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Is this a good laptop for my needs?

Old 04-24-06, 02:58 PM
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Is this a good laptop for my needs?

What do you guys think of this laptop. I am mostly getting it for web surfing and word processing, and maybe watching a movie on it every once in awhile, no gaming or anything. It is going for 659.00 with the 2-year on site economy plan. Is there anything that I am missing out on or any big drawbacks to this one that I am overlooking? Thanks for your help, here are the details:

Inspiron 630m: Intel® Pentium® M Processor 740 (1.73GHz/2MB Cache/533MHz FSB)

Operating System (Office software not included) Genuine Windows® XP Home Edition

Display: 14.1 inch WXGA LCD Panel

Memory: 512MB Shared DDR2 SDRAM 1 Dimm

Graphics Card: Integrated Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 900

Hard Drive: 40GB 5400rpm Hard Drive

Integrated Modem and NIC Internal 56K Modem and Integrated Network Card

Optical 24X CD Burner/DVD Combo Drive

Wireless Networking Cards: Dell 1370 Internal Wireless (802.11b/g, 54Mbps)

Office Productivity Software (Pre-Installed): No productivity suite- Corel WordPerfect word processor only

Battery: 6-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery (53 WHr)

Dell Service & Support Plans: 2 Year On-site Economy Plan

Operating System Re-Installation CD: PC Restore recovery system by Symantec

TOTAL:$659.00
Old 04-24-06, 03:05 PM
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Looks good.
Old 04-24-06, 03:13 PM
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For what you'll use it for, do you really need to spend that much though? Dell has a $400 laptop right now (after a $100 rebate) that includes built-in wireless and DVD-ROM. For word processing, movie watching, and web surfing, I don't think you really need a whole lot.

http://configure.us.dell.com/dellsto...=iB120S1&s=dhs
Old 04-24-06, 03:30 PM
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Yeah, I think it's overpriced. If not for the warranty I wouldn't spend over $400-450 for that. You can use a Celeron too, you don't need a Pentium.

Be aware the notebook that Chew linked to has a crippled battery with less run time. Take that into consideration if battery power is important to you.
Old 04-24-06, 03:48 PM
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I'd say it would be good enough. You might want to shop around as you may be able to get a cheaper one.
Old 04-24-06, 03:50 PM
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I think it's pretty decent but consider how much dell's extended warranty is.

Might be worth it to try wait until the Memorial Day sales.

edit: OK. 2 year warranty already included, that is pretty good.
Old 04-24-06, 05:28 PM
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Yahoo has a link off their main page for an

Inspiron B120 for $399. The only difference in specs, that I notice are:


Intel® Celeron® M 360 (1.40 GHz/1MB Cache/400MHz FSB)
256MB Shared, 1 DIMM
1 Year Warranty (2 years: $50)

I don't know what the performance difference would be between the Celeron 360 and the Intel 740 to justify the $150 price difference. ($250 subtracting $50 each for more ram & second year of warranty)
Old 04-24-06, 05:38 PM
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What's the battery life on those "M" laptops - 3-4 hours?
Old 04-24-06, 05:44 PM
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I urgent you to get 1 gigabyte memory. I have Inspiron 6000 and used to run 256mb memory and it turned out it lagged out on several application (MS Office 2000 and web surfing). When I upgraded to 1Gigabyte memory, everything run smoothly.
Old 04-24-06, 06:33 PM
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I'm satisfied with 512Mb memory, but I'd suggest a 15.4" screen over 14" for the price you're looking at. Of course, 1Gb is better but it'll bump the price up.

And in that same range, I've seen many with bigger hard drives. Check out the weekly sales at BestBuy/Office Depot/etc.

Last edited by dleedlee; 04-24-06 at 06:35 PM.
Old 04-24-06, 09:08 PM
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In general, Dell overcharges for memory upgrades. I suggest ordering the minimum, then buying at least a gig off the web and installing it yourself.
Old 04-24-06, 09:13 PM
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Thanks for the help guys. I think I am going to hold off on that one b/c it probably is more than I need. A Celeron M will probably suit my needs fine. Also, the more I think about it, the more I realize that I would be happier with a bigger screen. Probably the two most important features for me will be screen size and battery time.

I will be on the lookout for some of the deals you guys mentioned, (and if you don't mind, I may post them here to see what you guys think).

I am in no major hurry too, so maybe I should wait to see what shakes out on memorial day weekend...thanks again!
Old 04-24-06, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by McHawkson
I urgent you to get 1 gigabyte memory. I have Inspiron 6000 and used to run 256mb memory and it turned out it lagged out on several application (MS Office 2000 and web surfing). When I upgraded to 1Gigabyte memory, everything run smoothly.
I have had a 600m for about three years and still running the 256 it came with. I'm sure more would be faster, but the only time I notice is being what seems to me is slow, is coming out of sleep mode.

The 600 series is great, I love my 600m. My wife wants a lappy so giving her my 600m and I have a 710m on the way from the deal the other night. I hear the key board on the 710m is a little small, but the saved weight will be nice as I will be traveling almost exclusively by plane.
Old 04-24-06, 10:23 PM
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I would highly recommend getting a DVD burner. CD burners are totally obsolete.
Old 04-24-06, 10:32 PM
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I don't know, I have a CD burner in a laptop and I'd barely use that. DVD burning is overkill for a cheap laptop in my opinion. I'd rather spend the money on a better battery, more RAM, or a longer warranty.

If it were my only computer I might think differently.
Old 04-25-06, 01:10 AM
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The problem is that CD burning media is getting harder and harder to get.
Old 04-25-06, 01:25 AM
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I guess I don't think of it that way since I must have at least 700 blank CDs I got when they sold for a few cents each some years ago. I just use them like scratch paper.

It's hard for me to imagine anything that I would need to record to a DVD on my laptop when I have at least 20GB free on the hard drive. I only use the laptop when I'm away from the office and it would take much longer to burn a DVD than just store the data on the hard drive.

I suppose it would be different if I had a lot of data that I occasionally found I needed to pass out in the field.
Old 04-25-06, 07:14 AM
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Best time for sales is around the summertime, for the back to school sales. You'll have lots to choose from if you're in no rush.
Old 04-25-06, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Shazam
The problem is that CD burning media is getting harder and harder to get.
Define "harder and harder to get." I never have any problems getting blank CDs.
Old 04-25-06, 04:14 PM
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I assume he meant cheaply. CDs are easy to find but they are rarely on sale anymore unless you can live with the no-name brands.
Old 04-26-06, 12:44 PM
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Yup. I'm having a hell of a time finding decent blank CDs, and I'm finding good blank DVDs for cheaper than blank CDs now.
Old 04-26-06, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Shazam
I would highly recommend getting a DVD burner. CD burners are totally obsolete.
Really? Thats funny because I've had a DVD-Burner for about 4 month now and have yet to use it. I can't think of one REAL reason the AVERAGE user NEEDS a DVD-Burner for.

Useful yes but hardly obsolete.

edit: I see the CDRW/DVD-Recorder debate has been discussed.

As for when to buy. This week is "usually" the best to buy from Dell. End of their fiscal quarter (end of april) and it always seems this quarter is the best to buy from them. It's always a crapshoot tough.

Last edited by kantonburg; 04-26-06 at 03:14 PM.

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