Long lasting 9cell battery; relatively lightweight; solid construction; widescreen display; many useful ports (including 4usbs and 1 firewire) all well placed at the sides
no pci slot; only 1 express card54 slot
To give some context. I bought my Dell 640m about two months ago from Dell.co.jp (Dell Japan). It replaced my geriatric 3 1/2 year old Toshiba Dynabook. I often compare this computer to my Dynabook which is probably not fair since my Dynabook was a display model ... Read full review
To give some context. I bought my Dell 640m about two months ago from Dell.co.jp (Dell Japan). It replaced my geriatric 3 1/2 year old Toshiba Dynabook. I often compare this computer to my Dynabook which is probably not fair since my Dynabook was a display model and outgoing technology when I bought it, but at this point I am much happier with my 640m than I ever was with my Dynabook especially since I paid about half the price for it (under $900).
The Moniter. I did not know what to expect from a 14.1in widescreen when I bought this computer. Now I wonder why more notebooks don't have it. Slightly wider but slightly shorter than conventional display with 1280x800 resolution, it allows greater font size for document viewing and widescreen movies appear bigger in the dispay. Also the extra width means a keyboard that is not cramped, but a smaller closed notebook that fits easily into a notebook bag or briefcase. Actually, the overall size and weight (minus the battery) is about that of a thick legal size notebook or a large textbook. A 90degree image rotation feature would be nice, so I could hold the notebook on its side like a regular book and see more of the document at one time.
Function and Tech. I bought this computer specifically for school and work, and it works perfectly for both. I did not opt for the internal wireless LAN, but now I wish I did. 1GB of dual core memory means that multiple documents and programs, such as web browsers, can be open simultaneously without the system struggling at all. It has an Intel on-board graphics accelerator, but I don't use this computer for gaming.
The 9cell battery. My biggest gripe about my Dynabook is that the battery never lasted more than 45 minutes and after two years that length had slipped to 15mins. I love the extended life of Dell's 9sell battery and would heartily recommend it. I regularly get between 5 and 6.5 hours of operation out of a full charge even when doing something as energy intense as playing a DVD on a TV through the s-video jack. Plus the recharge time is relatively short. The only downside to the battery is its weight and arguably its size. It adds a good amount of weight to the back of the computer and sticks out the back almost an inch, but this isn't as bad as it sounds. It actually provides a nice bumper and a good place to hold the computer with one hand while typing with the other.
Gripes. My only major complaint is with the lack of a PC Card slot. Yes, Express Card is the emerging standard, but in moving from my old computer to this one, I suddenly have no use for my perfectly function collection of PC Cards.
Overall, for the value consumer, this is a great notebook at a great size for a great price.