Pros Computer itself is blazing, great range on the WiFi, excessive bragging rights
Cons Sony CD/DVD combo drive stinks, LCD gets dust behind it, system can be tempermental when transporting...
Summary My system: Intel Centrino 2.l3 Ghz, 60GB 7200 RPM HD, 2 Gig's DDR 2 533 Mhz RAM, Intel 802.11 a,b,g WiFi card, Phillips LG Monitor.
Main Usage: Audio and picture editing, computer gaming.
All in all the system is great, buts its still a pain in the butt.
My first problem was with the Sony CD/DVD combo drive that came with it. Originally it couldnt play movies without lagging (as far as picture was conscerned) and playing music from a CD was, well, a bad experience.
They ended up sending me a NEC drive instead, and even though it has a cheap "boing" pop sound when you eject the drive, its a considerable amount quiter and i havent experienced any problems with the phisical drive since.
The direct Business support line, as before mentioned, is based in India, and they arent much help, but the Dell XPS Team (which is America based) was a great help with all the problems that I encountered.
Another bone I have to pick with Dell is, the factory restore is a joke. Due to various reasons, I had to use the Factory Restore option, and the first problem is trying to catch it. The sytem boots up too fast, and in the end, i had to re-format the whole thing. There's been pro's and cons since then....
Also, I have gotten some dust behind the LCD screen which made me think I had dead pixels. Its not always noticable where the spot is, but my question is how it got in there?
As far as when I transport it, for some reason, the boot into windows sometimes takes longer while running on battery. Just an observation.
All in all this might just sound like im bashing the machine, but I just wanted to point out some problems.
The system runs all applications (Cubase SE, Adobe Premiere 6.5, Half Life 2, Adobe Photoshop) great and this computer just scored a 4965 on the free version of Futuremark's 3D benchmark software (if that helps anyone). And Half Life 2 runs almost seamlessly with all advanced options at max, and Cubase can edit audio with no latency problems (sorry Mac guys, no problems here).
The speakers on it are seriously amazing for what they are (never did find out how many watts it has), but i wouldnt edit audio with them....
The Phillips LG screen that I have is a bit snowy, but doesnt bother me.
So all in all, its a great system, but its been a pain in the butt.
You'll get peoples attention with the sick LED's (yeah, even girls just want it for those silly lights), and loud sound system.
And that being said, I wouldnt choose any other mobile platform than this.
Pros geforce 6800 Go Ultra 256mb, 17" screen, Pentium M not P4
Cons Light leakage issues, "sparkles" or whatever
Summary Right now the XPS2 is the fastest notebook you can buy, my old laptop was a PIII 1ghz, 16mb geforce2go, this thing is like 30 times faster. It has LEDs, which some people like, I hate them, but you can turn them off. Much better design than the old XPS, lighter weight, way better battery life. Some people complaining about the screen, say it "sparkles", also some screens have bad light leakage. Some people have been reporting replacing the screen with a screen meant for the Sony Viao, don't know if this is true. Many coupons out there on the net for $150-750 off. Thuis system OWNS Half Life 2 and CS:Source.
Pros Great System - Need to break it in to some SQL/.Net apps and Video Editing - Will review more in one month
Cons Manuals lack assistance but you do get Free Tech Support - Do use it.
Summary DELL NOTEBOOK (STRICTLY BUSINESS USE)
System received from
SMB Sales Representative
(800)901-3355 ext. 7958491
760 mhz M Technology
2 Gigs of RAM (Double your Memory for free deal)
60 Gig Hard drive
3 yr complete care
First of all I want to say that I received my laptop one week before due date (less than 1 wk from order). Rumors of delivery taking 1 month is not happening here. Thanks Dell for a Fast Turnaround.
Now for the unveiling. Other rumors noted:
1. Glittering on the monitor - I did not see it. However, when I pull the electrical adapter, I noticed the screen not being bright. Dell told me it is a preserve energy function which can be adjusted by a control function. Easy!! My assessment of the monitor and video card is there are no issues. If you go to any reputable computer store. Look at a notebook with a shiny glass. That is pretty much the same item as Dell.
2. P4 notebooks vs. M Technology - I may need to get back on this in another response noted Performance. The bottom line. If you are in the market for a notebook or even replacing a desktop and are concerned about performance, do what I did. When Dell does a memory promotion like "Double Your Memory for FREE", simply purchase 1 Gig and get the second for FREE. That is what I did and so far it handles 60 meg Photoshop layer files in 1 minute. That is the only Test I have done so far. Because I favored the P4 during purchase and the Voodoo Athlon 64 processor as well, I settled with Dell because of my past experience of terrific service and products.
3. Service Contract - I bought an Inspiron 5000e 5 years ago and was extremely happy with the purchase. The computer eventually inherited some cracks over the years due to wear and tear. Heat also played a vital part. Thank goodness I had a 3 year service plan. My 5000e looked just as good as I bought it. Regarding XPS, I got the 3 yr complete plan to cover all issues.
4. Important: Please note, my background extends 25 years in the computer industry and the greatest investment I have is a notebook and Phone PDA device. Can't live without them. I used the 5000e everyday. I will be using the XPS the same way and not with the XP OS. I use Windows 2000 Server. Yes ... if you know the OS, you know I am a programmer who uses the notebook for programming, developing web applications, Data Tier components, video editing and Print production. I chose the XPS full blown to accomodate me with all and I will rewrite an update in about a month.
CONCLUSION: If my Dell Inspiron 5000e notebook can handle all of my uses noted in #4 above without any problems, What do you think the XPS will do for me?
I bought the XPS because someone took my 5000e illegally. That is the only reason why I bought a new notebook. I got insurance now too.
Hope this helps in everyones ventures into purchasing a notebook from Dell.Updated
I had a friend of mine asked me about Transitions and rendering in Premiere. I grabbed two pieces of one clip and rendered a 36 second timeline with a transition.
It took less than a minute to render it.
Video capture Using Canopus DVRex on a P3 / copied to the notebook and edited on the notebook. File Setting NTSC.
*** Photoshop Print Media ***
My last remark on a 60 gig Photoshop layer file was not correct. The file opens from native photoshop launch in 40 seconds - Less than a minute. SPEC (300 dpi Photoshop File)
Overall, the notebook handles all my uses and I cannot think of doing anything without the XPS Gen 2 yet. More to come as I review it.Updated
After grabbing 30 gigs of RAW Video from my Video Box, I started editing the footage. When done I rendered it to a lossless AVI file. It took 40 minutes to create a 40 minute Video.
I will use my Notebook for Video editing and when completed, fire it back to the video box to render to mpeg using the Canopus Engine for superb mpeg renders. It will take a few days to render but there are no PCMCI slots on laptops. Still the laptop pushes the level of my work into New Territories. The XPS Gen 2 is really worth its weight in value and performance.Updated
I bought the Gen 2 in May 2005 and all I can say is that this notebook rocks. I tell people the day is going to come when everyone will be using notebooks instead of desktops. The difference with my 5 year old Inspiron is that I can now edit video on the Gen 2. I can render a 40 minute edited video in 30 to 40 minutes. Not only that but I do programming as well in VB.Net. It works great for doing Web Applications. The only thing that may be a gripe would be battery life but it is better than the P4 notebooks. Battery life is nearly doubled. Secondly, the unit is cooler than the P4 notebooks, therefore it does not heat up tables that much.
All in all, everyone is amazed at the look, performance and use of the XP Gen 2 I own. I got it with 2 gigs of RAM from a Dell Double your memory deal for FREE. It does not capture video like my Canopus DVREX cards but so what. I like to edit in the notebook and burn my media there. IT'S GREAT. I do a lot of Little League materials and with the camera, the notebook, it makes a great learning session for players in Little League.
NICE WORK DELL - I'll be back in 5 years for my next purchase.
Cons Heavy but you have to pay for performance
Summary Personally, I never liked Dell. It always was mainstream no-frills brand. First XPS was a huge disappointment for me due to the ugly design and bad screen. Lately, they turned it 180 degrees. I always went for Sager (Alienware, Eurocom) due to the exceptional performance but battery life was simply horrible. Also, amount of heat (and notice) they produce is unbelievable, you can use is as a primary heater at your house. Then I got Inspiron 9200. Excellent design and durability - aluminum? case – nothing can damage it (unlike 99% of other notebooks). Quite; no heat and extremely powerful. Built-in wireless and Bluetooth work better than any other notebook I ever had. 3 hours of battery life (vs. 30 minutes with Eurocom) Now with 2 gen of XPS (which has the same case design as 9200) I expect superior power, durability, dependability and battery life. Then only con is the screen. I find that 1920x1200 is very bad for your eyes. 1680x1050 is way better for 17’’. Other than that: A+++
Pros contains everything a high-end desktop offers
Cons heavy; screen size does not accommodate remote desktop sessions as a 1600 x 1200 screen would
Summary I've loaded every bit of software I can possibly use for working in the office or at client sites: DVD burner, audio and video editing; C compilers, VS .Net, MS Office, Adobe and Macromedia suites... and still have plenty of room on the 100GB x 7200RPM hard drive.
The only disadvantage compared to using a desktop is the absence of dual or quad CPUs (useful when outputting large .FLA movies and video)...
2GB memory and 256 MB video card make most tasks quite reasonable. It's expensive (this version costs $3500+, not counting software) but as a tool to be used for 3-4 years it's worth it.
I've replaced several aging Inspirons in our offices with the XPS Gen2.