I have been using my laptop which is Dell Inspiration 1300 for a while, almost 2 years. I did study it well before I decided to buy. Now, I find some interesting pieces of information about it and I also think that I have not written about my laptop before (just mentioned about the OS – Linux Ubuntu).
Thanks to the guy named James Moore
The notebook is 14″ x 10.5″ x 1.41″ in size and weighs 6.7 pounds and its mode is an Intel Celeron M360 processor running at 1.5GHz, a 60GB hard disk at 5400RPM, 512mb of RAM, a nice 15.4″ Widescreen display, and to top it all off, 802.11a/b/g WiFi. In fact, this is more of a mid-sized model that’s much more portable than a desktop replacement. The DVD+RW drive is on the right of the notebook, towards the front. The left side houses the three USB 2.0 ports, a VGA port, microphone and headphone jacks (3.5mm), ExpressCard (supporting 34mm and 54mm cards) slot, RJ-45 Ethernet jack, and a modem jack. The back of the notebook is empty apart from the power socket, and the front of the machine houses the two speakers and four LEDs.The 1300 is a customizable notebook that’s built to order, so the price and features will depend on what you pick when you buy.
Let start with the general technical information
Display: 15.4″ WXGA (1280×800) 16 million colors.
Performance: 1.5GHz Celeron M360 processor, 512mb RAM (2x 256mb sticks), DVD+-R/W rewriter drive, 60gb 5400 rpm Western Digital hard disk.
Size: 14″ x 10.5″ x 1.41″ , 6.7 pounds (around 3kg; that’s big to me who travels with it everyday).
Expansion: 3x USB 2.0, VGA out, microphone, stereo headphone/speakers, Express Card/54 slot (supports 34mm and 54mm cards), RJ-45 jack, 56k modem jack.
Wireless: Dell 1370 wireless 802.11b/g or Dell 1470 WiFi 802.11a/b/g Mini-PCI card available.
Battery: 4 cell 29 watts per hour Lithium Ion battery is standard. Duration is around 2 hours (which sucks to me)
Software: Windows XP Home Edition SP2, Microsoft Works 7.0 or Corel WordPerfect, Corel Paint Shop Pro X trial, McAffee Security Center, various other trial software. (Actually I paid kinda much money for copyright for Windows XP which is so annoying to me. Well, at that time, I did not know about Ubuntu and because I did not go and pick this laptop myself. Then, I think I wasted that money. Anyway, I am using Lunix now. That’s the point.).
Those are not too bad for the budget laptop, I bet.
Oh sweet notebook!
Display, Graphics, and Multimedia
The Inspiron 1300 can house either a 14″ XGA screen or a 15.4″ WXGA (800 x 1280) screen. I went for the 15.4″ option. Although not as bright or shiny as some other notebooks on the market, it does the job and is certainly an improvement over an XGA monitor. The backlight is sufficient for everyday use. If you’re in a dark room, then it can actually be painful to set it to full brightness, but about 75% should be good enough. This screen is not driven by a dedicated graphics card, but, as mentioned, it is good enough for reasonably demanding games. The Inspiron 1300 has Intel’s integrated Media Accelerator 900 Graphics and you can set up to 128mb of RAM as video RAM.
The audio package provided is reasonable. While you’re not getting an amazing, mind-blowing audio experience, your not disappointed either. The two speakers on the front are adequate, but if you want to listen to some serious music, plug in some headphones or better speakers. The lack of a microphone is rather annoying, especially when using Skype.
DVDs play well on this laptop, although the mentioned speakers can be pretty dismal sometimes. Battery life can be an issue if you want to watch a two and a half hour film at full screen brightness with WiFi turned on, but because 50% brightness is acceptable and the lack of need for WiFi when watching films, most will find it usable.
To me, the speakers are so cool. Loudly enough to watch all kinds of movies in the public place. Much much better than HP, Apple or something like that. I have tried to use my friends’ laptop; turned up the speakers and quickly fell disappointment because of awful voice they made. DVD player is good too. Colors are bright, sharp; well, so good to me. It is hard to compare to Sony’s stuffs. I feel good with it, importantly.
Horsepower and Performance
As mentioned, the Inspiron 1300 is a customizable notebook, with processors ranging from a 1.4GHz Celeron M to the 1.73GHz Pentium M, all with a 400MHz front side bus. Mine came with a 1.5GHz Celeron M360 processor, 512mb of RAM in a 2x 256mb configuration, so if you want to upgrade you’ll have to throw one away(1gb RAM maximum), a reasonably fast 60 gig 5400 rpm hard disk, and WiFi 802.11a/b/g. I wont deny that I was expecting to be disappointed by this notebook. Although I cant really class myself as a gamer, I do play on some intensive games (Rome: Total War and Sniper Elite to name a few) and was expecting them not to run well. Well, I now take it all back. I have migrated from a PC desktop running a 2.4GHz Celeron and 512mb of RAM with no dedicated graphics and an XGA screen, and I’m getting better frame rates on the notebook! Okay, Sniper Elite just isn’t the same with a touch pad, but hey, it works! You wouldn’t want to run serious CAD apps or Half Life 2, however. The built-in DVD+-RW is a bonus for mobile DVD burning, and a steal for $780! I’m not really strongly opinionated about the Express Card slot. I think it’s good that Dell is thinking forwardly, and since WiFi is built in, I cant really think of a use for a PCMCIA slot. Unless you really want to use an EVDO card, then this isn’t really a drawback. You decide whether this is a benefit or drawback.
Mine is a 1.5GHz Celeron M360 processor, 512mb of RAM in a 2x 256mb configuration. I wish I could upgrade it to 1gb RAM if it were necessary. The processor is perfect for my purposes now. I do not require more. I am not a game player even though I am so in love with 4F RACE :P
That is so cool. Who says it is ugly?
I am so get used to typing on this keyboard and touchpad
The Touchpad is the normal Synaptics pad found on most Dells. It’s speedy and responsive, and you can customize the way the cursor moves to suit your needs. But in the end, it’s just the same touchpad as most other notebooks.
The keyboard is simply a pleasure to use. The keys have a really nice feel to them, and are big with generous spacing. Pressing the function key will enable you to access the numpad (1 is j, 4 is U, and etc.), and the hardware functions like volume, standby, etc. The delete key takes a little bit of getting used to, but otherwise, you wont need any adjustment from desktop keyboards.
The left side ports
The 1300 has an array of ports that should suit most users. A trio of USB 2.0 slots sit on the left side (although a little bit cramped) along with the VGA out, RJ-45 Ethernet jack and the modem. The ExpressCard slot is on this side as well. The power socket is on the back below the hinge. I can’t think of any other ports you would need on a notebook, unless you need PCMCIA.
Totally I agree with him. Those ports suit me. Who needs more ports on this laptop?
WiFi is very good on this notebook. It’s 802.11a/b/g integrated Dell 1470 wireless card, so it will connect to pretty much everything. The connection strength isn’t bad either: I was able to pick up an 11b network up one floor and though two walls with a “Very strong” signal status, whereas my PDA with a Senao WiFi card will usually drop out.
Yeap, Wifi is important to me. Connections are goo everytime. Upload and Download both not so bad. Skype is always connected the most quickly. :D
Battery: The 6-cell is a 5045mAh battery, which isn’t bad for a 1.5GHz notebook. I got about 3 hours of use with mainly Skype over WiFi, and about 3 hours with no WiFi playing mp3s. Overall, I think the battery is acceptable. If you need WiFi, full screen brightness, and full CPU speed, then you may only get a few hours out of it, but otherwise its a pretty impressive battery. The standard battery is a 4 cell, 29 WHr Lithium Ion battery that Dell estimates lasting 2 hours.
My laptop’s battery is the big deal. I cannot afford to get the 6-cell. I always use wire, man, is it a portable computer with the wire!?! :( Anyway, its life is about 2 hours, not too bad. It enough for me do check emails and reply to the clients :)
Pros: Good performance, spacious hard disk, DVD±R/W drive, great screen, excellent WiFi signal, solid construction, quality keyboard.
Cons: lack of microphone, speakers aren’t great, almost no ExpressCard peripherals available.
I don’t say speakers are bad; they are good. Maybe we have different options. I also do not care about Express Card peripherals. Well, thanks to him, I know more about my laptop. It is still the best one for me so far. My brother is gonna use one, maybe different model but still DELL.
DELL + UBUNTU = SUPER DUPER COOL!!!