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Dell Inspiron 1520

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September 9, 2007 12:52:16 PM

Hey guys, I'm a midrange gamer and I'm looking for a good laptop that could handle games such as WoW, CoD2 etc and programs like Photoshop CS2 and 3ds max 8. I was thinking of a Dell since i heard good things about it. Here's my setup for now:


Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T5450 (2MB cache/1.66GHz/667Mhz FSB), English
Genuine Windows Vista™ Home Premium Edition, English
Glossy, widescreen 15.4 inch display (1280 x 800) (1)
2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 667MHz, 2 Dimm
120G 5400RPM SATA HDD (2)
Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator X3000 (3)
8X CD/DVD Burner (DVD+/-RW) with double-layer DVD+R write capability
Essentials
DataSafe Online Backup 3GB (included with price)
3 Year Return to Depot Service, Complete Care and Technical Support (4)
56 WHr 6-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery (5)
High Definition Audio 2.0


Questions

1- Is it worth adding 100$(CAD) to get a 1680x1050 or 50$ for 1440x900?
2- Is 120gb enough or will I have to pay more to get bigger disk space?
3- Should I add 200$ to get a 8600M GT?
4- Is this extended warranty necessary?
5- Worth paying 40$ to get 85Whr 9-cell battery?


If you have any other suggestions, feel free to tell. Thanks
Donco

More about : dell inspiron 1520

September 9, 2007 1:23:23 PM

The first question... you gotta answer that one. We don't know what resolutions you're planning on running.

On the second... 120 GB should be fine. Flash memory is getting ridiculously cheap and that laptop has a built in memory card reader... that could give you some more breathing room for your MP3s and h264s.

On the third... YES. That $200 will go a long way towards a decent gaming laptop. WoW runs fine on my Dell laptop with an ATI X1400 GPU... and that 8600 runs laps around the GPU I have. $200 is a rip for adding that video card, but I'd still pay it. It won't be an Alienware system, but it won't carry the price tag either. Definitely get the video upgrade.

Warranty? Bah. 1 year is plenty. Just don't drop or spill anything on your laptop... and just a reminder, Dell's extended warranty does NOT cover those things... they have an accident insurance warranty that costs even more. What a scam. Dell offers extended warranties for its own benefit... not yours. It helps their bottom line so statistically, a warranty will almost always be a raw deal for the consumer.

I have the 6 cell battery and when new I could go almost 3 hours on a charge on my Inspiron e1505. Over 1.5 years later, my battery is trash and can only sustain my laptop for 10-15 minutes (seriously) An upgraded battery to me sounds like a bad idea if yours is going to suffer the same fate as mine. A 2nd battery might be a better investment if you're a real road warrior.
September 9, 2007 1:47:54 PM

I would definitely get the 9 cell battery.

@rodney. Of course your battery is going to be trash after 1.5 years. I have never had a battery last more than 1 year. The runtime slowly decreases from the day you get it.

By getting the better battery, you are increasing the length of time you will have decent battery life.

The 8600gt will see a huge improvement over the integrated graphics. Be sure to get that
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September 9, 2007 2:33:24 PM

Thx for the input, I think im going to get the 8600M GT, still not sure for the warranty though, anyone can help on this one?
September 9, 2007 3:25:36 PM

well, I work at Aaron's Sales and leasing. (Yes i know these place are a ripoff, no i don't like it there) We sell dell and hp/compaq laptops. hp's come with a 1yr and dells come with a 3yr warranty. I have always had more problems with dell than hp. however, we sell them at about a 3 to 1 dell to hp ratio. hp warranty sucks cuz you have to send it back in. If you pay the extra $$$ (about 200 i think) for the 3 year at home warranty, dell will COME TO YOU. This is the upside. the downside, you have to talk to the middle eastern call center first and they are not very bright and no matter what the problem is, they always try to tell you its the RAM. I could have no video output and they will say the ram is bad and the vid card is fine (this actually happened). If you put up with this, their service is quite good. they are usually at your home with in 1 to 2 days. I have had to use their warranty service many times and have always been pleased with it. As previously stated by rodney, the warranty doesn't cover spills or abuse but what warranty does? only one that costs thousands.

Another thing that i like about dell and not hp is that if you can fix it yourself (like a failed HD or bad RAM) dell will OVERNIGHT you the part BEFORE you send the old one back. HP wants the old part first and will ground ship you the new one.

Dell is definitely better at service than HP but you do have to pay for it. For the 3 year at home warranty, it is probably worth the $$$. I would say that you would at least have a HD go bad in that time. But if that is the only thing that goes bad, they you would be better off just buying a new HD. Any extended warranty is always a gamble. Have you had a laptop before? how did it hold up? Depending on this experience, I would base this decision.

Personally, I have had problems with my current laptop (hp). It is 5 years old but has had monitor problems since it was about 2 years old. I would probably spend the extra $$ for the warranty.
September 9, 2007 5:05:08 PM

This is my first laptop, the problem is I have a lot of choices, not sure which one to choose, ill post them up and tell me what you think:

1 year, Return to depot service and tech support--- 0$
1 year, Return to depot service and tech support/Complete care (covers spills, cracked screens, power surges)---99$

3 year, Return to depot service and tech support--- 149$
3 year, Next buisiness day onsite/In home service and tech. support--249$
3 year, Return to depot service and tech support/Complete care--- 299$
3 year, Next buisiness day onsite/In home service and tech. support/Complete care--399$

September 9, 2007 5:18:30 PM

The only one of those options I'd remotely consider is the $149 one... and I'd think long and hard before I gave them that $$$.
September 9, 2007 5:20:18 PM

Personally, I don't think you need to cover spills, cracked screens and such unless you plan on abusing your laptop. I have had mine for 5 years and I am typing on it right now. I have never spilled anything on it and I always plug it into a surgeprotector and unplug it when it storms. I have dropped it from a height of about 2-3 feet once but nothing happened (Thank God). Just be careful with it and act like it cost you $1500 (cuz it did).

I would check out where you would have to return it for service. If you live close to a service depot, (15 miles) I would just save the $100 from the onsite service. it wouldn't be that inconvienent for you to take it to the service center. What I don't like doing is having to pack up something and ship it places.

I would probably go with the 3 year, return to depot service and tech support option. Most likely, in 3 years your HDD will go bad and those cost around $100. I think that batteries are only covered for the first year though. If you are lucky, you might be able to talk them into shipping you a new one before that runs out. If you get to replace those 2 things, you have recovered your cost of the warranty. I think they will still ship you parts to replace yourself next business day with that warranty too. check to make sure though.

Dell computers are easy to take apart. Less than 4 screws each will take care of your optical drive, battery, hard drive, memory, and modem. If the above two things go bad, you will most likely be replacing them yourself. Only if the screen, or motherboard (Mobo, cpu, Vid card) goes bad, will you need a tech to fix it for you.

To sum it up, I think the 149 is worth it if you live close to a service center. If you live in the middle of nowhere, the extra $100 might be worth it to you.
September 9, 2007 6:03:18 PM

I always get Dell's Next Day On-Site Coverage with Accidental Dmg Coverage on my laptops which are upper-end Dells. For lower end Dells (My Wife's) I don't get a warranty.

The reasons for this are

1) My Laptops are pricey and depending what goes wrong, its very tough to get the parts to self-repair.

2) I use my laptops quite hard and all the time. I break them from heavy use. I've used Dell's On-Site Warranty for my Laptop 3 times in the last 2-years. (Worn Out Mouse Button, GPU Fan noisy - Replaced GPU and CPU fans, and New Mobo due to power connector going bad - Tripped on power cable one time too many.)

3) I'm usually off the phone in less than 15minutes total including wait time and they are usually at my house the next day or the day after. I don't want any down time on my laptop.

3) Make sure the warranty is reasonable for the price you pay. $250 is twice as good a deal for a $2000 laptop as a $1000 laptop.
September 9, 2007 11:18:09 PM

Thx for the quick replies, I think im going to go with the 149$ waranty since its $150 cheaper and i usually take care of my stuff :D 
September 10, 2007 12:25:58 AM

Good choice. I think that will work out for you fine.
September 10, 2007 1:01:28 AM

1. Yes. Either size would be good. The more u can view the better. Using Photoshop and 3ds on such a small resolution like 1280x800 can get annoying.

2. Photoshop and 3ds take up a good amount of space and seeing how you use those programs you would probally run out of space fast if you only have 120gb. All the things you make/create are gonna take up some space. If its cheaper, get an external drive for storage and stick with the 120gb drive.

3. YES!!! If you wanna play games you need that video card. Not to mention rendering will also be a little faster in 3ds.

4. The complete care is the accidental damage thing. Its always good to have. Accidents happen and if you were to drop it or w/e, then you screwed. Got the money, go with it. And plus, its always good to know your covered if anything happens

5. Upgrade to a 9cell battery. 6 cell wont last very long


Also, if you can, upgrade your processor a little. T7250 or T7500. Would be so much better for games and other apps. Especially 3ds and photoshop
!