My notebook computer is my primary computer, although I have a desktop, a home theater PC, and Eee PC "netbook" and a Linux computer. Strangely, as much as I use my notebook, I’m still using the same notebook computer that I bought from Dell back in 2004, an Inspiron 8600.
Of course, part of that is making sure I get my money’s worth. Dell has a great marketing system that focuses the buyer’s attention on upgrading individual aspects of the computer, such as CPU, monitor, wireless capability, extra power supplies (for notebooks), bigger hard drives, faster hard drives, bigger AND faster hard drives, etc. Let’s just say that Dell does a great job of maximizing the sales value of each sale.
Once I got my Inspiron 8600, which I bought as a replacement for my previous Dell notebook (an Inspiron 5000), it fit my needs quite well. It still does pretty well, but my 4-year extended warranty has expired and I’m starting to have little failures like keys that don’t always notice that they’ve been pressed.
When I bought the Inspiron 8600, I bought expansion memory to go to 1 GB total from Crucial Technologies. That was an important enhancement from the initial memory size of 512MB.
I’ve replaced the original 60 GB hard drive several times, first with another 60 GB, then an 80GB, a 120GB and now a 160 GB drive (at less than $80 for an 160 GB ATA notebook drive — and now it’s $59.99 with free shipping! Where? The vendor mentioned in my first online article.)
Earlier this year, I bought another two replacement memory modules from Crucial in order to upgrade to the now-affordable 2 Gigabytes. With the increase in program sizes across the last few years, that extra memory made a noticable speed and stability improvement. In other words, I’ve been working hard to extend the life of my notebook.
So, why am I thinking about a new computer?
In part, although I want to learn more about Windows Vista, I really don’t want to get it on my main notebook. So, I’m trying to wait for Windows 7 for that one. For the interim, to learn more about Windows Vista, I’m probably going to get an inexpensive notebook.
I’m considering a cheap HP notebook or a smaller (15" LCD) Dell Inspiron 1525 or 1545.
That’s where I’m running into my dilemma. I have very good experiences with two Dell notebooks in normal use and, even more surprisingly, when making tech support and warranty repair calls. I wrote about my latest experience in my article My Dell Notebook Repair Experience).
I’m hesitating NOT to buy a Dell.
[Update to July 2010 – I bought an Acer Aspire TimelineX AS3820T-5246 13.3-Inch HD (Black Brushed Aluminum) ulltralight notebook.]