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I purchased the Dell Inspiron 1300 approximately 10 years ago. It is durable and fuctions well. I am currently using the laptop to write this review. It has three USB ports which is great. I use these ports for tasks such connecting my portable mouse or charging my electrical equipment. None of these ports have malfunctioned as yet although there is no covering present.
The friction created by moving my finger across the pad is irritating so I prefer to use a mouse. The battery is very expensive but I have only changed it once. The laptop is excellent for everyday tasks such as searching the internet and writing reports. The laptop does not posses new features such as a pre-installed camera or touch screen. I can easily connect an advanced speaker system or camera equipment using the USB ports. My purchasing decision was excellent. I invested in a quality product.
I would highly recommend it.
The dell inspiron 1300 is a 15.4 inch notebook, from research this looks like it came out in 2005 however this was given to my sister a few years ago and now my notebook is being repaired I am forced to use this as a back up. The inspiron is made of a sturdy thick plastic unlike other laptops that are made with aluminium and plastic. The lid is very thick measuring almost an inch thick which compared to today's standards this is extremely unnecessary and hideous. The base of the laptop measures just over an inch thick so as you can imagine this is not very light weight. The screen itself measures approximately 13 inches and I'm not sure if it is LCD or not. The keyboard itself it located in the centre of the laptop below that in the middle in the touch pad and the mouse left and right keys. This laptop is a dark silver and a grey/black colour, because this is so old I very much doubt that this comes in any different colours but I'm sure you can get laptop covers to fit it as it's the same size as a normal laptop.
Keyboard and touch pad
All the keys that would be on a full sized keyboard aren't here but the majority of the keys are present such as all letters, numbers, F numbers, arrow keys and significant others. The keyboard itself is set into the base of the laptop but the keys are slightly raised, they are the thin type keys but the very old version, so they have slanted sides and are very square making them seem very bulky compared to today's keys, Because they're flat it easier to type a lot faster but because of the slanted sides sometimes I do stumble over the keys and type the wrong letters in words this proves to be a lot of effort to type because you have to go back and correct yourself. The mouse pad on this is tiny considering the size of the laptop measuring only 3 inches by 2.5 inches approximately, this is also set into the base by a few millimetres this does get annoying with it being so small because it means instead of doing one big scroll across the page you have to do several small scrolls making you take more time so it isn't very efficient. The buttons are very small and sometimes I press the wrong one but this doesn't really do a lot of harm.
Cleaning the laptop
Like everything else, you're going to have to give this a good scrub. Just getting a really lightly damp cloth you can run this over the casing and the screen without doing any damage. You're also going to have to do this to the keys but a little harder because it's proven your keyboards can carry the most bacteria because we touch it a lot! Because this is an old laptop there are lots of gaps between the casing and the laptop, so if you can get a cotton bud, lightly wet it (HARDLY WET) and run this around the outside of the keyboard, this will pick up any dust, crumbs and where ever else might be hiding down there also the mouse pad that is set in the base you will need to lean the edges of this with a cotton bud too.
Set up, Start up and connectivity
I can't really comment on the set up because it was handed to me already done, but it will be done the same way every laptop is done, with installation disks which will come with the laptop, just put the disk in, turn it on and follow the instructions while doing this set up you will have to put all your internet details in as well. Starting this up is very slow, the power button is a big silver button located above the keyboard, the lights will flash green and it will start turning on, the process takes several minutes before the windows loading screen comes up, when it does load to the main screen, this takes a further 2 - 3 minutes before it is fully ready to use. This is frustrating especially when your in a hurry and it's taking ages to open Google chrome. This will automatically connect to the internet you set this to in the set up, if not all you have to do is double click on the wireless internet located at the bottom and click the right connection which will be yours.
I don't think this originally had windows XP on it considering it's age but turning it on now it has XP on it because I think my brother updated it when my sister first got it second hand. My sister decided and was successful in deleting the hand installed drivers, they we're installed manually because the laptop is so old, I don't know what these are but I don't that they set up the presentation of the laptop, browsers and other things. My sister deleted them by accident and we've never been able to find the right ones to install again so when opening up internet explorer it took several minutes to load the page and even then, it was plain white with a few black lines and a search bar, this wasn't acceptable so it took me around 15 minutes the other week to download Google Chrome (something that should take less than a minute) After installing this the internet browser loaded considerably faster so I think it was a mixture of missing some of the much needed drivers and the fact internet explorer is on it's way out. As for other programmes it only really comes with what it needs, it doesn't have any Microsoft software not even Microsoft office, this doesn't bother me much because I do have different ways of pre writing my reviews on the laptop.
USB, Disc Drive and Durability
This has 3 USB ports for camera, camcorders, Ipod wires and anything else you might need to plug in, these are all located on the left hand side of the laptop, 2 above each other and one at the side, this would make it difficult if you are trying to use all 3 at the same time because they aren't spaced out there might not be enough room. The is also a head phones port, I plug my Ipod speaker into my laptop through this port and play music via Itunes or youtube. There is a disc drive on the right hand side of the laptop, This is for DVD's specifically however you can put installation disks in this or any other disc that you might need. So far the durability has been good considering it came out in 2005 and we got it second hand and I'm using it now third hand. This has been dropped countless times and it does make a massive thud, it has two keys missing from being dropped, the F6 button and the [ button is missing however you can still press them without the key, also the hinges for the lid which is now squeaky and lose so when I type really fast it does rock about and squeak, but through all this it still lives.
Downloading, Gaming and Watching movies
There's certain essentials a young person like myself will need and the first one is Itunes, we all have an ipod meaning we all need itunes, downloading this on here takes a few minutes longer than it should and the start up of it is slow, but once it is open it runs smooth and fine, other things that might be needed are an up to date MSN, I don't use this but for the purpose of the review I just downloaded it and it took again several minutes for it to completely install, which isn't bad. If you download music or films, Music takes a few seconds to get a song and films take a considerable amount of time, more than they should some can take up to a day to download, I put this down to my sisters error rather than the laptops fault. Watching films is a little awkward, it does have the dvd rom already installed so you just have to put it in and it loads automatically and the programme opens on it's own, The film takes awhile to start and is a little jumpy at first but then it sorts itself out and runs very smoothly. As for gaming this does have a Graphics card but an old one so this is fine for old PC games but cannot play with ease new PC games because of course the graphics are bigger. It is hard playing some facebook games even so I wouldn't recommend that you use this to play games although it seem like that's what this laptop was best for when it came out.
The wire on the battery pack is really long which is handy but it isn't very compact, the laptop with the wire takes a couple of hours to charge until it is 100% This is then supposed to last 4 hours without the wire in although it doesn't it lasts about 2-3 hours, this is probably because of the use and the age of it however you can't have this without the wire because the screen is very dim and you can hardly see because it's saving power where as with the wire in it is very bright.
Intel Pentium M Processor 740 (1.73GHz/2MB Cache/400MHz FSB*)
15.4-inch WXGA display
512MB of RAM (2 stick configuration)
Intel integrated Media Accelerator 900 graphics card
60GB Hard Drive (5400RPM)
24x CD Burner/DVD Combo drive
Dell 1470 Internal Wireless 802.11a/b/g
56Kbps Modem and Integrated Network Card (ethernet)
Dimensions: Height 1.41", Width 14.0", Depth 10.5"
Weight: 6.7lbs (with 4-cell battery)
4-cell Lithium Ion Battery
Ports: 3 USB 2.0, VGA out, Modem RJ-11, Ethernet RJ-45, audio line-out (for speakers headphones), external microphone port, ExpressCard 34 slot
At this point in my life this insprion 1300 is a life saver, I don't think my net book will be able to be fixed so until I can save up enough money I will have to use this laptop, it is very bulky and heavy meaning I can't really transport this anywhere except to and from my bedroom and to another room, I have to take the wire everywhere too otherwise the screen is ridiculously dim, the speed of the start up is annoying as is the speed of loading the internet browser, I choose not to watch films or play games on this because I think it would in the end be a big waste of my time but having said all that it's perfect for general browsing and review writing(once the browser loads)
This was the first laptop I ever owned, so to some extent, I have a sentimental attachment to it. Nonetheless, from what I've experienced from it, it's a fairly good laptop for people to start off with, and I'd like to outline a few of the reasons why, and perhaps why it's less good.
Even when I bought the laptop a number of years ago, it was relatively cheap at a few hundred pounds. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a high level laptop, but for someone who simply wanted to browse the internet, write Word docs and listen to music, it provided all I needed. Some more technically minded might point out that the specs aren't hugely exciting - 1GB of RAM isn't the greatest thing in the world, but for someone who's not putting it through its paces, it works just fine. Given that I believe it's been discontinued, anyone buying this laptop second hand would be able to get it cheap, so it would be a pretty good deal for someone else's first laptop.
I bought this laptop in 2005 and used it through until early 2011, with minimal hassle with it. There are some weaknesses with the casing and the way that the screen attaches to the keyboard, which I suppose are to be somewhat expected for such a cheap laptop, but they were only an annoyance rather than a problem - the screen had a slight wobble, but it wasn't noticeable unless moving the screen around. The other issue I had was with the battery life - the original battery life of 2 hours or so wasn't great - it did mean that you had to take the rather hefty charger about with you. The battery life also fairly rapidly declined, so for much of the time I owned it, I had to keep it plugged into the mains, which was annoying, especially when I wanted to print or go somewhere. After deciding to splash out on a new battery, which was far from cheap, it was able to run for another 6 months or so before the battery declined again. This is annoying, especially when you just want to pop downstairs to run something off the printer and you have to shut it down, unplug it, restart it - it takes time.
== Speed ==
Instead of boring you with facts about the CPU and the RAM, I'll simply tell you how it works in real time. This laptop is for simple tasks; writing, powerpoint, music (although this is slow) etc. For a kid who has homework and wants to surf the net, this is a good laptop; for someone who wants to take photos and edit them, watch films or the like, then it's less good.
For a starting level computer, for a kid's first laptop, it's a no frills but useful device. It's relatively well built, although not hugely portable. It's not going to do complex tasks, but I'd recommend it as a place to start.
Once upon a time, I believed this laptop to be the top of the range. This time is long gone now, but I still possess the 1300 and love it. With a single core processor with a medium power, it never did many things fast at the same time but it had enough power to be a surfer and basic word processor. The celeron processor in my opinion not being a good choice for this machine, but it makes sense with the small 60gb hard drive space I had in my model and the limited ram of 1gb. The wireless card was problematic from day one even with the drivers but the ethernet fared much better fortunately until I had ironed out the problems. The screen was good for its purpose, with the widescreen fitting all my windows on easily and the graphics driver allowed me to play a slew of cheeky internet flash based games but nothing over basic 'Risk' in any case. The DVD drive was standard in my opinion and it ran fairly quietly. On the other hand, the Hyde side to this laptop reveals a serious overheating problem which has never gone away, two hard drive replacements down to unknown causes according to the DELL team and installing Vista on here was the number one mistake from the get go, forcing me to install XP to create a workable machine. Nowadays this laptop will be nothing more than a backup to a main machine, donated to the lower members of the family for free to create more troubles and problems. But as much as I can criticize it, It will still work and soldier on for what seems like forever in its bricky form.
I picked up one of these machines second hand with a fault in the power connector. Apparently this is one to watch out for but its a relatively easy fix.
A common problem is when the power connector inside the machine comes loose and the machine won't charge up. One quick solder later and we're back on.
The machine itself has a crisp 15.4" display and easy to navigate contols. The keys are snappy and the trackpad is configurable to your preferences.
With the 1G of Ram that was in my machine it ran programs quickly and suffered very litle slow down unless running really heavy applications.
Battery life was good on my model which had seen heavy use, and even after some time all USB ports and plugins were functioning perfectly.
One of my plus points for the inspiron range are the Fn shortcut keys that allow you to alter brightness, volume, contrast and eject discs. Very useful once you get used to them.
If you can find a low price 1300 I would strongly recommend one.
I bought this TV to complete my law degree which was 3 years long so it did get quite a battering through my university years. However it is still going strong throughout my postgraduate training - now 2 years on and is also great for running my ebay business on.
This laptop is easy to move around and very easy to use. I have never had a problem with it at all.
The only one slight hitch with this product is now it is fairly old the battery power doesnt last at all. However, I am in the 6th year of this laptops use!
I used to wactch a lot of movies on this laptop whilst at University too and the picture was as good as any TV that I have had and is so easy to use - just pop it in the drive and it goes! I love this laptop still - 6 years on
In my experience, this laptop is just about average. I find the memory leaves a lot to be desired, I have a few programs on it but the memory is almost full already.
The processor is the same, it struggles to run two things at once and will only manage to open something about 5 minutes after I have clicked it. My laptop suffers regular bouts of refusing to do anything, freezing spontainiously and not getting started again for several hours. This became a serious problem as the more I needed my programs, the more I used them and the more the laptop froze, leaving me with nothing but a blank screen. In fact this problem struck me whilst writing this but luckily it only lasted a few minutes. These are, however, all too frequent.
The battery life was also a problem for me as it deteriorates hugely over time. A supposed 2 hour battery would only run for 45 minutes after 3 months use.
The charger provided was very flimsy and has broken twice this year. The needle that the charger plugs into also broke and fell into the casing, leaving me with only 45 minutes of battery life left until it was fixed a week later. I would have fixed it myself but the casing is extremely difficult to take off.
This laptop is good for a first time buyer but is quite unreliable in the longer term or for more advanced, experienced computer users.
This is a very good laptop for most people. It includes WiFi as standard and is very simple to set up to connect to a wireless network.
It has much going for it, including easy control of screen brightness and volume levels from the keyboard.
There is nothing over-complicated, a basic keyboard, mouse pad and a power button is all that is on the case, however this is really all most people will need.
There are three USB ports, networking and modem ports and a headphone and microphone socket and conveniently, these are all on the left hand side. The power socket is still on the rear of the laptop, however.
A big word of WARNING: This laptop appears to have (from photos and descriptions) a standard expansion port. You might think it is a PCMCIA (standard expansion). It isn't. It wasn't until I tried to place an expansion card into there that I found out that this requires an ExpressCard type of expansion. These tend to be more expensive, rarer and limited in the types available.
I find 1GB of memory a little limiting, but then I use Microsoft Access and Microsoft Outlook (with over 20,000 emails in it) running all the time. I imagine for most users, 1GB would be fine, but expanding to 2GB (which I keep on meaning to do), doesn't look too expensive.
The battery life leaves something to be desired, however. I don't think I have ever had more than 45 minutes on battery.