It sounds like you are using TWC's Web based email. That is slow going. Try making a gmail account (hit gmail.com) and see if it's any better.
http://www.cnet.com/products/dell-latitude-d830/specs/ shows this laptop came with 1GB RAM which for today's browsers and sites will be not too fast. Sites are pretty heavy compared to the years this machine came out.
Vista didn't help much either. If you truly are doing it all web based maybe you can run a Linux on it. Web and Google Docs don't tax a machine much and it's not like we are going to learn Linux. Read http://tips.oncomputers.info/archives2004/0401/2004-Jan-11.htm
I have an older Dell Latitude D830 laptop. I'm running Windows 7 and use MS Word 2007. I'm using Avast Internet Security (I'm not sure how much I like it, but that's another topic.) I don't have many personal files. I don't have much software installed.
I use Firefox and it is very slow, especially with my e-mail. Time Warner Cable is my ISP and I use their e-mail directly from their web site. I do not use Outlook or any other e-mail product. I feel like throwing the laptop out the window because the e-mail response time is so slow. Opening Firefox, especially when I try to open the first window, takes forever. It gets better when I open additional tabs, but is slower when I try to access a web site.
I've tried using Windows Internet Explorer to access web sites (not for Time Warner Cable e-mail access.) However, that seems slow, also. [OK, I just tried using IE to access my e-mail on Time Warner Cable and it's slow, too.]
Any suggestions about how I can figure out what might be causing this or what I should do. Thank you.