My Dell Inspiron 1501

(Or how to buy a Dell PC/Laptop like my Dell Inspiron 1501)

I have been keeping an eye out for an affordable laptop for a long time now. I felt there was a need for a proper portable computing power to do some of my article writing and blogs. Many a times I get stuck with nothing to do while in my parents-in-law house or even in Raub where my aunts stays. My wife, Lena agreed too and sympathize with my plight. For her she seems to have many things to do in my in laws house or even at my aunt’s place sorting and rummaging stuff, throwing out old junk for the earth of us we have no idea why the old folks want to hang on. Those junk were sitting in the store room or cabinet just lying there gathering dust. About time to move it out and salvage some much needed storage space.

Dell Inspiron 1501 promotion flyer

Better than just watching the idiot box all day long, why not bring along a laptop and catch up with some work? So I have been keeping an eye out for the flyers Dell has conveniently placed in the newspaper and letterbox on a frequent basis. One thing about Dell, they sure are really aggressive in their promotion so much that Compaq HP, Acer, Lenovo and others have a tough time keeping up with Dell’s marketing machine.

I didn’t want to hurry, and kept the promo flyers of Dell and several others for comparison. I also drop by the Digital Mall every so often since it is just a stone’s throw away from my work place, just to check out and browse around the offers that they had. After six months of looking around, I have concluded that Dell’s offer is still the best around.

I didn’t want an expensive top range model nor do I want to go for those Celeron or Sempron types. Those CPU are too low end and does not have enough processing power. With Dell using AMD to offer lower price system, I felt an AMD Turion system wouldn’t be too bad and kept an eye at Dell’s monthly offer.

One thing about Dell’s offer, you have study the specification and offers because it is always changing and sort of confuses you. Sometimes the prices goes up, sometimes it goes down and the free upgrade or offers changes making the promotion value go up and down. If you are not too careful you might get a lesser value for your purchase.

And in June’07, I believed the ultimate offer came. Nowhere has anybody offered 2GB of DDR2-RAM for a laptop plus free delivery to boot at that price. All this while, Dell would offer DVD burner upgrade, or just free delivery, but the offer of 2GB beats them all. Most laptop offered by other makers around the $650 (RM2299) range only provided 512MB of DDR2-RAM. Dell’s offer tops them all because to upgrade laptop memory is not cheap. The free delivery was a bonus which was somehow provided on the last day of the offer! It wasn’t even stated on the flyer nor was it offered while I was tinkering with its configuration online on Dell’s website while considering to buy or not to buy.

After placing the order, I waited about four days to take delivery. The courier came to my office on a Friday morning and my staff signed the receipt acknowledgement form. For a laptop, they sure delivered it in such a big box! To ease my burden for taking it home, I unpacked everything and placed them all in the nylon laptop bag that came with the package. I did give it a quick spin in my office before taking it back to configure accordingly to make it useful.

The specs? Briefly:

AMD Turion 64 X2 Dual Core TL-50
80GB SATA Samsung HDD
15.4″ WXGA Display
ATI Radeon Xpress 1150 HyperMemory
DVD/24xCDRW combo drive
Dell nylon carrying case (very sturdy one too!)
Windows Vista Home Basic

Simple but sufficient for my needs.

And when I showed it to Lena, she said, “Omigosh, it was just like my previous bank’s computer!” Well, honey, your previous company was a Dell supporter. And your current company is an IBM/Lenovo supporter. So much for nostalgia.

It will be a long weekend for me as I would be spending time stuffing the necessary software and configuring the system to my own preferences…

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