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I've worked with many laptops, and been disappointed by a great number of brands, models and configurations. Except the DELL Inspiron 1501, which I bought in April 2007 for £580 from eBay. While I have worked with and repaired many laptops before, anything from Packard Bell to Toshiba, this DELL was my first personal laptop. I remember it came in a rather large DELL branded plain cardboard box and inside there was my first laptop alongside the power lead, headphones, RJ11 adaptor, instruction manuals, driver CD and the Windows Vista Business DVD, which was also preinstalled.
Now, because this is not a model you can still find, I won't focus too much on the actual configuration, which very often varied, especially because back then DELL had a "build your own laptop tool", so the DELL Inspiron 1501, like many other models was out there, was available in a myriad of different configurations. Mine featured the famous AMD Turion x2, 64 bit dual core technology TL56 of 1.8 GHz / core. 2 Gigs of RAM, a 120 Gig Seagate hard drive, an onboard Rasdeon xpress 1150 graphics card, wifi b/g, sound, 4 usb ports, a VGA port, SD card reader, the usual stuff really minus Bluetooth and webcam. The lack of the latter was never an issue, since being a shy person, I never used webcams anyway. The screen size was a 15.4 widescreen with a resolution of 1280 x 800, which at the time was considered altogether a decent laptop.
It's an all plastic model, more on the budget end compared to it's XPS brother, but sturdy enough to take a lot of carrying around. While I mainly used it as a desktop replacement, it did travel with me through Europe and went through quite a number of turbulent flights and bumpy roads. Regardless of its sturdiness, the design was always something that bugged me. The locking system was outdated, using the traditional latch with 2 little hooks. The laptop, while large enough, it did not feature a numeric keypad, nor any special media buttons. The only button was for powering it on. The entire laptop was painted metallic grey, except a white stripe on the edges, and the plain black bottom. After extended use the metallic grey would come off the white plastic would show through.
Regardless of its obvious design related shortcomings, this laptop was and still is an absolute champ. No matter the task, it would do it without hiccups. In 7 years I doubt it froze or locked up more than 20 times, and when it happened, there was an obvious reason, I pushed it to its limits. There were times when I was really worried it would burn up, due to heat in the outside environment and the enormous pressure I put on the laptop itself by using it for very heavy hardware exhausting tasks. There were times when temperatures soared up to 70C but it kept on doing its job, and doing it well.
The only 2 things that failed were the 4 cell battery, which after 4 years, died, and the Pioneer DVD Writer which stopped burning the DVDs, and was able only to read. Anything else was and is working as it used to back in 2007, aka flawlessly. Since then the Inspiron name has lost its punch, and based on personal experience I would have to say, that it was the last and the best Inspiron model DELL ever made.
I received this laptop from a friend who was throwing stuff away. After a while of using is I found out why he gave it to me. It is several years old and he broke it. So I had to spend several hours trying to figure out how to fix it, and ended up taking apart and cleaning the whole thing. Then I found out why it doesn't work and had to buy a new power jack for it and a soldering kit to replace my old one. But it was free besides the hours and money spent of repair, so it was still a pretty good deal to me.
Now I'm gonna tell you some of my opinions.
It has pretty decent wide screen and has nice audio. It has two small speakers inside of it about an inch or so big. So, don't think it sounds really fancy because it looks like it might up close (or maybe that was just me). Anyways, it has Windows XP Professional which is a nice thing I liked since almost all computer come with Windows 7 now. This laptop model is also really easy to do self repair on, and if you're not good at fixing stuff there are many videos on YouTube that will teach you how to (its how i fixed mine). Its great for watching movies on the go, and just in case you're wondering its great for watching YouTube videos. There's also a DVD drive on the side which just adds to its value if you like watching movies. It also has plenty of room with four usb ports if your thinking of buying accessories for it. Its also pretty cheap now considering that some are selling for $50.
Now for some bad things about this laptop. It's pretty huge and bulky for laptops nowadays. So you shouldn't buy this if you like traveling unless you're alright with the weight, or you just want to watch movies on the huge screen. The processor isn't that good either if you're a gamer and you want a laptop for games. The ram is pretty low too if you look at most computers nowadays that usually have 4+ ram. It also can't match the speed with the new computers and tablets coming out everyday. But most of this can easily be changed by upgrading which can be done by a novice.
I bought this as a replacement for my desktop computer, as I wanted something I could take with me when I went to university. At the time I think it was about £300, but I also bought something antivirus software and other equipment as well, like a mouse. I wanted a laptop that looked quite good and didn't weigh too much when I was carrying it around, but I unfortuntely didn't have the money to spend on one of the top models.
Dell are a reliable brand I think, because our desktop at home has always been great, without any problems. Although they are not the most exciting designs I imagine they are good value for money. This laptop is very similar, and I've had excellent experiences of using it since I bought it.
One of the best features is the wireless, which I always find easy to use. This is one of the things I use the laptop for the most, and it's got a large, bright screen which is ideal for this - 15.4 inch widescreen. This is great for watching films on too, which I also do a lot, and the laptop's great for this, and doesn't make lots of noise when it plays the disk.
It can get quite hot when you use it for a long time, but I usually have it on a desk, where there are usually no problems. This is a strong, well-designed laptop and so far nothing has broken and everything still works as well as when I bought it. The battery perhaps isn't quite as good, but I can still use the laptop for about two hours or more before it runs out.
The computer uses Vista, which I know some people don't like but I've never had any problems with it and find that it runs fast and loads things quickly. I don't really play any games on it that would use complicated graphics or anything, so I don't know how it would cope with that. It runs all internet sites and applications without any problems.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this laptop. Others are probably more popular, but this is a reliable and affordable model that is a good choice for university and basic fucntions.
The Dell Inspiron 1501 is a laptop computer that was released in 2007. It was quite famous for its use of the AMD Turion processor instead of a processor by Intel. I personally believe that this laptop is the worse I have ever used and in this review I will be explaining why.
The laptop itself:
The standard colour is silver with a white plastic trim on the edges. The plastic shell is rather flimsy and can be flexed with a thumb! The screen is 15.4" which is pretty standard for a laptop of this price range. The mouse pad has areas for scrolling on the right hand side and bottom edge. The buttons on the mouse pad are a unique design that regularly stick and in my case the left button stuck after 2 days of use and now after 4 years it still hasn't popped out, leaving it useless. The keyboard is the normal dell design in all black. There are no other buttons apart from the Power button. Next to the power button are some green LEDs that show the status of wifi, cpu and disk drive.
The laptop came preloaded with the infamous Windows Vista and even after 3 re-installs and several service packs there has been no improvements on compatibility or speed. Vista often shows the BSOD for no apparent reason such as plugging in a (new so virus free) usb flash drive.
Dell also loaded the laptop with their "useful" support tools and other spyware infested programs from their "selected partners".
The hardware on this machine was mid-range when released with a 1.9ghz AMD Turion dual-core processor, 2gb RAM and 160gb HDD. There is NO dedicated graphics card but instead a "soft" card that is the ATi Radeon Xpress 1150 (which has now been discontinued). The battery is of a very poor quality and is no longer recognized by the PC (error message after POST). The mouse pad has a very grainy texture making uncomfortable to use for longer periods of time. A Dell Wifi Minicard provides WiFi support however only for the older standards of 802.11b/g. The DVD drive is a 16x DVDRW combi that has a tendency of producing "bad burns".;
Performance is appalling even during the most basic tasks of Word Processing and playing Flash games. Often words display several seconds after you typed them and flash games run at less than 10fps. The temperature of the laptop soars when opening programs such as Internet Explorer. The DVD drive is quite slow and gets extremely loud, especially for Install disks.
The battery quality and battery life on this laptop is appalling. The battery on lasted around 1 hour on power saving when it was new and now after ~3 years the battery doesnt work at all meaning it has to be plugged in at all times! So it cannot be used as a laptop now and is just sat collecting dust.
Ive just replaced my inspiron for something a bit more upto date, i have had it quite a while now, i think about 3-4 years. it has done a great job of handling all the jobs i have thrown at it over the years. I primarily use my laptop for music and photos. I opted for the larger memory which was a good thing as i have around 8000 songs and 2-3 thousand photos stored. it still manages to react quickly with all this on its memory. Its a good sized laptop with a decent quality screen, Its hard to sum up a laptop in a paragraph or too so this is my plus points. Its appearance- alot better looking in silver and white than the usual black and grey, great memory-stores alot and doesn't slow down too much, WiFi- great reach, can connect to my home home way after my phone or ipod or other laptop have lost signal. is tough- i have dropped it, hauled it all over, spilt drinks on it, left it for weeks without touching it and generally misused it but it still works fine.
My negative points would be the battery lost life very quickly after a year or so although a replacement wasnt too costly. Dell extra software upon purchase isnt cheap. it does take its time powering up and my main bug bear is if you leave it switched on and shut it then open it a bit later and try to use it, it takes so long to catch up, it would be quicker shutting it down and turning it on again.
Hope you have found this helpfull.
I have had my Dell Inspiron for around two years now and this is the second Dell laptop I have owned. I must say that I have not been disappointed by the quality of Dell products. Two years down the line and I still experience reasonably quick start up speeds. The picture quality on the screen has not declined in the 2 years I have owned the laptop and I fully anticipate getting another 2 years out of this laptop. Even though the laptop is now 2 years old, I find that the battery life, although not quite what it once was, it still pretty good. Fully charged the battery generally lasts around 2 hours. I found the Dell very easy to use when it was fresh out the box, simply turn it on and away you go! I find the Dells to be reasonably stylish, especially when purchased direct from dell you can normally change the colour of the laptop to suit yourself. I would say that the laptop offers very good value for money. The only improvement Dell could make on this product is possibly making it slightly more light weight which would make it easier to travel with.
This was my first laptop and its done very well. Its still going strong even though it had had a few bumps and a few drops *oops*. It has survived all well and even cup of coffee - yes i am a little clumsy, so if it can survive me I think it would be a great starter laptop for anyone young or old.
I loved the express on cover i bought with mine which did come in may colours if you feel like giving it a make-over. Mine has since suffered many scratches so i have now took it off but looks good just as it is, the glossy white frame looks modern and smart.
As for the features all are good, the dual core allowed me to run a virus scan and look at the internet at the same time for the first time so has been useful.
So the laptop is good but vista well that is another story it seemed to cause me no end of problems and it took me almost 8 months to sort it out so it would connect to my wireless internet. In the end i just wiped it and installed my old XP disks which was a good idea.
The memory was good at the time although i did end up buying a removable storage device that has been useful for many things over the years so was a good accessory to get.
The biggest issue i have is the battery i must say dell it is terrible! It only ever seemed to last about an hour, the power left indicator was never accurate and it completely died after one year! so I can only use it plugged in now- not good for a lap top.
Also once it has died you are left with the most annoying pop up telling you constantly you need to get a new battery. In the end after about 6months it gave up on telling me about this but there was no way of turning it off in the meantime.
I endured this machine for one year and time has took it's toll, Before I upgraded to a new laptop I had the Dell, In my experience I've never favoured dell for it's reputation of crashing and blocky craftsmanship, and the same can be said about the 1501.
It's not a bad laptop, the processing speed is adequate, if you want to browse, work or play games it can be perfect for you, it plays games that don't have too shiny graphics okay, such Spore(TM) for example. Loading times gradually descended to awkward waiting as the low memory space gave up to internet cookies and personal storage, The screen is quite dull and square, you'll often be defeated by the shine of the sun or darkness of shadows in the daytimes.
But it does round about everything at a clean level in respect. There's nothing to bad or too good about it, and for the money it's well worth it as a student laptop to work on!
My only complaint would be over heating and the charger socket, the poor connection meant the wire slips out with ease and half of the time I had to a funny dance around the room as the laptop had slowly burnt my legs before i'd noticed!
But, Good buy for value and function, but it's not anything specialist
Overall this laptop is a standard laptop, performing functions reliably and as well as most others. It does, admittedly, have a tendency to crash for no apparent reason, an issue which becomes more common the longer you have the laptop in your possession - over a pretty short space of time, it will become tired. I've had the laptop for around 2 years now and it is already becoming fairly slow. Its biggest problem however is its extremely low battery life; use it for around 30 minutes on a full battery without the battery charger plugged in and it may well need charging again. That said, the inspiron is easy to use, even if longevity is not its strong point - only a couple of years of use will see it become increasingly slow and frustrating to operate. If you're looking for a cheap and cheerful laptop to be used immediately, it will work excellently for the first year or so you have it.
I've had my Dell Inspiron 1501 for about 3 years now, a year spent as a laptop shared between me and my younger brother, so bashed about a bit, and two years spent as my College computer, also bashed with the number of Essays and Coursework!
The Dell I got was the silvery-grey one, I think they had different colours out back then. I quite like it, the black keyboard stands out making it easier to type, it's small enough to carry but not too small that it's awkward, it's comfortable, was stylish back then lol, and has a mousepad right in the centre - I hate when it's at the sides, or a big ball you run your wrist over. The screen is also not too big but not too small, and there are no huge stickers explaining graphics or anything round the sides.
I honestly have no idea what the graphics card is on here, or most technical computer know-how like that. I do know it's an AMD Sempron, roughly 80gb hard drive, something I've never heard of before now, and 2gb of RAM, which I find is the perfect size to be honest. I can surf the net, write a document at the same time, can save shedloads of games and documents to anywhere on there - it's really quite a simple laptop. It's simple to use in general too; it came with Windows Vista so obviously the Start Menu holds most of the things you'll need to look at when first setting everything up. Programs were easy to install, and delete if necessary, and the AutoWizard guy still came up to help you through how to download or delete.
It's wireless works quite well, with my wireless at the moment I can only get the internet when I'm sat in the same room as the router, but we haven't figured out whether that's because of my laptop or because of the router. Before the internet died completely I was able to get wireless as far as two or three rooms away but it really could be for a number of reasons. Either way the wireless does work! The sound and graphics for games is also quite decent, not as good as HD but not so blurry as you can't see a thing. The sound is sometimes very loud on a low volume though, I don't quite know why yet.
It worked perfectly for the first couple of years, even when I dropped it down the stairs, but by the start of the 3rd year it began to run ever so slow. Yes, I know laptops and computers get old and start to fall apart after a few years, but I didn't know that back then. I thought they lasted for at least 5 or 6 years! I got the internet on it after it started going slow (worst idea ever, I know) and eventually the internet just wouldn't find the wireless and connect to it anymore. I kept saying it could be the router, it could be the router, but my brother's laptop worked just fine off the router so eventually I had to get the laptop checked.
Took it to a local guy who sorted it out for me, no problems, £20 and free McAfee. I thought great! It started running slow again 2 weeks later. AND it never managed to connect to the internet... One good sign, my brother's wireless broke too, so there was a chance it was the router! Still didn't get it working though, so I deleted all the internet and games and stuff I had installed and used it as a document laptop only. That worked well for a bit, but then even Word started going slow and I eventually gave up completely; I'd deleted everything and installed it again, checked for viruses, I even deleted all internet programs and had McAfee scan it before I did - nothing. The laptop was well and truly beggared!
Then my boyfriend suggested something and I let him have a go. After uninstalling everything, wiping the hard drive completely and then reinstalling everything down to sound drivers, the laptop was working almost perfectly and still feels as good as new now. He also explained that this would mean that if were any viruses on there, which is highly likely because of how badly it was running, then all I'd had to do all along was wipe the hard drive. It was that simple to fix!
When it started running slow I had my doubts about Dell but I think it was just the amount it was used, and it was quite old aswell. But, it's still going after 3 years and working almost perfectly now so they must have done something right with this model! I would say this would be great as a student laptop if you're not too fussy about perfect graphics and the best quality picture available, but for those who just need it to surf and write on, it's perfect. I'm using mine right now for this!
My Dell 1501 Inspiron laptop is now 3.5 years old and still going strong after 3 years of being lugged around constantly all over the world and bashed about in cold and hot climates.
This is a terrifically hardworking and hardwearing machine that is very durable compared to other models.
One bad point is that it is also very heavy compared to newer sleeker models so you could say it is a dinosaur in terms of really practical portability.
Another bad point was that the battery died after one year's use to the point that it used to last 2 hours approx (again not fantastic) and now lasts only 30 seconds at best without AC power. BUT the battery was subjected to one year's HEAVY use and I believe 1 or 2 years life expectancy is standard on laptop batteries so I figure that is not such an issue (maybe if all the manufacturers could try and come up with a longer life battery that doesn't need replaced so often we would all be happier but I think they might decide that idea was uneconomic).
However, despite all the minor gripes about the weight of it and the useless battery there is a lot to be thankful for. On the plus side I have had to do very little to maintain it and got thousands of hours of joy from it, considering I have used it as my main source of work, communication and entertainment from day one.
Speaking in terms of entertainment - the speakers are actually very good and not tinny or pitifully weak which some laptops suffer from (my Acer netbook is not so good here in this regard) so you can play music to your heart's content. Furthermore, the screen is a good size and can more than double for a TV in terms of size and quality and often has.
Overall I would highly recommend this model to you. In terms of actual usefulness and life expectancy I found it a godsend. Not for those with bad backs however!
I bought this laptop roughly 2.5 years ago, and it worked fine for the first year, which was the length of the warranty. After that, I started having hardware issues, mainly with the battery and AC adapter. I've had to replace the battery once and the AC adapter twice, and it's looking like I'll have to replace the adapter again if I can't get an altogether new laptop. It's great if you don't do much, but with heavy use over two and a half years, it's gotten insanely slow, prone to overheating, and prone to freezing. It came with 2 GB of RAM, but I can barely run Firefox and iTunes together without having to kill excess processes just so I can do things. I can't listen to music, write something in Word, and have a browser open without at least one of the programs not responding.
About 3 years ago now I decided to buy a laptop as I needed one to work remotely from the office. I decided to go for a Dell Inspiron 1501 model laptop and generally haven't been disappointed. The advantages of this particular laptop are the prices which was very cheap at the time at around £500 with all the insurance and bits added on. It is also very easy to use and is simple enough to work on. It makes a very useful computer to work on and play games. The screen is big enough as well to be able to use. The disadvantages I have found with it is that the battery life doesn't seem too long. The laptop can be fully charged but when the charge is taken off the battery only lasts approximately 1 hour at the most for me before expiring. Also the laptop is not the lightest laptop you can ever buy so not overly compact. Having said all that if you're looking for a reliable, fast machine that's easy to use then you can't go too far wrong with this at a great price
I brought this laptop about 2 years ago and it is still going strong, initially dealing with Dell online was very easy it allows you to pretty much design the package you want and what I chose was exactly what I needed and a very reasonable price. The laptop compared to some more current ones is quite heavy but when I first brought it it seemed quite lightweight. The longivity of it is amazing I use it daily and have had no problems with it, the battery life (the standard battery) is not brillian and without the charger plugged in only lasts about half an hour but you can upgrade the battery when buying Dell laptops. It comes with all the standard features you would expect sound card windows media microsoft office etc and I found Dell customer service very helpful it also comes with the usual year warranty but you can pay for a longer warranty if you wish.
All in all I love my laptop and find it very reliable eventually though I think I am going to have to upgrade to a smaller lighter one!!!
I have always had a Laptop and wasn't much interested in desktop PCs. Dell has been my favourite so far, upgrading from other models I have used in the past. They are the most reliable company in terms of hardware, software and usability.
I had a problem with the installation of a particular software and the customer support help-desk was extremely useful guiding me through the whole process and offering to send out an engineer if need be. There are so many Dell models out there and to be honest whichever model you buy you wont be dissapointed. I just love the 1501 as it has all the basics and more, to run the day-to-day applications and usage.
The 1501 has a very slim, shiny design and ergonomically designed to give you wrist support and user friendly keys. It a really good laptop in terms of installing software and the processing speed of these applications. Some laptops I have used in the past had taken ages to even open up a simple word document which can get frustrating if your process speed is very slow.
It has lots of memory, ram and ideal for mobile usage and if your like me in the library at university where I do most of my philosophical research. All the details can be found on the dell webiste in regards to the specs.
I usually like watching movies from the 1501 and it has streamed so well especially if are watching live using your wifi. There are also extra add-ons such as multi-card reader which is really beneficial if you have a camera and not enough space on your card, you can always slot it in and download all your photos before using it again.
It has a wide screen and a very high-resolution with crisp, quality images. My screensaver is of a natural setting and does make it look very real everytime I look at it.
I would recommend this to anyone especially if you want something longterm and reliable and no time wasting rebooting all the time. The price can be expensive but definitely worth the investment!!