Product Type: Dell laptops
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The D430 is a great laptop for those who do not require something too flash!
Dell Latitude D630
Member Name: cfinney
Dell Latitude D630
Advantages: Affordable price, easily connects to the internet, runs well and does as it is supposed to.
Disadvantages: Gets very, very hot! Doesn't hold battery very well.
After years of faithful and reliable service my trusted desktop PC finally packed up. It had been on its way out for a while so I was simply playing the waiting game whilst doing a bit of window shopping and research into what my next computer would be.
I don't really know why but I have always preferred desktops to laptops but it seemed logical for me to switch to a laptop this time. I was just about to start my uni course and, as I travel via train between Birmingham and Nottingham about two times a month I thought a laptop would be much more suited to me as I could get some work done during these quite long and boring train journeys.
It was for this reason that I was first drawn to the Latitude D430, it's quite small (11.6 inches wide) and very light (apparently 3lb but I will admit it feels a little heavier than that to me). The size of this laptop did put me off a little bit, although I wanted something smaller than a full sized laptop I wasn't sure if I would ever get used to it being quite so small after all those years of working on a desktop. After six months of use, however, I've grown to prefer this size of laptop!
I'm relatively good at working on computers but when it comes to specs and jargon, I'm no expert, or anywhere near it for that matter. I ended up telling my Dad what I needed it to do and having him checking over all the specs of the laptops I added to my 'maybe pile' to see if they would be of any use to me. And so, I apologise for the lack of the technical side to this review.
I do find it connects to the internet very easily and quickly. It has a little switch on the right hand side of the base which allows to turn wifi on and off (good for saving battery life if you're not using the internet). I had to do the usual set up the first time I connected to my wireless internet at home but ever since then this laptop has connected straight away and stays connected for long periods of time.
It has four USB ports which I feel is more than enough, I've never had a reason to use more than two at a time. You can also connect this laptop to a monitor if you wish. I tried it once just to see if it worked (it did) but I've never properly used it like this. But I suppose if you find the built in monitor a little too small to work with then this is a great feature for you. There are also ports to connect a set of headphones and a microphone and a box standard webcam sits on top of the laptop perfectly fine so, if video calling is your thing, this laptop will suit your needs just fine. An SD memory card reader is also built in. A feature I have found quite useful as I'm always misplacing my USB camera lead. This way I can simply take the memory card out of my camera and put it in my laptop, it's a lot easier in my opinion.
This laptop originally runs on Windows XP however I upgraded mine to Windows 7 and have experienced no problems whatsoever. I'm able to store all of my music and uni work on this laptop without it having any negative effects on its performance. Unfortunately, this laptop does not have a CD drive which was a little disappointing however a USB drive is easily found. A simple CD drive can be brought from ebay for £10, £20 if you want a DVD drive. I have brought a USB DVD drive and found it works fine. I am able to run computer games (The Sims 3 mainly) and watch movies with ease on my laptop.
I've only had this laptop for about six months so in terms of how long lasting it is I don't really feel I am in a position to say however it's so far still running like new and I've had no problems with it at all. The battery life on it isn't amazing though. Fully charged will get you between an hour and two hours depending on what you're doing when not pulled in and on charge. This has never really been a problem for me as I only use it at home and on trains, I always reserve a train seat with a mains socket thus my laptop is always plugged in.
A fan is a high recommended product to use with this laptop. It does get painfully hot! I can only have this laptop touching bare skin for about ten minutes before it does actually burn me. Fans are easily brought, again I got mine from ebay for about £10 and it works a treat. As long as you're using this on a desk then it's fine.
As for the price, if buying brand new this laptop is going to set you back at £330 which, even then I don't think is too badly priced. I'm pretty sure you can get a lot worse than for that type of money! However, like most on a budget, I brought mine refurbished, again from ebay, and paid about £200 for it. I don't remember the exact price unfortunately but it was around the £200 price mark. This is about standard price for a refurbished D430 for what I can tell by doing a little internet research and I think that price is excellent value for money. £200 in PC World wouldn't get you anything that was anywhere near as good as this. If you're looking for a laptop on a budget (regardless of what particular model) I would definitely recommended shopping around on ebay for refurbished models. They work just as well as brand new and cost a fraction of the price.
All in all, I'm really pleased with this laptop. Of course there is room for some improvement but as a general rule I think this is a perfectly good laptop which does exactly what it is supposed to. I would highly recommended this laptop if you're just looking for something for personal or educational use.
Summary: A great laptop for personal and/or educational use.
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