Pros intel wireless, battery life, speed, screen, tpm chip
Cons i don't like the keyboard
Summary i have had this machine for 2 weeks. for the most part, i love it. but there is one nagging thing that i don't like: the keyboard. i have found this with keyboards on other dell notebooks as well. i find that if i type fast on this keyboard, my finger sometimes get caught under the keys. it usually happens when i depress a key and bring the finger up at any sort of an angle. it is disconcerting in that i feel that unless i slow down or modify my typing style, i will inadvertenly start ripping keys off this keyboard.
fortunately, i purchased the 3 year warranty with next day service. i highly recommend this option to anyone who buys a notebook. i am a computer consultant and i can attest that you see a lot more failure on notebooks than desktops. this is because notebooks run hot and they tend to get banged up a lot in transit. i don't buy the warranties for the desktops which rarely have problems. but i insist on them for notebooks. well worth the extra money.
there is a lot to like about this system. it is fast, and battery life is superb. the intel 2200 wireless option works flawlessly- it connects to my wireless access point almost immediately and never looses the connection. i don't recommend the dell wireless option, simply because i don't think you can beat the intel wireless.
true, the system does run hot but this doesn't bother me a bit. although it does run hot, it runs cooler than some of my other notebooks (for instance, my compaq presario 2100 notebook).
the screen is nice and crisp. i ordered the wxga option as its native resolution is quite readable (1280x800). i don't recommend the wsxga or the wuxga options unless you are under 25 with excellent vision. the native resolutions on these options will be really high, rendering everything on your screen to be really small. not good if you are over 40 with compromised vision.
but the main reason i love this system is the TPM chip. not many people know about this feature but it is awesome. it allows you to set a password which is stored in a security chip on the motherboard rather than the windows registry. once you set up this feature, you can easily encrypt files and folders. this is an awsome feature if you have sensitive data on your computer that you don't want to other people to access (for instance, a thief that steals your computer). it is virtually impossible to hack into this security feature since it doesn't rely on the windows registry which is vulnerable to hacking. as far as i can tell, the notebook doesn't come with any directions on how to use this security feature. you need to go to the dell website that lists all the drivers for the computer, and download the broadcom security platform tools. this is where you can find directions on setting up the tpm security system. you don't have to purchase any additional software to enable this great feature.
Pros great systems
Cons poor support
Summary Dell Computers, Technical Support, Customer Service Reviews and Ratings.
Dell builds a very good laptop and desktop computer. But no matter who you purchase your computer system from, you will at one point in time, have to call their technical support or customer service departments.
When I am asked who makes is the best computer? I always tell the person asking the question that if they don’t have me build their system that they should get a Dell.
The reason I tell my clients this is because Dell builds their towers almost as good as I build mine. My own tests have shown that Dell Computers have far less down time than some of the other major brands that I am sure you’ve heard of. Dell systems are stable and they use good quality parts. If you want to upgrade the system later you can walk into any computer store and get what you need to upgrade your system.
This means you don’t have to spend hours or even days looking for parts that are compatible with the system, or buy parts that you need through Dell and pay up to 3 to 4 more for a part that you can get at your neighborhood computer store.
Dell Computers can make one of the best computers on the market today, yet they don’t even come close to making you a good set of system restore CD’s. How they can even call them restore CD’s is beyond my understanding.
Take Toshiba for example…they make the worst laptop that I have ever owned and you could not pay to get another Toshiba Laptop, if you gave me a Toshiba laptop I would walk it right out to my neighborhood trash can. However, the only good thing that I can say about Toshiba is that they make the best system restore CD set that I have ever seen made by anyone.
With Toshiba, you can pop in a new hard drive, reboot you system with the restore CD and not only will give you options, but re-format the hard drive for you, load the OS and all of its drivers and utilities and…bam! In less then 30 minutes you’re back on the web again. No so with Dell. Takes lots of time to setup again using Dell's CD's.
All you have to install at that point is data; you of course created a backup of, or any programs that you installed after you got the Toshiba. This info is regarding Toshiba laptops only.
Important, when you purchase you Dell computer it is very wise to also get the extended warranty service plan at that time, because it will save you money. If you get the plan later you will pay more. I found that if a replacement part is required just after the original warranty has expired, the plan has just paid for itself and then some.
Dell does backup its computers that are under warranty. There is no question in my mind that they build a great system. Other than my own custom systems, Dell Computers are the only…and I do mean the only PC on the market today that would recommend to anyone.
I rate Dell computers at 9 on a scale of 10. Only because I believe that my towers are much better, otherwise I would have given them a 10.
Technical support and customer service. Now this is a different matter all together. You always hear them say “Award Winning Support and Customer Service” what a joke!!
When I first got my Dell Inspiron 8500 I noticed that it had a utility partition. Well I called Dell and went as high as I could go in both the hardware and software departments and not one person could tell me how to recreate that utility partition or even knew what I was talking about.
Now, please correct me if I am wrong in thinking this, I have been wrong before, one would think that if Dell put it there. Dell did install it to the hard drive. This Dell utility partition is on all Dell computers that I’ve seen. They should be able to offer some kind of support or download, in the event that you had to replace the hard drive or write zeros to it and get the system just like it was at the time of shipping. Right?
Wrong…no one at Dell could not or did not even know what the utility partition was, why it was even there, some even said it was not even needed, or…get this one…which department even put it on the hard drive in the first place.
I paid about $2,000 for my Dell laptop. I love it and I love the way it works. It fits my mobile needs, however, like I said before even the best computers will fail at some point. When I first got my laptop from Dell I could call their technical support and or customer service and I would be hold for sometimes just 15 to 20 minutes and would end up talking to someone located in Texas.
I had to call Dell support just about a week and a half ago and I was placed on hold for almost 2 hours before I got a live person. Now I could not even understand this person and he could not even understand me. Now, I was told by Dell that if this happened to me “just hang up and call us back”
So, I hung up and called back. Guess what?.. I’m on hold for another hour and I get a guy so dumb that he could not even find Dell’s own error codes for their own diagnostic utility tool.
Now at this point I just spent almost a full hour on the phone with him. I got the feeling that not only could he not understand English, but it was also his first day on the job. So, I’ve just spent about 4 hours, give or take 1 or 2 minutes on the phone, my hard drive is failing and he can’t resolve my issue. So, now there is another issue. I am now very upset.
Now, I have had to call Dell 3 or 4 times in the past 3 to 4 months and in each case I am placed on hold for up to an hour or more and ended up by with talking with a person who was not even in the United States. I could not understand about half of what they were saying and I had to repeat myself several dozen times before they could even come close to understanding what I was telling them. It was like I was teaching them their job.
Award Winning Technical Support or Customer Service at this point? Not for me. This type of service went on for over a year. Lucky for me I can fix most of my own issues and don’t really need technical support. What about those people that have to depend on there technical support?
Anyway, I had spent about 4 hours on the phone and the issue is not resolved. He takes my home phone number and told me that he would do some research on the error codes and call me back the very next day sometime before 5 pm my time. I was so mad I could not think. I waited about an hour or so, just long enough to cool down and thought I am going to call Dell back.
Now I am already really mad…very mad because I paid for a service and I am not getting the Award Winning Service that Dell claims. So, I call back and I don’t care how long I am hold. I plan on taking a big chunk out of someone’s butt.
I am on hold for about 53 minutes and then a woman gets on the line. I tell this woman about my earlier call, how long I was on hold, and the phone conversation with the person just before her. I gave her the error codes and she asked me “can I put you on hold for just 2 or 3 minutes”. Sure no problem, I’ve been on hold with Dell all day 2 or 3 more minutes is not too bad.
In less then 90 seconds she was back on the phone, she identified the error codes and had started the process to ship a new hard drive. She placed me again on hold for about a minute or so and then told me that I would be getting my new hard drive in 2 to 3 business days.
She also asked me that after I got the hard drive, only if I wanted her to, that she would call me and help me setup the new drive. Now, I build computers and know how to set things up…so I did not really need her to call me, however, I thought that I would put her to the test and I told her, yes please do. That would be nice.
Guess what? She called; almost at that exact time that she said she would. I told her everything was ok but I was having just a bit of trouble with the hard drive always wanting to go into check disk. In about 3 seconds she fixed that issue. Now I could have done this myself but it may have taken me 5 to 10 minutes.
So, I told this woman how great she was and asked her that if I needed her services again could I just e-mail her and could she call me back when she could fit the call into her schedule. She said yes.
The next day I sent her an e-mail asking her to call. She called. I informed her about an issue regarding my DVD Rom. I got the call from her just after 3 pm Seattle time and we spent about 10 minutes on the phone running various tests and telling about issues that I had every since I had the laptop. She put me on hold and generated order # to ship me a new DVD Rom. She told me that I would get it in 2 to 3 business days. I got the DVD Rom before 10:30 am the very next morning.
Now that’s Award winning service, she’s Award Winning and is very good at her job. I sent an e-mail to her supervisor in that regard.
So, people, don’t give up on Dell’s support just yet. It’s far from Award winning, but they do have a couple and I do mean a couple of people that do give you Award winning service and they do build you a very good machine.
So, now I guess your question to me is who is this woman? Well it took over a year to find a good match for me; you’ll not get her name from me. So, just keep trying and when you make contact with that person who does help you and sounds like they know there stuff, ask them for their e-mail address. Use that person.
Hell, just for the amount of aggravation that Dell has put me through to this point I figure they should be sending me a free DVD/RW for the laptop and a very big were sorry, we will work harder to improve in this area.
The type of service that this woman gave me, and I know she gives the same service to everyone she comes in contact with is the only thing that will keep Dell going. I am big on Customer Service, quality technical support, not just for me, for my clients as well.
I rate Dell’s Award Winning Technical Support and Customer Service at 3 on a scale of 10. Long hold times, poor communication/language skills, poor technical training, passing the buck from one department to another. Not knowing what or why there is a utility partition on the hard drive. I could find no one at Dell resolve the issue. I did get a few token e-mails from there online support but found them to be even of less help then their phone support.
To the woman who has resolved my past 3 issues on a scale of 1 through 10, 10 being perfect, she went off the chart and gets an 11 because she does her job very well, quickly and does what she says she’ll do. For me that means more then a great Dell computer.
She is Dell’s Award winning support; I sincerely hope they have more than one like her.
Dirk M Pratt
Cat Custom Computers and Data Recovery
Pros Good Graphics, Nice full sized keyboard, pointer, good battery life, swappable bay, runs well with graphics utilities
Cons gets very hot on the bottom, no external media control buttons, has a bit of a lower end plastic feel
Summary I'm an architecture student that uses Photoshop, Illustrator, and Autocad frequently, and mostly during the same time. This notebook seems stable enough to handle all the necessary applications i require to run. The bottom runs very hot, but besides that, this notebook packs a great desktop replacement in a portable size.Updated
I recently got a job at an architecture firm, and i need to bring my laptop to work when doing renderings because it is more powerful than the workstations at work.
Pros Sturdy design, video performance and overall performance, nice screen options, professional look, and good price for base model or better configured model, good battery life, good support and warranty
Cons Little too bulky, no firewire port,
Summary My friend has purchased the D810 already and I was able to take a close look at it and ordered one myself today. My model is a base model with 64mb ATI x300 graphics card and configured it with SXGA+ screen which is very nice. All for about $1400 shipped. This laptop performs very well in all applications from what I've noticed, and is excellent for some gaming as well. Of course my friend has x600 graphics card, however those are upgradeable in case I needed one in the future, they may even have a better one by then. Next thing I will need is 7200 rpm HDD and I will be all set for quite some time. This model is also little lighter than D800 model or Inspiron 8600 was. I am very happy with my purchase. Anyone interested in desktop replacement notebook that's fairly mobile should look at this guy.
"Good, but they should stop substituting too-low-quality components for competitive price"on by scene1
Pros On/Off button on port replicator, good design for power adapter/cords
Cons Poor sound quality, keyboard not using all the available space
Summary This is the third Dell latitude laptop for me. I can only compare this one to the two I purchased before. Obviously, with faster CPU's and bigger hard disk, I am happy with this one.
But, sound quality is much lower than the two(Latitude CPx, CPi with Pentium III and Pentium II). Occasional noise during sound play, and overall lower quality. Did they substitue cheaper audio components for lowering the price or what?