Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Inspiron 1420: First Impressions

My new toy finally arrived on Monday afternoon. I'm using it at this very moment.

So how is it? It's excellent. Everything I expected. And more.

I took the brown colour kit considering that it seems to be the least popular option, apparently. You go and try to look for images of the espresso brown Inspiron and you will know what I mean.

Anyways, let me describe what is included in the box. You get the notebook of course, all the drivers, the OS reinstall CD (Vista Home Basic 32 bit), MS Works (which I uninstalled ), Roxio disc burning suite, power adapter, Targus wireless mouse, Creative ear buds (nice!) and owner's manual.

No bag. No problem though, I already have a decent notebook backpack I got as a gift from my employers last year.

The notebook numbers look like the following:

Intel Core 2 Duo T5450 1.66Ghz proc
MS Vista Home Basic
14.1" Truelife display (1280x800)
Espresso Brown colour kit with 2Mp webcam
160Gb hard disk
Dual layer DVD writer
Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi catcher
6 cell battery
8-in-1 card reader

The notebook's weight is ok. Slightly heavier than an Acer maybe but not by much. The chassis is magnesium alloy which was news to me because previously Inspirons were usually made of plastic. The one I got is a new redesigned model with rounder edges and slimmer profile. Very nice.

I have one minor annoyance with screen. It's a Truelife shiny screen so it glares and reflects like a SOB in well lit places. Could be a problem with some situations. Having said that, the display viewing angle is quite good so the glare can be dealt with by tilting the screen.

The notebook's performance has been excellent so far. It boots up quick and shuts down quick. It launches everything very quickly as well courtesy of a good, fast CPU and more than enough RAM.

Talking about that, I really don't get why many notebook makers still put MS Vista on machines with only 512Mb of RAM. Vista is a resource beast and will slow to a crawl if you don't have enough RAM. 1Gb is the absolute minimum,

I have 160Gb which is plenty of space. For now...

The thing that really caught me by surprise was the battery life. The notebook comes with a 6-cell battery and on the "Balanced" power management setting it lasts slightly more 3 hours! Yesterday I went to Telang Usan to meet up with someone and I watched videos and played mp3s on it and it lasted over 2 hours before needing to recharge.

It's great. I'm most impressed with this.

I've tested the webcam and it's decent enough I guess. I have no experience using video cameras with computers so I can't really say so much. The camera apparently has motion sensor so it can be used as a motion activated camera. Might be useful.

The card reader works well and so does the Bluetooth module although it seems a little bit slow to me. There are two headphone jacks on the front of the notebook. I like this.

To summarise, the Inspiron 1420 is an excellent product. Good build quality and great value which is quite typical of Dell. I heartily recommend this.

All in all, RM2599 was a really, really good deal for what I got.

For more images of the notebook, please click here.

No comments: