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Before I have always been devoted to desktops, but then for reasons of travelling and work I decided to get a laptop. I decided to buy a dell through recommendation, I ended up purchasing a inspiron 8000 and I cannot fault it in any way. It has never let me down and always been prompt with whatever I am doing. The screen is 15" which is perfect for internet browsing and word processing. This laptop comes with a dvd player, infrared and a pentium 3 1ghz processor with 246 mb ram. The has been Particularly useful for linking with Psions and other palm top organisers. The only fault if there is one is that it is a bit heavy but this is mainly due to the 15" screen and all the extras. If you don't want all these extras and a lighter laptop then I recommend going for the inspiron 2000 range. All in all I cannot fault Dell in anyway. They work both with the phone and internet making it easy to find the perfect laptop for you. After ordering you can actually track your laptop going through the processes all the way to the delivery date on the internet so you know exactly what is happening and when. If you ever think about getting a laptop I recommend dell, my friends have dell and so does my brother and no problems have ever occurred. They have good insurance too, my brother spilt tea on his laptop and it was picked up and sorted and delivered back again. Have a look at www.dell.co.uk and you wont regret it. I hope this article has been of some use to you.
After lugging my desktop around with me from place to place, I had had enough with it's size and weight. But making the change to a laptop was going to be a big investment. My biggest worries? Laptops cost a lot! Their screens are usually smaller and don't have as nice quality as a regular monitor. There is a greater risk of having your computer stolen. Breakability factors go up. And laptops become outdated more quickly because of difficulties in upgrading. What did I want out of a laptop? The ability to take my computer with me, from one location to another, with minimal work. Laptops mean you can check e-mails from hotel rooms and on visits to friends and family. They mean easier moving, saving you space and effort. Laptops are quick, convenient, and portable. Perfect for my lifestyle. I also got a warranty with my purchase, which offers peace of mind. I bought my Dell Inspiron 8100 in May 2001, from the www.dell.com website. It was a tough decision in making this purchase, after months of research on laptops. I had looked into refurbished models, and all kinds of brands. I decided that I would go ahead and buy a Dell, because I felt as though it was a safe purchase, and that it would be a quality purchase. I made my order online. I had someone who knows a good deal about good computer specifications help me out on this one, because although I work on the computer all day long, I'm still not quite up and up on numbers and specifications and what works well in conjunction with different components. On the Dell website, you are guided through a number of steps to choose among a variety of options for your laptop. I chose things like a CD-ROM over a DVD, a 15 inch screen over smaller sizes, and so on. Then, the die was cast, as I entered my credit-card information and my purchase was complete. This was a quite busy time of year for Dell. However, I received my Dell Inspiron 8100 in a little over two weeks
. The Inspiron arrived in a large box, packaged to prevent damages through shipping. I turned on my Dell Inspiron 8100, and everything was pretty much ready to roll. Dell was of course gracious enough to put all kinds of marketing ploys into my computer, with trial programs and Internet service options. In September 2001, I was the lucky recipient of the Sir Cam virus. I shudder to think of this event! I knew which virus it was because I had done some research on the Internet. I reached a point where Dell Inspiron 8100 would turn on and reach a blank screen with a prompt. Nothing else. I called Dell's customer service number, trying not to panic. I ended up calling several times, and each time I had a completely different experience. The first call I made, I believe I was told to go make a startup disk. When I called back the next few times, it was difficult to pick up where each different customer service representative had left off. One of the people kept asking me to spell S-I-R C-A-M, and still had no idea what I was talking about. A woman that I spoke with later knew exactly what I was talking about. I knew things were bad when Dell representatives thought it was bad! After multiple calls, I had been guided through a process where you completely wipe your hard drive clean of everything. I lost all my information and data, but it was a relief to have my computer up and working. Well, that was after a confused customer service representative misguided me in the installation process, and kept leaving out one of the drivers, which prevented me from getting on the Internet. Although there were a few hitches, I managed to get things up and working. As a side note? Back up your computer! I was always one of those people who was cavalier about my data, and wasn?t backing up my files. External devices are comparably priced to internal devices. I got myself an external zip drive to go with the Dell Inspiron 8100, and have found it to be
extremely useful. Not only can I backup things, but also I can store things on zip disk that would otherwise be a system hog. I am looking into an external CD burner as well. In addition to customer service, Dell provides other things along with the purchase of the Dell Inspiron 8100. I got a year of DellNet by MSN (which I don't use). There is a warranty on the computer. With the laptop, I of course have all the disks I need, from Windows ME to drivers to reinstallation disks. Dell prides the Dell Inspiron 8100 for features like high quality graphics, a high-speed processor, and things like interchangeable palm rests. A mood changing laptop feature doesn't quite get my adrenaline going, as I prefer features that are more about functionality, but Dell seems to like these gimmicky ideas. My Dell Inspiron 8100 did not come with a laptop bag, so I had to go out and look for one. It was difficult to find a bag that fit the 15" screen. Even bags that claimed to accommodate a screen and laptop of this size were not able to. What I ended up getting was a Targus Lappac. I know that sometimes Dell runs promotions where you get a free bag with purchase, but they were running a different promotion at the time I bought my Dell Inspiron 8100. The Dell Inspiron 8100 is pretty heavy, but nothing I would complain about. It's a small price to pay for something that is so portable and functional. I am very happy about the fact that the Dell Inspiron 8100 does not have any features that can be easily broken off. I have seen many computers at work and other places that have ports that pop out, and things like modem card plugs that stick out, and too often I have seen these features get broken or caught. The sound on the Dell Inspiron 8100 is decent? but is your general tinny and poor quality sound, if you are playing something like music. I have some really nice speakers that are hooked up to my laptop, the sa
me speakers that I would have connected to my regular desktop computer. If you appreciate high quality sound, and it's something that you crave, I recommend using speakers, especially for a stereo effect. Plus, external speakers allow you to have your sound on or off, without having to go into settings after you boot up each time. For those of you that are used to using a desktop, typing on a laptop is different, something to get used to. I have used laptops often in the past, and I found myself noticing the difference in keyboard type after purchasing the Dell Inspiron 8100 . You have to get used to the smaller keyboard (which is more condensed), more sensitive keys, and the fact that your palms are resting on a level plane (the palm rests of the laptop). It is difficult to get around this problem. Maybe one day, Dell will make those interchangeable palm rests more 'squishy'?! One of the things that has most recently happened is that some of the letters on the keys are starting to show wear and fading, which worries me a bit. I don?t know if this is normal, but I definitely do not like to see this. My Dell Inspiron 8100 has a 'smart' touchpad, as well as one of those rubbery devices (pointing stick) located in the center of the keyboard that serves the same purpose. It is really easy to hook up a mouse, and I can even plug it in after my system has booted, and it will work. The battery life is all right, although it seems to be on the short side. My apartment is infamous for short power outages, which my laptop survives if the power comes back on within about two hours. You can always set your laptop for power-saving options, which can be specific to when your computer is running on batteries only. It does seem as though the little battery indicator in the task tray drains fairly quickly. As for the performance of the Dell Inspiron 8100? I chose Windows ME and a good amount of hard drive space, and a fast
processor. I rarely have problems like my system crashing. I find that things like Winamp or other large programs end up being system hogs, so I try not to use too many large programs at once. As soon as I got the laptop, I deleted all the extraneous items that I knew I would not need, such as all those ISP's I would never use. I had every intention of buying a laptop that was fast and would not crash much, and that is exactly what I got. Overall, I have had good luck with the Dell Inspiron 8100. It has been a joy to use and to travel with, and has been a great convenience. I cannot fathom what I would do (or how I ever survived) if I did not have access to a laptop. This computer made quite a dent in my pocket, but I hope that in making a larger investment, that the Dell Inspiron 8100 will stay around for a while. I love this laptop and am extremely satisfied with my purchase, and would recommend it!
First the spec: 850 PIII 15" screen 128MB 100 Mhz SDRAM Windows 2000 CD-RW Drive 20GB Hard Drive ATI 16MB Video Card For £1624 + VAT + Freight when I bought it in May 2001. Decided to go for this particular machine as I had read (justifiably) good things about it and was unable to find any other machine that had the specs I wanted. Amongst other things, I was looking for a machine with Win2000 and a CD-RW, the Inspiron 8000 by default has neither of these but it was simple to change the spec when I ordered the computer online. Unlike others who have commented on this notebook I have had no problems with my machine. I bought the computer shortly before I was due to travel overseas so I was somewhat anxious about delivery. As it turned out I needn't have been as Dell delivered soon after I ordered it and on the day they said they would. I had no problems setting up and have so far not had to contact customer support (aside from going to the Dell Support website to download the odd update for applications on my computer - which is a pretty useful service in itself). I work as a Web Developer and often run several power hungry programs on the notebook at one time but have experienced no major slowing down or crashing. I was used to running Win98 and think some of the crash problems I have experienced in the past are due to this operating system, so I am pleased with the upgrade to Win2000. The build quality is excellent - good screen with a nice resolution. Very comfortable keyboard and both a track stick and a touch pad depending on your taste. The only concern I have had with the Inspiron8000 is that it did get worryingly hot when used for prolonged periods. This has improved no end now that I have removed the battery. As I rarely use my notebook away from the desk this is not a problem, but I can see that it would be for someone who uses the machine when travelling a lot. If y
ou are considering buying the I8000 as a notebook to use on the move then be warned that aside from getting hot it is also pretty hefty. If, however, you are looking for a desktop replacement (to use on a desktop) then I have no hesitation in recommending this quality notebook.
Inspiron 8000 850VT review Oops didn?t post the opinion on the product at all. Heres the opinion on the product, for my experience with Dell and the product as a whole please find the article under the Dell retailers link. The Specs. Intel Pentium III 850 with speedstep. Intel 815e chipset. 128 Mb Ram 32 Mb ATI Rage M4 video card 32 Gb HD NIC/modem combo card 15" 1400x1050 SXGA TFT screen 8x DVD drive 8x 4x 24x CD-RW First Impressions. True desktop replacement, heavy and big, not a true portable. Pleasant keyboard, one of the best I?ve used. Trackpad and trackpoint option, though with both the cursor can move erratic but fix available on web site. The screen is big and bright, also clear. Note some may find the resolution to high for this display and the text a bit too small, but fine for me. Brightness relatively even but viewing angles a but constraint. Dead pixels have developed over the three months since I?ve received the order and will be replaced when it goes b ack for inspection. The warranty requires over 9 dead pixels to be present before a replacement is offered. Overall good. Performance Long boot times, with Win Me. Performance with win 2000 is reported to be better by other users on the Dell talk site, but present other problems, such as lack of dual display option which is present in Win Me. Note speedstep is not available on this model due to incompatibilities between the OS, BIOS and chipset. Can still run chip at a slower speed but requires changing the BIOS setting to do so an d the inconvenience then of having to boot up and then shutting down before the plug is pulled to force it into battery optimised mode. Had managed to run about 2 hrs 30 mins on battery before the battery packed in, but note much less when watching DVD, about 2hrs 15 mins if you are lucky. The new models with faster processors will have even less battery life.
Office appliaction is fast but that should be the case. Photoshop was relatively impressive but still not as fast as desktop systems with lower specifications. DVD and video performance is very disappointing. DVD playback is jerky from the supplied DVD playback though audio from this machine is of superb quality from the in-built speakers but lack volume and bass which is to be expected from a notebook. Video playback can also be jerky, including some enhanced CDs. 3D performance is a major complaint, with Jedi Knight stuttering and skipping along, but this is likely to be of the video problem on this system, though this doesn't be an isolated case, as the problem seems to appear regularly on the Dell forum. Quake performance hasn't been tested, but from the forum this is disappointing. For anyone wanting to play 3D games get the new model with the GEFORCE GO chip, this trounces the ATI M4 chip in performance but 2D performance has been reported to be slower, but could be due to early drivers. Note the ATI produces better quality graphics albeit at a poorer performance, so its up to you. TV output hasn't been a problem on this system though problems have been reported. The fan comes on regularly with Win Me and hardly often with win 2000 and the fan is noisy, The underside and keyboard gets HOT, even with the fan running often though it runs cooler with Win 2000. For anyone wanting to run Linix, Dell provides drivers on their website. The supplied CD-RW can be hotswapped with the floppy disk. CD-RW performance is reasonable but the problems have been encountered include skipping and grounding noise on CDs copied on the fly with this system and unreliable CD-RW backup. The hard disk is relatively fast but noisy, and modem and network performance is good. System unit The machine features S-Video out and anyone wanting digital surround sound can do so with the supplied dongle which has an SP/DIF socket for connecting t
o a d ecoder. The unit feels plastic and flimsy unlike the Sony laptops which exude quality. The unit is heavy at 3.5kg but as a desktop replacement it wasn't designed for regular on the move use. It has the usual PS2 ports and sockets and also 2 USB ports. More unusual is the inclusion of a firewire port, great for video editing. The unit also supports different colour palm rests and trackpoint nibbles but is more of a gimmick, still if you want to stand out from the crowd. A desktop docking unit is also available. New machines also support wirless networking. Another design flaw is that the keyboard touches the screen. So if you are on the move and have greasy fingers this will translate onto the screen, though Dell assures the screen will not be scratched-check their website for more details. Also static and electrical noise can be heard from the speakers regularly. After sales Poor. Anyone wanting more details read my other piece on Dell in general. Overall. A nice desktop replacement with good features and specification. Poor reliability and stability, very buggy but could be due to Win Me. Video performance issues and problems. Poor 3D performance and CD-RW problems. Flimsy and runs hot. Poor aftersales and certainly doesn'y live up to the Dell experience. The same price can now purchase a 1Ghz and Geforce Go system instead. Not to sure how this system performs as systems are now just starting to be shipped out. If you want a good reliable system with good looks and quality then get a Sony Vaio. If you are after a desktop replacement then consider this but check the prices and deals carefully. Very hard to recommend. *Update ---------- After nearly over two years of battling with Dell, they finally admitted there is a problem with the machine and have taken it back and refunded me! Thanks to Barclaycard who took the fight on my behalf, the threat of small claim
s action against them had paid off. Previous threats were ignored and letters were not replied. Well to get to that situation, Dell had five attempts to repair the laptop, each time a new fault was introduced as well as the not fixing the previous faults. They were given a final chance to repair the laptop, which they took and failed to fix problems and wanted yet another chance to repair it, turning me down outright for the system to be replaced or a refund. After so many motherboard replacements, CD-RW being replaced, so many numerous reformatting of the system and reinstallation of Windows, I finally lost my patience and wanted blood! Even the engineer who came on site agreed that the technical support was rather incompetent. Independent experts also concluded there were problems. With advice from both Which Legal service and CAB, I finally was getting somewhere by taking action against Dell and the credit card companies. The technical support was very variable, from pleasant to damn right ignorance. I was told by one that it was illegal to burn audio files and my own data files! Why are you selling Cd-writers then? Surely your breaking the law too? To that ignorant technical support staff, its not illegal to burn audio cds for personal use providing you own the material, and these data files were my own so surely I can't be breaking my own copyright! Another technical support staff told me that Dell "had done me a favour by offering to repair it out of warranty" to which I reminded them that it took them so long to arrange the machine to get repaired in the first place and that they should have fixed it. It is very hard to recommend the system and from my experience from buying from Dell, it was definitely an experience from hell.
I was after a desktop replacement, so after checking lots of sites (including dooyoo, of course) and magazines, I went for a Dell... I've now had the machine for a couple of weeks, and don't have anything like the technical knowledge of the first reviewer of the 8000, but I do have a few niggles already. 1. Delivery was USELESS! They didn't deliver on the day they said they would, and when I tried to get through to check where it was, they kept me on the phone for at least 45 minutes before admitting that... er, they'd 'mislaid' it in the warehouse. At a cost of £49 for delivery, this was not acceptable service. 2. Set-up information/documentation was so streamlined that I couldn't work out how the battery came out! They send you a flimsy leaflet, a 'Solutions Guide' which is hard to work out, plus a video (with an irritating American voice) to show you, but if you don't have access to a video immediately, you're a bit lost. Give me a nice old-fashioned basic guide every time. I'm not a luddite, and I do have some knowledge of computers, but those first special moments with my new baby could have been less stressful.... 3. Power! I ordered a 600mhz processor, with lots of RAM and a 20GB hard drive. But when I checked the power on the computer itself, it told me it was just 500mhz. After much gnashing of teeth, I got through to support, who told me it's a handy power-saving function of the computer - when the battery's in, even if it's powered from the mains, the notebook will only run at 500mhz. Now forgive me for being petty, but when you pay mega-bucks for a notebook, don't you expect it to run at the speed you ordered, whereever you're using it? Maybe I'm being naive. Moaning over, I do like the look of the computer, it has a very clear screen, good sound, and I am enjoying using it... but it's still niggly things like that which make me wonder
if I'd buy another Dell.
The 8000 comes with a 850 MHz processor as standard I think (contrary to the description given). I got mine with 128Mb RAM and 20Gb HD, to use as a creative (video/graphics/music) tool. Also I got it with the DVD player so I could... watch DVDs. Everything on the machine is as you'd expect it, it is very fast, the screen is very clear, the keyboard is excellent, you have both a touchpad and a nipple for pointer control (will very flexible driver software). The audio is excellent, with a good stereo separation and a good microphone. The TV output will NOT output to your VCR when playing DVDs, but will at other times. You have to have a video/audio in on your TV to be able to watch DVDs on TV. This is a copy protection thing. There are workarounds (hacks) freely available on the web. You might want to do this so you can fit it in with your system better, or if you don't have a video in on your TV. Stupid copy protection which limits other uses too... Mine had one dead pixel on the screen within 4 hours of use. Another dead pixel followed about 2 weeks later. I phoned Dell after the first one and they said they'd replace it once NINE had gone!!! I have the 1400xSomthing display. A friend got the same machine with the 1600xSomething display and he's had 3 go red-live (always red) in less than a week. Same replacement policy applies to this. I'd be interested to know if other laptop manufacturers have such a policy. I wonder if it is something which UK law covers over and above Dell's own policy...? The case itself is a little plasticky, with lots of bits which might get caught. The DVD/CD-ROM drive tray will only go in with a bit of wobbling. I'm sure it is tought enough but they've gone for curved styling at the expense of practicality. The PCMCIA slot eject is quite tacky, requiring a lot of awkwardly-applied pressure compared to my lowly Toshiba Libretto. Hibernation and Standby modes are fl
aky to say the least. It is hard to tell if it is an OS problem, software problem, BIOS problem or hardware problem, but about 20% of the time there is a problem coming out of Standby, and 50% of the time there is a problem coming out of hibernation. Would appreciate other people's experiences of this. I'm now always careful to save everything before Standby. Finally, Dell were very slow in shipping this machine, I was waiting more than 5 weeks. And they sent it with the wrong OS (ME rather than 2000) and took 3 weeks to send a 2000 CD for me to upgrade. However the tech support line was very good, and helped me with the DVD playing problem mentioned above very efficiently. So: Dell sales are unresponsive (you won't get any replies to emails) and evasive and Dell support is good. ADDENDUM - since I wrote this I have discovered that due to Dell's mess up with the OS, they will not support my system any more. The provided DVD player software will not work with WindowsNT and they haven't replaced it despite many requests in various places (they haven't refused to replace it, just failed to respond to my requests....) So now support is POOR. Don't let the downsides discourage you, it is a fantastic computer, but these machines are so expensive that problems like these are frustrating - for 2.5 grand you want perfection, and the Inspiron 8000 isn't that.