Dell Inspiron 5150 review: Dell Inspiron 5150

System configurations:

Alienware Area-51m
Windows XP Professional; 3.06GHz Intel Pentium 4; 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 266MHz; ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 64MB; IBM Travelstar 40GN 40GB 5,400rpm

Dell Inspiron 5150
Windows XP Home; 3.06GHz Intel Mobile Pentium 4; 512MB DDR SDRAM 333MHz; ATI Mobility Radeon 9200 64MB; Hitachi DK23EB-40 40GB 5,400rpm

Eurocom D470W
Windows XP Professional; 3.06GHz Intel Pentium 4; 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 333MHz; ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 64MB; Fujitsu MHS2030AT 30GB 4,200rpm

Thanks in part to its big 14.8V, 6,450mAh battery, the Inspiron 5150 managed a battery life of more than four hours--very impressive. The great battery life is partially attributable to the fact that the processor--a 3.06GHz Mobile Pentium 4--was made specifically with notebooks in mind. As such, it is much more efficient when it comes to conserving power than are the desktop processors found in the two comparison systems. This is a mainstream notebook done right: a mobile system that does not sacrifice battery life for performance.

Battery life  (Longer bars indicate better performance)
BAPCo MobileMark2002 battery life in minutes  
Dell Inspiron 5150
254 
Alienware Area-51m
127 
Eurocom D470W
108 

To measure mobile application performance and battery life, CNET Labs uses BAPCo's MobileMark2002. MobileMark measures both application performance and battery life concurrently using a number of popular applications (Microsoft Word 2002, Microsoft Excel 2002, Microsoft PowerPoint 2002, Microsoft Outlook 2002, Netscape Communicator 6.0, WinZip Computing WinZip 8.0, McAfee VirusScan 5.13, Adobe Photoshop 6.0.1, and Macromedia Flash 5.0).

Find out more about how we test notebooks.

System configurations:

Alienware Area-51m
Windows XP Professional; 3.06GHz Intel Pentium 4; 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 266MHz; ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 64MB; IBM Travelstar 40GN 40GB 5,400rpm

Dell Inspiron 5150
Windows XP Home; 3.06GHz Intel Mobile Pentium 4; 512MB DDR SDRAM 333MHz; ATI Mobility Radeon 9200 64MB; Hitachi DK23EB-40 40GB 5,400rpm

Eurocom D470W
Windows XP Professional; 3.06GHz Intel Pentium 4; 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 333MHz; ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 64MB; Fujitsu MHS2030AT 30GB 4,200rpm

Dell offers an industry-standard one-year warranty with the Inspiron 5150, which includes free parts and labor repairs through return-to-depot service. Toll-free, 24/7 phone support is included in the plan, as well. For various prices of up to approximately $300, the company offers a whole host of extended support options. The options include four years of free service; onsite repairs by a Dell tech representative; accidental-damage protection; and express service, which bumps your tech-support calls to the front of the queue.

Dell's extensive support Web site includes convenient features such as a list of the top 10 FAQs, a hints-and-tips section, and a customer community where you can gab with other users about your tech issues.

To find out more about how this product's warranty really stacks up and what you should look for in terms of service and support, take a look at CNET's hardware warranty explainer.

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