I am trying to decide between the Alienware Road Warrior and the Inspiron 1520. I'm concerned about getting the best bang for the buck. The 1520 right now is running for 749-849, where as the alienware is only 999. I'm not a computer genius but i do know that an alienware for 999 is damn good. I'm trying to find the catch and I can't. I don't like vista and that is the only OS for the 1520 where as I could get xp pro on the alienware. However, the alienware after putting xp media center edition is 1049. This computer is for someone that is computer illiterate. Are vista's current issues worth the extra 200-250 bucks to avoid. Please let me know what you think.
How is the person going to use the machine? Will the 1520 meet their needs? My wife has a 1520 and it works well. She uses it for Office programs, e mail and surfing. You can get a copy of OEM XP for $90 if you don't want Vista. This also has the advantage getting rid of the crapware that Dell as well as just about every other mfg puts on their machines.
Alienware is Dell so by buying the M5550, you are buying an overpriced and out of date Inspiron 1520. The Alienware uses the older version of the Core2 (T7even vs T7odd) and it has older and slower graphics cards. Add on top of that, Alienware's quality isn't that great and they nickel and dime you for every single upgrade.
The Dell is the much better value IMO. If you call Dell to place your order you can probably ask to get XP instead of Vista and I second g-paw. Get the re-install disk with your system to get rid of the crapware.