UPS arrived early yesterday afternoon, my new Dell Laptop in hand. After lots of anguish, and an email and call to Dell executives, I decided to purchase a Inspiron 640M.
If you have haven’t purchased a notebook computer in a while, or you’ve just pointed to one in a store, said “mine” and took out your credit card, you’ve missed a terribly weird experience.
No matter what you do, you’re never quite sure what you’re doing!
Dell’s site is that way – but so is HP’s and a few others I tried. There are lots of options, but many of them are only described in marketing hyperbole. What’s the difference between different processors in absolute terms? Got me.
Then there’s the matter of price. It’s tough to look at any price conscious website and not see a link for a Dell deal, that leads back to the Dell site. I configured the same laptop in a few similar ways and came up with wildly differing prices!
As I told the woman I spoke to at Dell, I didn’t want this experience to be like buying a car, or worse purchasing an airplane seat. I don’t want to make a purchase only to find the person in the seat next to me paid a lot less!
My laptop has a Core 2 Due processor, 2Gb RAM, CD/DVD writer, 120 Gb hard drive (which shows up as a 110 Gb hard drive) and a WXGA+ screen – meaning 1440×900 resolution.
That was the deal breaker for me, resolution. As far as I could see, there were no other laptops priced in the same ballpark as the Dell that gave me as many pixels on a 14.1″ screen. Pixels are important to me. I edit lots of photos.
Like I said, the laptop arrived and I am favorably impressed. I am not as gung ho about Windows Vista – and that might just be because it’s different.
In typical Microsoft fashion, I loaded some updates, which busted the Vista sidebar! I had to do a rollback.
I also now better understand the Apple commercial where John Hodgman (playing “PC”) is asked for permission to perform a variety of tasks on a steadily maddening basis (go ahead – watch the commercial).
My idea of security isn’t sitting at my door with a shotgun. That seems to be Microsoft’s answer.
At nearly every instance where I installed or tweaked something, Vista asked if that’s what I really wanted. Often it asked two times and sometimes three.
My friend Peter says some savvy users have turned this ‘feature’ off. Maybe me too, though not now.
Speaking of security, though the system came with a trial subscription for security software, I’ve been using the free version of Kaspersky’s virus scanner, given away by AOL. When I attempted to install it, I found it was not Vista compatible.
The battery life on the new laptop is much more than any I’ve ever used before. It looks like it will be at least 5 hours in real life. That means it becomes a DVD player for airplane trips – even cross country trips. That’s cool.
More observations later. Right now, I’m pretty happy.