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Dell laptop - to buy or not to buy?

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October 8, 2006 12:21:31 AM

A friend who works for a company that sells Dell hardware is offering to sell me a Dell Latitude D500 notebook PC, which has apparently been in stock since May, for a reduced price of £300. I will hopefully be starting at Uni next year (computer science) and I want a laptop that I can use for tasks like wireless web surfing, word processing, showing Powerpoint presentations (etc) with a projector, running the likes of Microsoft Visual Studio, transferring files between computers using my flash memory stick, writing CDs/DVDs, hooking up to the network of whatever Uni I attend, running 2D/older 3D games, perhaps watching the occasional downloaded movie, etc etc. The deal sounded pretty good to me (he'll also add a DVD-RW drive and increase the RAM) but from what I can tell after looking at various websites, the D500 is an older model which has since been improved on/replaced, and the Latitude product line is apparently aimed at commercial users rather than consumers. Also, with the impending release of Windows Vista, I am rather disenchanted with the thought of buying a Windows XP machine (I realise I can upgrade but I'm not sure I want to spend the extra £84 or whatever it will be).

What are people's thoughts on this? Should I go for this deal (saving money is very much an issue for me) or should I wait a few more months and splash out on a lower-end Vista machine? Would this model be able to handle an upgrade to Windows Vista? Do its specs seem much out of date or inadequate for my needs? My thanks go out in advance for any and all advice given.

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October 8, 2006 4:50:19 AM

I currently have an Inspiron 9300.
The only decent thing about Dell's laptops is they are cheap.... Remember, you get what you paid for, I personally have had the HDD sh!t itself, as well as the internal wireless card.

I doubt any of Dells current laptops could run Vista at an acceptable level, even if they do come with the "Vista Ready" logo. (just speaking from experience).

If Vista is like any other MS OS, it will take quite some time for them to work all the bugs out of it, so you might be waiting for quite some time. And for your needs, XP would be fine!

If you do choose to go for the Dell lappy, fork out the extra cash and go get an extended warranty.
December 14, 2006 1:25:07 AM

It sounds like the D500 would meet your needs fine, and from my experience with Vista Betas, would at least run basic fine. I'd go for it if you're getting a good deal.
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