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Goin' WIIIDDDEEESCCCRRREEEN

Note: Title of this article has obvious influence from this Homestar Runner cartoon.

My new Dell Inspiron 6000 arrived today. Before I get into the nitty gritty of it, here's what I have to say about Dell first: They're support department is absolutely horrible. Here's why:

------- Start Rant -------

(skip to "end rant" if you want to skip this part)

When I originally ordered the Dell, I put down my home address as the shipping address on the expectation that I could have the signature on the package waived. All packages shipped from Dell require that you sign for the package on arrival. I said to myself "Okay, I'll order the unit, then call Dell and have the package held at the Bozrah, CT UPS place. Shouldn't be a problem.

Or so I thought.

Before continuing: The reason I have signatures waived on signatures is because UPS delivers before I get home from work. So when they deliver, I can't sign for it obviously because I'm not there (duh). Then they hold it at Bozrah, CT after a failed attempt.. to which I go and sign for later.

So anyway, a full WEEK before Dell made the shipment I made FOUR PHONE CALLS to Dell to try (and fail miserably) to tell them to simply HOLD the package at UPS in Bozrah instead of shipping it to my house.

All failed.

Every single idiot (who couldn't speak English to save their life) I spoke with at Dell could simply not understand what "Hold at UPS facility" meant. No one.

So basically, I gave up. I called UPS. They told me "Wait until one failed attempt, then call us and have us hold it in Bozrah."

Which I did. Today I finally got the package.

------- End Rant -------

Okay, now the good stuff.

This is my first experience with wide screen on a computer. My display is 1680x1050. This is the 2nd best display offered with this laptop model, and I purposely did that. The best resolution is 1900+ pixels wide. No thank you - that would definitely be a problem if I couldn't even read my own Start Menu (1900 res is very very tiny on a laptop). I'm happy I stuck with 1680, it's just right.

I should have ordered a stupid laptop bag, but didn't because I thought my old laptop bag would fit this thing. It doesn't. Too wide (insert sheepish grin here). Now I gotta go spend 40 bucks on a bag. Ugh.

The LCD screen is awesome. I remember LCD screens from laptops of the past. Absolutely horrible, and they would give you headaches. This one, however, is crystal clear, colors are virbrant, true and look better than my Sony LCD screen does(!)

Sound quality is above par for a laptop. I'll be honest, I don't care for laptop speakers - because they're small. They have no bass response at all because of their size. But for lil' speakers they aren't so bad. It won't be horrible to use them. They do the job okay. Note to the masses out there: Nothing beats standalone speakers. Nothing. Anything "built-in" to a computer simply doesn't do the job, trust me on that one. 😉

This is my first Intel Celeron M powered computer. Processor speed is 1.5GHz for those interested. The "M" is for "mobile". What can I say about it... it works. It's not blazing lightning fast, but laptops are slower than regular computers anyway. Besides which, Celerons run cooler than "true" Pentiums. This is the first computer I have purchased for work rather than entertainment/gaming. I think it will do the job nicely.

So far this laptop is whisper quiet, and man is that awesome. My last computer was so DAMN LOUD. Fans were blaring all the time. Very annoying. The way "power" computers work is basically like this: You need really fast processors, really fast RAM, really fast drives and so on. All that crap generates a lot of heat. When you have a lot of heat, you need a lot of fans, big-ass heat sinks and sometimes a water cooling system. All that garbage = LOUD LOUD NOISE. It's loud enough so you notice it.. and who wants to be annoying by their own computer? I don't. So anyway, this whisper-quiet laptop is a welcome change for the better.

The TouchPad (a genius invention if I do say so myself,) is easy to use, but I did hook up an external USB mouse. When not using it, the 'pad works well. I can definitely notice a huge improvement over 'pads of the past. There are many more options available to configure for it in the Control Panel also. My only gripe is that my left thumb sometimes touches the 'pad when I type. Not a big deal though.

And finally, I can say with confidence that I can use this computer like a real computer. Laptops in years past were best classified as expensive toys.. you couldn't really do much with them. For this one, however, I can do everything I did with my previous computer and a little bit more. I can do my audio, my video, burn CD's/DVD's, go wireless when I get the wireless router eventually, do BlueTooth stuff (can't wait to test that out,) and everything else I did on my old PC.

Additionally, this laptop is truly portable. It won't break your shoulder when carrying it around. Nice touch.

Overall I'm happy with it. I'm hoping it will stay working for a long time.

Oh, one last thing: I love laptop keyboards. I can type so frickin' fast on this thing it's ridiculous. 😉

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