call it a laptop if it can't be used on your lap. I was quickly corrected... These are "notebooks". Yes it does get hot. I also prefer the different inputs to be on the back of the laptop, but I've found the side access okay for my usb mouse and the power cord.

Overall I think the only regret may be getting Vista. SP1 should be out any day now, but I don't think Vista will be able to compete with XPs stability.

If it means anything to you my Vista Windows Experience Index is a 4.8 which is pretty good for today's computers


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