It’s official, I love my new dell…

I quite like my new Dell Inspiron 8600. It seems to the perfect meld of performance and portability. My other laptop, an Averatec 3150 while ultra portable (~4lbs) lacks the performance I need to replace my P4 desktop system. This new dell is definatly big but it’s still lighter and smaller than a lot of the desktop replacements out there.

The WUXGA screen at 1920×1200 is amazingly clear and bright. The 1.8 Ghz dothon core processor is deceptively fast while still maintaining 3+ hours of battery life. It’s definatly faster than my P4 2.4Ghz desktop processor and it seems to run cool (sometimes I think my averatec is going to melt into a puddle on my desk). The fans are also quite silent and come on very rarely.

The 100GB drive is HUGE for a 2.5 inch notebook drive. I have dedicated 60GB to Windows XP and 40GB to Fedora Core 2. The ATI Radeon 9600 pro turbo is a fast graphics card, I would say it is faster than my Nvidia FX5600. Unfortunatly ATI’s linux driver support is still not as refined as nvidia’s but most of my 3D gaming is on my XP partition anyway.

I really like the wifi range with the dell, places in my house where the averatec is seeing 30% signal the dell is still seeing perfect signal. I would attribute that to better antenna design but it could also be the integrated intel wifi.

My main gripe with this new laptop is it’s integrated CDRW/DVD+RW drive. Although the drive performs flawlessly I wish it used the more popular DVD-RW format. My other DVD burner is a -RW format so all my -RW discs are wasted on this new drive. Maybe I’ll get an external USB enclosure so I can still burn my old -RW format. Anyway, that’s a small issue.

Ahh that new dell smell

I finally got my new laptop, hooray. First impressions are good so far, the screen is awesome, 1920×1200 pixels in 15.4 inches. Very clear and crisp. The ATI radeo 9600 pro turbo is also quite nice, I can play BF1942 in 1600×1200 mode at 32 bit no problem. I thought the 5400 rpm drive was going to be a bit of a speed problem but so far it hasn’t made a noticable difference.

While this notebook dawarfs my averatec 3150 in size it’s still quite managable, not much larger than my old toshiba tecra 8100 that I lugged around for 3 years. The best part about the Inspiron 8600 is the new dothon core pentium M chip, it’s faster than my P4 2.8Ghz and it lets my laptop have 4.5 hours of battery life. More than enough to watch a couple dvd’s while on the plane.

I will post a proper review when I’ve lugged it around for a week or two.