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Considering getting a bargain Dell laptop and was wondering what peoples opinions of Dell are generally (build quality, reliability etc)

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Are the specs?

The specs are good enough for me at a very affordable price, just wondered how Dells were generally. Here they are:

 

AMD? Athlon™ 64 X2 Mobile Technology TK53 (Base model ships with a Sempron 3500 but its only ?35 extra for the Athlon X2)

1024MB 533MHz Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM

ATI Radeon? Xpress 1150 HyperMemory

120GB (5400rpm) SATA Hard Drive

Fixed Internal 8X DVD+/-RW Drive

15.4" Wide Screen WXGA (1280 x 800) Display

 

All for around ?310 inc VAT and delivery. I wasn't actually planning on buying a laptop but this seems to good a deal to miss out on (currently use gf's laptop - P4 3GHz, 512Mb RAM, ATI Radeon 7000 gfx - so an upgrade over what I currently use).

 

Only problem is its only offering Vista on the website so I'm gonna be contacting them to see if they'll give me XP instead if I decide to go for it.

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Considering getting a bargain Dell laptop and was wondering what peoples opinions of Dell are generally (build quality, reliability etc)

 

Like many so called "manufacturers" of computers Dell doesn't build them. They assemble them from hundreds of parts made by other companies. The guts are the same. I don't think Dell makes a single component.

 

As for the tech support, it's a crap shoot. Like many companies they have have call centers in India and all though they are smart and well intended techs communication can be a problem. I don't think you will need to use tech support too often though. You know more than most of them. ;)

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You know more than most of them. ;)

Dell's tech support really does suck ass!

 

The most mundane of problems and they'll have you formatting, I swear they must have large signs posted around with bold print that reads FORMAT, FORMAT, FORMAT, IT FIXES EVERYTHING. So if you know for sure that a format isn't going to fix s**t kindly tell the tech support to piss off 'cause you ain't gonna format.

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Well I just contacted them to see if they send it with XP instead of Vista and they pretty much point blank refused, said it comes pre installed with OEM Vista, nothing they can do he said.

 

The only help he could offer was a recommendation for this:

 

Inspiron 6400:

Intel? Pentium? Dual-Core T2080 Processor (1.73GHz,533MHz,1MB L2 cache)

Genuine Windows? XP Professional - English

1 Year Base Warranty - Collect & Return

15.4" Wide Screen WXGA (1280 x 800) Display

1024MB 533MHz Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM [2x512]

80GB (5400rpm) SATA Hard Drive

Intel? Media Accelerator 950 Graphics Up to 256MB shared graphics memory

Fixed Internal 8X DVD+/-RW Drive including Software

6 cell Lithium-Ion Battery (53 Whr)

 

Comes out at ?350, about ?30 more than the Vostro I was looking at.

 

Any opinions on this spec in comparison to the original? Or perhaps getting the Vostro and removing Vista and installing XP myself (think I've got an old SP1 disc lying around somewhere)?

 

How hard is it to replace Vista with XP? (as its something I have zero experience with)

 

(Apologies for all the questions but the offer ends wednesday so I have to decide pretty sharpish)

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Well I just contacted them to see if they send it with XP instead of Vista and they pretty much point blank refused, said it comes pre installed with OEM Vista, nothing they can do he said.

 

The only help he could offer was a recommendation for this:

 

Inspiron 6400:

Intel? Pentium? Dual-Core T2080 Processor (1.73GHz,533MHz,1MB L2 cache)

Genuine Windows? XP Professional - English

1 Year Base Warranty - Collect & Return

15.4" Wide Screen WXGA (1280 x 800) Display

1024MB 533MHz Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM [2x512]

80GB (5400rpm) SATA Hard Drive

Intel? Media Accelerator 950 Graphics Up to 256MB shared graphics memory

Fixed Internal 8X DVD+/-RW Drive including Software

6 cell Lithium-Ion Battery (53 Whr)

 

Comes out at ?350, about ?30 more than the Vostro I was looking at.

 

Any opinions on this spec in comparison to the original? Or perhaps getting the Vostro and removing Vista and installing XP myself (think I've got an old SP1 disc lying around somewhere)?

 

How hard is it to replace Vista with XP? (as its something I have zero experience with)

 

(Apologies for all the questions but the offer ends wednesday so I have to decide pretty sharpish)

 

They might be refusing to preinstall XP in the machine you want but ask them if they would send it with no operating system installed give you the XP disk instead/inplace of Vista? Than you can install it yourself.

 

I find it interesting that the XP machine is more money. The specs don't justify it.

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Yes, Dell's tech support is the worst. Just believe me on that. The Vista laptop is twice as better than the XP, you don't want Intel graphics. Stick with ATI.

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I bought a Dell Inspiron 6400 like a month ago. The buttons of the player are already losing their color. Other than that, everything is fine...till now.

Calling Dell tomorrow to see if the guarantee covers this...Damn it...Also, now they bring the freaking colors right...

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They might be refusing to preinstall XP in the machine you want but ask them if they would send it with no operating system installed give you the XP disk instead/inplace of Vista? Than you can install it yourself.
I tried that as well, they wouldn't have it. Though chatting on another forum where this offer is being discussed one person was offered XP Pro for ?60, he refused and eventually got it with XP Home for the original price. So it seems a bit of a lottery on who you get to talk to :( (nearly got really annoyed when towards the end of the chat the Dell bloke said "I wish I could help". GRRRRRRR, you COULD, just give me what I'm asking for :angry: )

 

Gonna try again tomorrow. What about removing Vista and installing XP myself (using an old SP1 disc) - any difficulties in doing that if I do get it?

 

The Vista laptop is twice as better than the XP, you don't want Intel graphics. Stick with ATI.

Thanks, I get lost when comparing similar gfx cards :rolleyes:

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It is a lottery depending on who you talk to. I hung up on more than one idiot and told them to where to stick the computer. I find it strange though that they won't send you the machine without an OS installed. It's no effort for them to do that. It is a bit of a hassle to install XP for you if their assembly lines are set up to install Vista but it's no problem to but an empty HD in and send you an XP install disk. I would phone back and insist and request to talk to a manager. These clowns on the phone are just baboons taking orders.

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Shop around :rolleyes:

I never knew my sister had such a temper :angry: until I saw her trying to get some "over the phone" help from Dell.

They stuffed her around from day 1, she bought the computer on line and was supposed to get double the ram and a printer!

No printer turned up, only the extra ram.

She did finally get a printer! she reckons it was like trying to get blood out of a stone.

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Shop around :rolleyes:

I never knew my sister had such a temper :angry: until I saw her trying to get some "over the phone" help from Dell.

They stuffed her around from day 1, she bought the computer on line and was supposed to get double the ram and a printer!

No printer turned up, only the extra ram.

She did finally get a printer! she reckons it was like trying to get blood out of a stone.

 

 

They only seem to respond to extreme rudeness. I have no problem what so ever providing that for them but wish I didn't need to. I have lost count how many Dell reps I have told to go F themselves. I have had some really good ones to though so it's a crap shoot depending who you get on the phone.

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What about removing Vista and installing XP myself (using an old SP1 disc) - any difficulties in doing that if I do get it?

Anyone got any clues on the above question?

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If you format the hard drive you should have no problems just sticking in the xp disc and installing it. I would try vista though to make sure you dont like it before spending the money on an xp license.(unless you have one sitting around)

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Thanks for all the replies.

 

I finally managed to get the original laptop with XP instead of Vista (so no messing about uninstalling and reinstalling). Asked on their online chat and once again got refused point blank. Stated that a 'friend' (ie someone on the other forum this offer is being discussed) had just ordered the exact same laptop and managed to get it with XP.

At which point, after a minute or so pause, he did a u-turn and said that if I called their sales phoneline they could offer me it there. Called, stated what the chat agent had said and they gave me it with XP without even querying it. The Indian call centre is hard work, but got there in the end.

 

So in a couple of weeks I'll be the owner of a shiny new laptop, ?327 including VAT and delivery, final spec:

 

Vostro 1000:

AMD? Athlon™ 64 X2 Mobile Technology TK53

15.4" Wide Screen WXGA (1280 x 800) Display

1GB 553 MHz Dual-Channel DDR2 SDRAM (2x 512 MB)

Hard Drive 120GB Serial ATA (5400RPM)

DVD+/-RW Drive 8x

ATI Radeon? Xpress 1150 HyperMemory (integrated)

UK Modem Cable and Adapter Internal V.92 Data, Fax, Voice Functions

Dell Wireless 1390 802.11b/g Mini-PCI Card EUR

English - Genuine Windows XP Home SP2 including Media

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Thanks for all the replies.

 

I finally managed to get the original laptop with XP instead of Vista (so no messing about uninstalling and reinstalling). Asked on their online chat and once again got refused point blank. Stated that a 'friend' (ie someone on the other forum this offer is being discussed) had just ordered the exact same laptop and managed to get it with XP.

At which point, after a minute or so pause, he did a u-turn and said that if I called their sales phoneline they could offer me it there. Called, stated what the chat agent had said and they gave me it with XP without even querying it. The Indian call centre is hard work, but got there in the end.

 

So in a couple of weeks I'll be the owner of a shiny new laptop, ?327 including VAT and delivery, final spec:

 

Vostro 1000:

AMD? Athlon™ 64 X2 Mobile Technology TK53

15.4" Wide Screen WXGA (1280 x 800) Display

1GB 553 MHz Dual-Channel DDR2 SDRAM (2x 512 MB)

Hard Drive 120GB Serial ATA (5400RPM)

DVD+/-RW Drive 8x

ATI Radeon? Xpress 1150 HyperMemory (integrated)

UK Modem Cable and Adapter Internal V.92 Data, Fax, Voice Functions

Dell Wireless 1390 802.11b/g Mini-PCI Card EUR

English - Genuine Windows XP Home SP2 including Media

 

I have said many times to push those clowns and you will get what you want. These idiots confuse "can't" with "won't". They just need some body to unconfuse them as I have done several times and you have just done. Good for you. That made my day. One less customer getting screwed over.

 

By the way it was the Idian call center that finally gave me what I wanted to. The Canadian call center was useless.

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