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Dell - Too many options, my head is spinning.

Last response: in Laptop General Discussion

Who makes the best laptop for the money?

Total: 13 votes (1 blank vote)

  • Dell
  • 42 %
  • HP
  • 17 %
  • Compaq
  • 0 %
  • Sony
  • 0 %
  • IBM
  • 0 %
  • Toshiba
  • 9 %
  • Gateway
  • 0 %
  • Other
  • 34 %
August 9, 2006 8:41:04 PM

I want a new laptop, and I'm looking at Dell. I'm just SUNK on what to get, however. $800 is the upper limit of what I can spend, but I really can't AFFORD that much (who can these days, really?).

I'm starting school, all my classes are online. I need something reliable. However, my main desktop is in the basement, and I'd love a laptop that was able to keep up with my desktop so that I didn't have to "hide out" everytime I wanted to play a game. Not talking Oblivion here, but something like Hitman, or whatever else suits my fancy...

I've been looking at the E1505 Single Core model. The dual core isn't much more, but the processor that comes for the price isn't as fast as the single core one.

I'm contemplating the 15.4 inch UltraSharp Wide Screen SXGA+ Display with TrueLife, it adds $100 to the price. Is this worth it?

I think I'll leave it with 512 megs of ram, I can get my own ram from Newegg for alot cheaper than Dell would charge.

Same with the HD. I want a 7200 rpm drive, but think I'll start with the 60GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive. Later, I can Newegg one.

The video card is what kills me. I can not upgrade this later, obviously. So, here are my options:

Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 950 [Included in Price]

128MB ATI MOBILITY™ RADEON® X1300 HyperMemory™ [add $49]

256MB ATI MOBILITY™ RADEON® X1400 HyperMemory™ [add $99]

256MB NVIDIA® GeForce™Go 7300 TurboCache [add $129]

What to pick!?!?!!? The GeForce would be nice, but $129 is high. The $49 ATI wouldn't be bad, but the $99 one is close enough to the GeForce I'd be tempted to buy it too.

I can get integrated audio, or for $25 more, I can get the "Sound Blaster Audigy HD Software Edition. SOFTWARE EDITION??? What the heck is THAT all about? Doesn't sound worth $ it?

Other options tempt me, like the 9 cell battery that goes longer ($100 more!), internal wifi (I assume that's got better signal, because it costs more), etc etc...

If anyone has any ideas, I'd be glad to hear them! Suggestions on the Dell, or something outside the box.

August 9, 2006 8:50:12 PM

Here is the system I'm looking at, it's total price comes to $778.17 with tax.

Inspiron E1505

Intel® Core™ Solo Proc T1350 (1.86GHz/533MHz/1 X 2MB L2 Cache)

LCD Panel 15.4 inch UltraSharp™ Wide Screen SXGA+ Display with TrueLife™

Memory 512MB Shared Single Channel DDR2 SDRAM 533MHZ, 1 DIMM

Video Card Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 950

Hard Drive 60GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive

Network Card and Modem Integrated 10/100 Network Card and Modem

Combo/DVD+RW Drives 24X CD Burner/DVD Combo Drive

Sound Options Integrated Audio

Wireless Networking Cards Dell Wireless 1390 802.11g Mini Card

Primary Battery 53 WHr 6-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery
August 13, 2006 5:31:21 PM

try this setup. just configure it to a 1000.00 then use the 20%off. or this one for a little less

here is my setup.

E1505 Single Core
Intel® Core™ Solo Proc T1350 (1.86GHz/533MHz/1 X 2MB L2 Cache), Genuine Windows® XP Home $1,001.00 1 $1,001.00
Inspiron E1505 Intel® Core™ Solo Proc T1350 (1.86GHz/533MHz/1 X 2MB L2 Cache)

LCD Panel 15.4 inch Wide Screen XGA Display with TrueLife™

Memory 1GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz, 2 Dimm

Video Card 256MB ATI MOBILITY™ RADEON® X1400 HyperMemory™

Hard Drive 60GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive

Operating System Genuine Windows® XP Home

Network Card and Modem Integrated 10/100 Network Card and Modem

Adobe Software Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 6.0

Combo/DVD+RW Drives 8X CD/DVD Burner (DVD+/-RW) with double-layer DVD+R write capability

Sound Options Integrated Audio

Wireless Networking Cards Dell Wireless 1390 802.11g Mini Card (54Mbps)

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

Anti-Virus/Security Suite (Pre-installed) No Security Subscription

Primary Battery 53 WHr 6-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery

Hardware Warranty 1Yr Ltd Warranty, 1Yr Mail-In Service, and 1Yr HW Warranty Support

Dial-Up Internet Access 6 Months America Online Internet Access Included

Miscellaneous Award Winning Service, Support

Free SKIN Promotion 15 - Free Promotion for 15 inch Skin

Future Operating Systems Windows Vista™ Capable

Dell Digital Entertainment Starter Entertainment Pack - Basic digital Music, Photo and Game experience

20% off Inspiron $999 or more (before tax, restocking fees, shipping and handling)! - $200.20
Subtotal: $800.80
Shipping and Handling: $19.99

Shipping Discount: -$19.99

Sales Tax: $56.06
Total: $856.86
Related resources
August 14, 2006 4:44:46 AM

Man, is there any way you can wait for the DELL coupons that should be coming out in about 4 weeks?

If not, my advice would be pretty much just like you're doing. Get the best non-upgradable components (like the tru life screen) that you can and get "make do's" for the rest and upgrade when you can.

A 7,200 rpm hard drive is going to do more for your system than a faster processor in most cases.
August 14, 2006 7:55:32 AM

If you can wait, the Dell coupons do get much better (at least 30%)
August 14, 2006 1:30:40 PM

I can wait, school doesn't start until the 21st, and I do have a desktop if I've not got a laptop by then.

Where can one find the 30% coupons, anywhere specific besides Google?

Here are my main questions, still:

What's better (XGA, XGA TrueLife, SXGA+ TrueLife)?

*I've heard that SXGA+ is just a higher screen res, which would be nice for things like DVDs, but will make things very tiny on the monitor, and may not be helpful for most tasks.

What's better ($0 Intel GMA 950) ($49 ATI X1300) ($100 for ATI X1400) ($129 Nvidia Go 7300)?

*I may not use this for -much- gaming, as I've a desktop MONSTER for that. The X1300 is a 128 MB card, with 64 MB shared. The other two are 256 MB cards, with 128 MB shared.

What's better ($0 Dual T2050 1.60GHz/533MHz) or ($75 Dual T2400 1.83GHz/667MHz)?

*The 1.83 GHz has the 667 Mhz abilities, but STILL ONLY COMES with 533 MHz ram. The lowest amount of RAM I can get is 1 GB, so it'd kinda' be a waste to have that much, then turn around and buy 1 or 2 GB of 667 on newegg. But then again, I could try to sell the other DIMM on ebay or something.

August 14, 2006 2:25:08 PM

For a 17" the WSXGA+ is a better resolution. WXGA is too large, don't worry about not being anle to see it.

The nVidia card is the best. They are pretty much priced from lowest to highest in order of desirability. Always best to get the best GPU you can for games, but since you don't need that, you should be able to get away with any of them.

The T2400 is much better, after the Screen, GPU, then 7,200 rpm hard drive, I would go with the T2400 upgrade (as money permits)

The 533 / 667 RAM isn't going to make a huge amount of difference compared to the hard drive, and I don't even know if a 7,200 rpm is an option.

Hope this helps.
August 14, 2006 3:04:51 PM

7200 RPM -is- an option, but it's not priced worthwhile. If you opt to buy the 7200 RPM drive, it's about the same as buying one from, only you have it REPLACE the 5400 RPM drive, instead of suppliment it.

I'd rather just get the 5400 RPM basic drive, then later buy a different HD to replace it. My main concern is those things that cannot be replaced later on.
August 15, 2006 1:59:44 AM

Isn't that cool of DELL? I mean, they buy like a million hard drives a month. They have huge economies of scale, but like you said, "To upgrade the drive" cost what a retail drive costs you or me.

It's crazy.
November 20, 2009 6:57:39 PM

I think it's Acer but you didn't include it in the options