"Awful display"on by dejamuse
Pros Fast, nice size, doesn't get hot
Cons Very poor viewing angle - dims on battery
Summary I like this computer a lot but for the display. It dims to an almost unusable level when on battery in spite of the power setting you choose - you can't override the setting. You also have to be looking almost directly at the screen for readability - even just moving your head six inches off center noticeably reduces brightness and contrast. On the plus side, the high res model is really crisp. Also the glossy screen cover is a really bad idea in brightly lit rooms, unless that is, you want to see your boss's face in back of you.
It's really fast though - wakes up from sleeping in 5 seconds and Wifi under 5 more. The touch pad is better than all of the HP/Compaq models I looked at - it's easy on the finger - HP has a glossy surface that grabs the skin - very annoying.
Great to have the media buttons right on top of the keyboard too. DC plug is on the left side as is the hot air outlet, so it doesn't interfere with your legs when using it on your lap. This unit does not heat up very much at all and is silent, so it's really a true "lap" top.
WiFi has a momentary switch on the front of the unit that launches a WiFi discovery mode with a real-time signal strength meter - quite useful to quickly find WiFi. Four USB sockets, 2 on each side are conveniently located too.
Only had to uninstall one bloatware package - Mcafee security. Installed Comodo and it was painless.
Lid closes tight with spring - no annoying latch to fumble with. The keyboard is awesome! Very easy (and silent) to type fast and a function key allows use of a number pad layout using regular keys.
Paid $950 direct from Dell including tax and (free) shipping - 3GB RAM, Bluetooth, Webcam (really easy to use and accessible control panel), high res screen.Updated
A quick chat with Dell online solved the dim display on battery. I should have known to check this myself first.
It's a simple setting in the BIOS that takes 30 seconds to change.
Pros Affordable, Tech Support is helpful, Runs well when not screwing up
Cons Tends to have always have problems
Summary I bought the laptop about a year and it's worked fine up till now with a few issues here and there but nothing too big. But right after my warranty ended that's when I started to get problems. Its been about half a year since and now my laptop is completely useless. I can't access it at all or anything. Good thing I renewed my warranty in time. Almost all my other friends who have a DELL have experience similar issues with DELL's laptops. So if you can afford it I'd suggest looking for another more reliable option
Pros Way better performance with Win 7 RC, decent graphics, nice screen and I love the scratch resistant-thumbprint free black shell. Great buy - for the price
Cons Keyboard is clanky and it is a bit heavy
Summary For the price it is a solid notebook.
Pros Decent looking, well priced for the features, case and appearance have held up well. Like the form factor.
Cons Durability--the power cord frayed where it plugs intothe body in just 18 months of use, had to buy a new one to charge it. Battery shot after only 18 months. Vista is a dog on this computer. Glossy screen is bad, backlighting is dim at best.
Summary A true disappointment, especially after several years saddled with miserable HP machines. I had high hopes for Dell, I've known them as sturdy, perfomant machines. In this case the basics are still solid but the little features make this a hard machine to love. The glossy screen was a mistake but it had higher resolution, so I was talked into it. Wish I hadn't. The battery has been awful--I now get 33 minutes on a full charge, and I know how to preserve a batter. The power cord frayed just after the 1 year warranty expired to the point where it would not power or charge the computer and I had to go buy an aftermarket AC unit.
The worst, though, is that the drivers for the components are not updated enough to perform well under Vista, with the wireless managemenet being the biggest drawback. If I close the lid on this laptop and reopen it ten minutes later, it can take 2-5 minutes before Vista and this machine get me back on the network--my XP computers, some of them 5 year sold, do it in seconds. Vista is slow to start, slower to shut down, and depsite much tinkering is a constant performance drag, but disabling some of the more graphical features of Windows results in a very miserable GUI experience. I wish I had disccovered that window where the 1420 driver set was available for XP and taken the time to backup and install XP on this thing instead.
I wouldn't buy this again and I question whether I'll buy another Dell, and KNOW I will not buy another Vista machine.
Pros 4 USB 2.0 ports. 56K Fax / Modem. 8-in-1 Memory Card Reader. Not too heavy. Good battery life. Integrated 2.0 MP camera. Good feel with the keyboard.
Cons Too much glare from the TrueLife display. Max resolution is 1280x800. No HDMI. No on/off switch for the touch pad. Power cord is rather short. Tinny speakers.
Summary I bought a pre-configured Dell Inspiron 1420 at Best Buy. Vista performance is OK with 3 GB of RAM. However the graphics performance is subpar since it came with the Intel Graphic Media Accelerator X3100, not the NVIDIA® GeForceTM Go 8400M GS. I wish it came with Bluetooth. I haven't experienced any problems in two months of use.