I've had this laptop for roughly 4/5 years. It's the only laptop I have owned but it's a good one. The battery life is still as good as it was when I first got it. I can watch a 90 minute film on this and still have some battery left on it. Which I think is good even to today's standards.
The design isn't bad either. It's nothing special and the grey can get a bit dull over time. But it's more neutral then dull really. The keypad is nice and you quickly get used to it.
The only thing that bugs me is the screen. It can't be used in the sun, it's just impossible to see it. You don't get glare, it's more that you just can't see the screen. With today's laptops the screen is that glossy type which can also have a problem with sunlight, but it gets glare.
I've recently updated the operating system to Windows Vista Ultimate and it works fine, although the fan and hard drive seems to be working harder than when I was running Windows XP, and is therefore quite loud.
The speed compared to today's laptops isn't too bad, but it's not great either, and for that reason I am buying a new laptop. But this laptop has lasted a long time as far as laptops go. And it's still in the condition it was when I had it (except for a few scratches).
Since this is so old now I can't see many people buying one, I don't even know if they are still sold. But it would make a great second hand laptop for a young child's first. I can't really accurately say what a good price would be for one of these second hand. But I plan to sell mine for roughly £70 as I've had it so many years. Remembering that the speed will increase once I get the hard drive wiped clean.
One more note is to mention how good the wireless is. It picks up everything. Even in the car when I first used it out in the car I was able to pick up signal of houses along that road. Admittedly I had trouble connecting as I wasn't there for long enough. But around the house I can take it anywhere, and even in the garden it has 2/3 bars (and I have a third of an acre garden). Of course this depends on the router's signal too.
I did experience some trouble with the BT HomeHub v2.0 when I got it. It detected the HomeHub but couldn't connect without the HomeHub being restarted. But I will happily blame this on BT as they are a pretty shocking company with even more annoying routers.
The hard drive is pretty poxy. It has 65GB, which by today's standards is really bad. An easy way around this is buying an external hard drive. I got a 500GB one which I store all my music, pictures and videos on which solved the problem. But once I updated to Windows Vista Ultimate I was left with about 16GB free space, which really isn't much. This is also another reason I plan to get a new laptop.
I just thought I had an obligation to comment on how well this laptop has treated me over the years.
I bought the Inspiron 640M 2 years ago, and I have never had such a reliable laptop. The processing power, memory and disk space is more than enough for work, email, watching videos and using office software.
The laptop looks nice, it is not particularly heavy and is generally a nice size (unlike the bulky "powerful" laptops you often see in stores today), which means you can sit with the laptop on your knee watching TV with ease.
However, there is one slight complaint I have. The battery life is quite limited (although it was good when I first got it, it went downhill quite quickly). I have had to change my battery (cost £20 on ebay), as it got to the point where it required power from the mains, and would not function on battery power alone. It must be said that I did not take good care with the battery (letting it fully drain etc), so therefore I may have been partly responsible for this.
The laptop also comes with several USB ports, an SD card reader and various other ports but not being a techy, I'm afraid I don't know what they're called. It has a nice set of speakers (pretty loud!) and a dvd drive (for watching DVDs in bed or whilst traveling, or for making CD's).
If you can get this second hand at a decent price, I would certainly recommend it. If you are looking to buy a new laptop, it may be worth investing a bit more and getting an improved model.
I have owned this laptop for about eight months now.
It has integrated wireless, which is very useful, especially for me!
The memory stands at about 2GB, which if you are using it in the same way as i do is absolutly adequate, with this i am able to store quite a few photos and documents, and have no trouble with speed where this is concerned.
It has all the basic documents on, and mediadirect already installed - great for watching films and movies on the move. This laptop really is ideal for those who want to use it whilst out on the move.
The battery power is excellent in my opinion, i have charged it overnight on occasions then taken it out using it all day without the mains plug.
The only criticism i have for this product is i have noticed over time, that the speed of the programmes has deteriorated - especially when i have several documents open.
For the price i paid for this laptop i have no major complaints and it has been a good laptop for me!