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Dell Inspiron 6000 for Business review: Dell Inspiron 6000 for Business

Our review unit was built around a 1.6GHz Pentium M 725 processor and 512MB of DDR2 RAM; the system's integrated graphics borrow up to 128MB of system memory. With a 60GB hard drive, we got twice as much storage as from the original unit, but Dell cut back on the optical drive; we got a CD-RW/DVD-ROM combo in place of a double-layer DVD±RW. The new, less expensive unit also had a six-cell battery instead of a nine-cell.

The Inspiron 6000's performance was good, landing it a competitive score on CNET Labs' MobileMark 2002 benchmark that rivaled the punchy Acer TravelMate 2350 and the Gateway NX500X (a.k.a the Gateway M360X). But where the Acer's battery crapped out after two hours, the Inspiron 6000's ran for 3 hours and 45 minutes. (If you plan to travel regularly with the Inspiron 6000, we strongly recommend shelling out $129 for the nine-cell lithium-ion battery, which should give you even more time away from the wall socket).

As part of our $972 configuration, Dell included a one-year parts-and-labor warranty with toll-free, 24-hour tech support. Take note: The company has cut back its standard warranty to just 90 days, depending on the configuration you choose, and we recommend shelling out for at least a year. Toll-free, 24/7 telephone support also lasts for just a year. Dell offers a long list of warranty extension options, including onsite repair, night and weekend service, and accidental-damage coverage--but they're expensive. The best part of Dell's support Web site is the customer forum, where users can go to get help from other Inspiron owners, as well as from Dell reps who moderate the forum. Otherwise, the site offers the typical knowledge base and downloads sections.

Mobile application performance
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
BAPCo MobileMark 2005 performance rating  
Dell Inspiron 6000 (Jan 05)
214 

Battery life
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
BAPCo MobileMark 2005 battery-life minutes  
Dell Inspiron 6000 (Jan 05)
217 

System configurations:
Acer TravelMate 2350
Windows XP Pro; 1.4GHz Celeron M 360 1.4GHz; 512MB DDR SDRAM PC2700 333MHz; Intel 82852/82855 64MB; Hitachi Travelstar 80GN 60GB 4,200rpm

Dell Inspiron 6000 (Jan 05)
Windows XP Pro; 1.6GHz Intel Pentium M 730; 512MB DDR2 SDRAM PC3200 400MHz; Intel 915GM/GMS, 910GML Express 128MB; Hitachi Travelstar 40GNX 40GB 5,400rpm

Dell Inspiron 6000 (Nov 05)
Windows XP Home; 1.6GHz Intel Pentium M 730; 512MB DDR2 SDRAM PC3200 400MHz; Intel 915GM/GMS 910GML Express 128MB; Hitachi Travelstar 5K100 60GB 5,400rpm

Gateway NX500X
Windows XP Pro; 1.86GHz Intel Pentium M 750; 512MB DDR2 SDRAM 400MHz; Intel 915GM/GMS, 910GML Express 64MB; Hitachi Travelstar 4K40 40GB 4,200rpm

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