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Dell Introduces Laptop With WUXGA 532

Cutie Pi writes "Dell has just released the Inspiron 8500, a new 15.4" widescreen notebook with a WUXGA screen--thats 1920x1200, high enough resolution to watch HDTV quality movies. Couple that with the new nVidia 64MB GeForce4 4200 Go (much faster than the ATI Radeon 9000), and you've got quite a notebook!! Can't wait to get my hands on one!"
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Dell Introduces Laptop With WUXGA

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  • I was thinking of buying an Inspiron 8200, but now I'd rather wait for a bit longer ;-) The monthly price is a funny number, btw.
  • by lightspawn ( 155347 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @01:58PM (#5441726) Homepage
    You realize some geeks are going to use this resolution to view more text on the screen at once and lose their eyesight that much faster, don't you?
    • Re:Just for movies? (Score:5, Informative)

      by jmv ( 93421 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @02:03PM (#5441788) Homepage
      You realize some geeks are going to use this resolution to view more text on the screen at once and lose their eyesight that much faster, don't you? ...or just to have the same amount of text, but much sharper due the the increased resolution.
      • Re:Just for movies? (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Shadowlion ( 18254 )
        ...or just to have the same amount of text, but much sharper due the the increased resolution.

        It may be sharper, but it's going to be much smaller.

        My coworker bought a Dell not too long ago that has a 15.0" screen with a screen resolution of 1600x1200 (for the purposes of software development, natch). It's very hard to read at more than a few inches.

        On the other hand, I have a Gateway laptop with a 15.7" screen at its native 1280x1024. Now, I'll grant you that I can't cram the same amount of stuff on the screen as my coworker can. However, it's significantly easier to read my screen -- especially from more than a few inches -- that it is to read the screen on the other laptop.

        • Re:Just for movies? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by jmv ( 93421 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @02:40PM (#5442162) Homepage
          By sharper but not smaller, I mean that I can make the fonts larger (in pixels) so that the keep the same "real size". That means that there are now more pixels that define each letter, making it sharper.
        • by vasqzr ( 619165 )

          Increase the font size on the other machine. A higher resolution gives you easier to read text. Period.

          Pushing 1600x1200, especially with Cleartype really strains your CPU though.

        • I have a Gateway with a 15.7" screen too, at 1280x1024, and I couldn't be happier with it. Maybe I COULD read text at a smaller size, but I certainly wouldn't be comfortable doing so. To my way of thinking, 1280x1024 is plenty of resolution for this size screen, and unless you'd going to do like Apple and make notebooks with 17" screens, I can't really see using a resolution much higher than that.
        • Re:Just for movies? (Score:4, Informative)

          by jaavaaguru ( 261551 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @02:52PM (#5442343) Homepage
          A font that is meant to be 10pt will be 10pt on any screen or printed on paper, unless there is an error in the software rendering it. If you use a decent OS (one that knows about this) then 10pt will be perfectly readable on one of those Dells. In any OS that uses X, you can tell X what the physical resolution of your screen is, and it will adjust the points to pixels ratio to account for the screen size. I think plug 'n' play monitors should also send this info to the computer so it can all happen automatically.
        • Re:Just for movies? (Score:3, Informative)

          by be-fan ( 61476 )
          I have one of those laptops. I use KDE, and I just set X to run at 133 DPI, which is the native DPI of the screen. Fonts are *extremely* crisp, and the same size as they would be on any other display. 12pt means 12/72 (1/6) of an inch, not 12 pixels. If you set things correctly (pass the -- -dpi 133 option to X, or change the DPI setting in Windows) pretty much everything should scale just fine, and you get a huge payoff in readibility.
    • Just imagine what this could do for Nethack... larger maps!
    • You realize some geeks are going to use this resolution to view more text on the screen at once

      Yeah, text. That's what geeks will use it for. And they read playboy just for the articles.
  • and weighs as much, too! 6.9 lbs w/o a media drive!! and 1.5" thick. I'll keep my TiBook (or even a new 17" AlBook), thank you very much. :)
    • Agreed. I was very curious until I saw the size and weight. I'll "suffer" with my 1280x854 display, 1" thick and 5.5lb carrying weight.

      But, then again, I've become a brainwashed member of the apple cult, so I'm probably not the best judge of a laptop. :-)
  • by flikx ( 191915 )

    With a screen at that resolution, I just might be able to view an entire slashdot advertisement at once. Wow, no scrolling for me.

    • Re:A great display (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @03:01PM (#5442451) Homepage
      Here's what annoys me.. Finding laptops with screens 15-16" or so that do 1600x1200 and 1920x1200 is trivial, but it's almost impossible to find a desktop flat panel that does 1600x1200 at much larger screen sizes!

      Who needs 1920x1200 on a 15" screen? yet we have to put up with 1280x1024 on 19" screens on the desktop...

      • Re:A great display (Score:3, Informative)

        by lingqi ( 577227 )
        dode, that's a whacky statement.

        First, let's try a SONY 23" []

        Then, we have a Samsung 24" []

        Of course we can't forget the Apple 23" []

        All rated at 1920x1200. Now, if you want cheap, Dell makes a FP2000 at 1600x1200 (20") that can usually be gotten for under 1000. Too bad they sell out faster than hot cakes.

      • Limits of DVI-D (Score:3, Informative)

        by doormat ( 63648 )
        You cant go above 12x10 on a standards LCD because a stardard single DVI-D link can only supply that much information to the monitor. A dual DVI-D link could provide 1920x1200, but no videocards seem to implement dual DVI.

        See -- Maximum Digital Resolution: 1280x1024 @60Hz
      • I really don't understand why anyone would use a flat panel on the desktop. The cost per square foot saved doesn't come close yet to the cost of a square foot in an average home. And you can currently get 19" monitors capable of 2048x1536 for under $300. I have 3 such 19" monitors running at 1600x1200 each on my machine and can't see why anyone would settle for less. My 3 monitors + video cards cost less than a single 19" flat panel. And Ghost Recon at 2048x1536 is really cool :o)

        By the way, I've found the trick to happiness with 19" monitors at high resolution is a horizontal dot pitch of around 0.22. Anything higher causes letters to have fuzzy edges. Its this that causes eyestrain, not the size of the text. The secret to easier reading is greater sharpness, not larger size. In fact, making the size larger greatly slows the reading because there is less text in the region of sharpest focus. Most of us read at least phrases if not sentences or paragraphs, not letters and words. If you can't see a whole phrase at once in focus, you have to revert to a more primitive word by word reading pattern.

  • ... What is with Dell and their ugly-ass notebooks? Fucking BODY CLADDING, ala Landau roofs on Lincolns.. They're not fooling anybody..

    Apple's got the prettiest notebooks by far, with Sony and IBM the only credible alternatives IMHO.. Dell stuff just looks like Taiwanese junk..
  • Apple.. (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @02:02PM (#5441771)
    Apple Called... They want their laptop design from 2 years ago back.
    • Not quite (Score:5, Insightful)

      by BoomerSooner ( 308737 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @02:31PM (#5442087) Homepage Journal
      The resolution is 1900x1200 which beats the hell out of 1440x900 not to mention Apple crippled their laptops by switching to the OLD Geforce 4 Go 420 which is like the POS Geforce 4 MX. The ATI was better. Now if the new 15" comes with a nVidia Geforce 4 Go 4200 w/128MB I'll buy it. Otherwise I may hold off completely.

      I'm a huge apple fan but some of the most critical things I need to do for my company are either not available for Mac or are exponentially more expensive. BTW I develop software for Linux (2.2+), Windows (win32), Mac (OS X) and Solaris (7+). I have seen the 17" AlBooks at the Apple Store and while impressive it doesn't do much more for me than the old 15.2. If the 15.4 comes available for a decent price (see note) I'll get one as soon as they are available (not the lovely preannouncements Apple has been giving). Otherwise, I'll just get an old TiBook 1GHz for 2550 or so.

      Note: the Dell with 2.4GHz proc, 512MB 1 DIMM, GF4 4200, 60GB, 1920x1200, Extra Battery, ... is still only $3000 compared to apples $3300 for the 17" AlBook.
  • Ads for nerds. Shit that we can't afford.
  • As light as 6.9 pounds according to the specs, but hey it does come with some ugly facades you can stick on the back of your LCD panel. Seriously, as an owner of two dell laptops previously, they need to loose the weight fast. There is no excuse for a 7 pound 15in notebook.
  • i own an 8200 (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @02:03PM (#5441785)
    ...and the NVIDIA video drivers cause the machine to blue screen once/week. Dell says that this is "an ongoing issue between Dell and Microsoft". There is no driver update available.

    Dell sells a lot of stuff that's not ready for prime time - is the 8500 yet another example?

    • Granted that they're not the same, but I had the same problem with XP on my 8100 (Nvidia).

      Switching from the default Microsoft "Dell" to "Dell Mobile" driver stopped the constant crashing.

      Then I just said to hell with it and switched to ATI, which is installed on my Mac.

    • by Andy Dodd ( 701 ) <{atd7} {at} {}> on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @02:45PM (#5442224) Homepage
      And go update your drivers. You're obviously NOT running the latest ones.

      My dad had bluescreen problems with his I8000 and obtained new drivers from *Windows Update* of all places. This was months ago.

      I was using the latest Dell drivers from their website with no problems whatsoever. I don't think my 8200 has ever bluescreened even once.

      And if you bothered to do ANY research at all, you would've found the D-Force (and related) modified INFs that are regularly maintained so that you can use your latest Detonator release with "Go" series of GeForces. Yes, I'm running the 41.09 Detonator release on my 8200 with full functionality.

      BTW, Dell has some excellent user-to-user support forums if you go to their support website.

      Oh yeah, and it runs Linux beautifully too.
  • Notebook != Laptop (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PseudoThink ( 576121 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @02:03PM (#5441792)
    Despite the headline, one can't really call it a "laptop", since using it on one's lap would create safety (and fertility) issues. Dell's official term is "notebook", but I believe "mobile computer", "traytop", and "portable space heater" are also acceptable. I challenge anyone to actually sit through a two-hour HD movie with this on their lap.
    • No doubt you're right. I can barely stand my 700MHz ThinkPad A20M. I can only imagine how hot this thing gets...


    • A Dell speaker came by the engineering school at my college during the first few weeks of school - according to him, they aren't laptops, but "desktop replacements."

      Right about now my 19" CRT monitor is looking mighty out-dated...I even prefer my 12.1" iBook screen because I can sit infront of it for hours on end programming away without the eye strain I get from my CRT (although I do run the CRT at 1600x1200 at 72 Hz since I really enjoy the desktop real-estate...)

    • ...using it on one's lap would create safety (and fertility) issues...
      He he! I assume you are referring to this [] guy? I read the blurb on Dell's site, but was disappointed not to find a reference to it's blistering performance.
  • Ram Prices (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @02:05PM (#5441801)
    Gotta love this gouging, under the customization look at what they charge for extra ram:

    512MB,DDR,266MHz 2 Dimms
    512MB,DDR,266MHz 1 Dimm [add $200.00]
    640MB,DDR,266MHz 2 Dimms [add $300.00]
    768BM,DDR,266MHz 2 Dimms [add $400.00]
    1GB,DDR,266MHz 2 Dimms [add $650.00]
    1.5GB,DDR,266MHz 2 Dimms [add $1,800.00]
    2GB,DDR,266MHz 2 Dimms [add $3,300.00]

    • Re:Ram Prices (Score:2, Informative)

      by vasqzr ( 619165 )

      MacMall [] gives you 512MB RAM free.

      Of course, you have to pay the $39.99 'install fee', but look at what Dell wants for more RAM, or what it'd cost you to buy the memory from NewEgg/etc

      On a side note - $39.99 to pop the keyboard off and stick a DIMM in?!
    • Re:Ram Prices (Score:5, Informative)

      by yelims ( 160240 ) <marksmiley@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @04:01PM (#5443112) Homepage Journal
      That's why when I bought my Inspiron 8200 back in December, I only ordered it with 128MB, and ordered a 512MB chip from Crucial.

      My only issue was, when I was running several application, I would notice a slow down. I would get frequent messages from XP stating that it was going to resize my pagefile.

      Well, a week or so ago, I decided to check things out. Since I ordered my laptop with 128MB, Dell had set the pagefile to: minimum 128MB/maximum 384MB. Why they don't just leave it on auto is beyond me. But just be warned if you decide to go the route I went.
      • Re:Ram Prices (Score:3, Insightful)

        by lingqi ( 577227 )
        I have a 8100 and 512M; I disable paging altogether; It's just not worth it - I mean, HD access slow things down AND drains power. I see no reason why anything I do should not fit into the 512M space (I know there are people who needs more for other stuff - but come on it's a laptop). Anything that needs more would usually use its own page file anyway (UT2k3, photoshop, etc etc).
  • by Chief Typist ( 110285 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @02:07PM (#5441821) Homepage
    And what are the chances of actually being able to see the end of that HDTV movie before the battery runs down?

    Not good, I'd say...
    • by JUSTONEMORELATTE ( 584508 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @02:39PM (#5442156) Homepage
      When I got my current job, it came with a Dell laptop (Inspiron 5000 series) with a DVD drive. Whee!

      On my first business trip, I found out that the battery was enough to watch about 66% of a DVD.

      Later that year, I found out that my battery was being recalled, but they'd apologize by giving me two batteries in return -- double-Whee! Now I would have enough battery life to watch a full flick.

      I just have to pop out the DVD drive to install the second battery.
  • by thesolo ( 131008 ) <> on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @02:08PM (#5441828) Homepage
    much faster than the ATI Radeon 9000

    What's that? The poster must have meant the ATI Mobility Radeon 9000 [], which is much different from the Radeon 9000 Pro [] AGP card.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The mobility radeon 9000 is over 6 months old, and is actually a true notebook chip designed for low power consumption.

      The GF4 4200 go is simply the desktop chip with lowered clockspeeds. It's comparable to the Geforce FX, puts out way too much heat for the application, and introduced just for the purpose of taking the performance lead from a 6 month old design from ATI. I'm surprised that someone actually used this chip...

      In a matter of days, ATI will release the M10, and nVidia will release nv31, both of which will offer better performance, support for directx 9.0 and have much lower power consumption...

      Anyone who buys this will be stuck with a battery draining, hot running card that held the performance lead for a total of 1 month before superior designs appeared
  • my dell.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by MousePotato ( 124958 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @02:08PM (#5441830) Homepage Journal
    I bought an Inspiron 7500 when the PIII 500 chips were first made available in laptops. It has been a few years now and this machine has been all over the US, banged up, dropped, kicked, etc. at jobsites, conventions & seminars. The only thing that has gone wrong with it have been the CD burning out playing CTP and the 'm' key jumping off. I hope the new line can stand up to the kind of abuse this one has because this machine is still kickin and I would certainly consider buying another one in the future.
  • by ilsie ( 227381 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @02:08PM (#5441833)
    I would definitely go thin and light. I bought the most powerful, largest screened laptop I could find (at the time). However, it's so unweildy, and drains battery power like nothing else. If I'm lucky (with two batteries in it) I'll be able to surf for 1 hour before it goes dead. Plus, by the amount of heat it generates, I know I'm going to have lap cancer by age 35.

    In other words, I cant do a whole lot with it, and it's really heavy and awkward. My dad on the other hand, has a super small Sony Vaio that can go about 6 hours on a battery and still do everything I do, even though it's more underpowered.
  • I still prefer the Area-51 laptops [] by Alienware []. A little more pricey, but damn, they put a lot of horsepower in there; perfect for LAN parties. And they are colorful as hell :).

    Review [] is also very nice, though it is off of their own site. Customize your own here [].

  • Seems heavy (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by I_am_Rambi ( 536614 )
    I know from carrying around my laptop that weight matters alot. This laptop seems somewhat heavy for its size

    Inspirotion 15.4-inch Wide-Aspect SXGA+ and 15.4-inch Wide-Aspect UXGA display
    Height: 1.52-inch (38.6 mm)
    Width: 14.22-inch (361.2 mm)
    Depth: 10.87-inch (276.1 mm)
    Weight: 6.9 lbs. (2.96 kg) with travel module, battery and Harddrive. (Specs [])

    Compared to the PowerBook G4 (17" model)
    Height: 1.0 inch (2.6 cm)
    Width: 15.4 inches (39.2 cm)
    Depth: 10.2 inches (25.9 cm)
    Weight: 6.8 pounds (3.1 kg) with battery and optical drive installed.

    It seems that if Apple can make a laptop with a 17" screen that is 6.8lbs, Dell should be at least be able to get one that is lighter. (Specs [])
    • The Apple screen is much much lower resolution -1440x900, so it is less complex, and probably weighs less. Still, you say that the apple is only a tenth of a pound lighter. So whats the problem?

      • Are you seriously trying to say that more pixels will make a laptop heavier?

        I think the original poster is trying to say that since Apple can make a 17" laptop light, Dell should be able to make their 15.2" one lighter (especially without a optical drive).

        Dell, the leader in PC market share can't make a laptop as well designed as Apple's, thats the point.
        • The Dell has a CD-RW/DVD-R standard, just like the Apple does.

          Dell, the leader in PC market share can't make a laptop as well designed as Apple's, thats the point

          Only if you ignore the real specs. I suggest reading my other post on the thread - the two are very comparable, but the Dell is about 20% less expensive.
          • Only if you ignore the real specs. I suggest reading my other post on the thread - the two are very comparable, but the Dell is about 20% less expensive.

            Hey, I'm not trying to argue specs for specs (I've given up that long ago). I was just pointing out that the largest PC manufacturer is still trying to catch up with Apple (in terms of design).

            I had to give up my ThinkPad a little while ago, and would love a lighter version of this laptop. I don't think I'll ever toss down the 5 grand for a TiBook, so the only thing holding me back on this laptop is weight and battery life.
      • Also note that the Powerbook is usable for movie viewing at the weight listed. The Dell has it's optical drive out. In my experience, the combo drives add about 3/4 of a pound to the overall weight.
      • The Dell Laptop is weighed with the "travel module"-- that is, without a DVD/CD drive. The Apple drive is non removable.

        I'm not sure why WXGA is so desirable in a laptop with a 15" screen. Perhaps some people have fantasies of watching HDTV content on a airplane, but it's not entirely clear how such content will get on to the laptop in the first place-- as, IIRC, there's no HD-DVD.

        I suppose wou coulld copy a few gigs recorded on a desktop computer with a WinTV-Digital card, but it's still rather messy. Still, it's probably more practical than loading an DVS deck onto the airplane.
      • It may be a tenth of a pound lighter, but it's also a tenth of a kilogram heavier, for some reason? Stupid conversions....
    • Re:Seems heavy (Score:3, Informative)

      by Zathrus ( 232140 )
      About the only significant difference I see is the resolution - the Dell screen, while smaller, has a resolution of 1920x1200. The Apple screen is "only" 1440x900. This is a signficant difference in resolutions, and may partially explain the weight difference. More likely, though, it's simply case materials.

      Of course, the Apple PowerBook G4 17" is $3299. Base (which includes a lot). A comparably configured Dell Inspiron 8500 (upgrade HD to 60GB, video to GF4Go, WUXGA video, 2 GHz CPU) is only $2657. And the Dell has a faster CPU (the 1 GHz G4 isn't going to beat a 2 GHz P4M in most tasks), more resolution (albeit a smaller screen), and a much, much longer standard warranty (3 years vs 1 year).

      Oh, and yes, the Inspiron 8500 has 802.11b/g, standard. I don't think it has Bluetooth (the Powerbook does), but both have Gigabit ethernet and built-in modems. Both have CD-RW/DVD-R's, and half a gig of memory (upgradable on both). They're really pretty comparable as far as hardware goes. Which software you prefer is obviously up to you.

      The Apple is lighter and (mostly) smaller. About the biggest difference is the height - 1" vs 1.5" is pretty major. The Apple is an inch wider, but that's probably not a big deal to most people.
      • ...And the Dell has a faster CPU (the 1 GHz G4 isn't going to beat a 2 GHz P4M in most tasks)...

        Very true, but keep in mind that the hardware will have to throttle down the P4M to less than 2 GHz for maximum battery life. The PowerBook can run at full speed without much impact. (Though the PB *can* throttle down for low-cpu tasks -- watching a DVD, etc -- for even longer battery life). Maybe a good laptop spec could be "number of cpu cycles per battery". In my experience, a laptop needs to be fast *and* have a long battery life.

        ...Both have CD-RW/DVD-R's...

        The Dell, at the price you quoted, does not have a CDR-RW/DVD-R -- it only has a CDRW/DVD-ROM, it cannot record DVDs. The PowerBook can.
    • by Atzanteol ( 99067 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @02:40PM (#5442161) Homepage
      Dell: Weight: 6.9 lbs. (2.96 kg) with travel module, battery and Harddrive.

      Apple: Weight: 6.8 pounds (3.1 kg) with battery and optical drive installed.

      Interesting trick. The Apple weighs more if you use metric measurements!
  • Where notebooks go, desktop screens follow. This indicates that within a year, WXSXGA (or whatever that excessive i've-got-yet-a-longer-TLA word was) LCD screens will be priced to sell, and this is the final nail in the coffin of those 21" monsters sitting around our offices.
    If this notebook sounds heavy, just consider the weight of the alternatives. Personally, though, I'm happier than a bishop in amsterdam with my ASUS. Three thumbs up.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    geez, I've got a 16.1" screen on my Sony Vaio laptop, and the native resolution on that is 1600x1200. I couldn't imagine a _smaller_ screen with a higher resolution. Would make reading anything with a font size below 16pt impossible I'd assume. I can barely cope with 12pt on the 1600x1200 16.1" screen.

  • ...with the wire going to my HDTV antenna.

    Maybe I can get a headband-mount for it, that'll get the chicks to come a-runnin'.

  • by Virtex ( 2914 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @02:10PM (#5441866)
    Sweet, a new computer from Dell. Does it come with a free sample of Marijuana? Dude, you're gettin' some weed!

    Ok, that's just cruel.
  • by Kaypro ( 35263 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @02:11PM (#5441868)
    Having never used a widescreen aspect ratio screen I was curious as to how games handle these odd resolutions. Do they actually recognize and adjust for the aspect ratio or simply default to the highest available 3:4 setting which means the graphics start to blur? Anyone know?
    • On a 17" 1440x900 Mac, companies have basically released baby updates to add the new resolution. Most games do support it -- anyway all the five or six my kids like. (And Civ III that I like.)

      Haven't yet seen anything that wouldn't run on the first double-click, anyway.

    • by tbmaddux ( 145207 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @02:27PM (#5442041) Homepage Journal
      Having never used a widescreen aspect ratio screen I was curious as to how games handle these odd resolutions.
      Depends on the game, the screen, and the OS.

      Some support the native resolution (for example, I can play Civ III or Warcraft III on my 17" FP iMac in 1440x900). This is fantastic.

      Some will keep the screen at native resolution and give you bars on the borders (for example, a 1024x768 box inside my 1440x900 screen). This isn't so bad. Also not so bad is linearly downscaling the screen a little bit -- it's not as blurry as you might think, at least not for me in MacOS X -- displaying an 800x600 box inside a 1024x640 screen, for example.

      What's annoying is when the game runs fullscreen in a 4:3 resolution and stretches it. This is what Diablo II / LOD does, so it smears 800x600 out laterally to fill the screen. The OS refers to this as a "stretched" resolution and it looks awful. I play this game in windowed mode and reduce my resolution so that it is a window that nearly fills the screen, with my desktop peeking out the sides. Better.

      Nearly all the flat panels I see nowadays are in strange resolutions or aspect ratios (my 17" studio display is 5:4 while my iMac is 8:5), and the persistence of companies that continue to try to slap a new acronym on it like FUGA or BARGA is laughable. Just publish the dimensions and resolution, please.

  • by Maxwell'sSilverLART ( 596756 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @02:12PM (#5441882) Homepage

    This is a neat laptop, and I'm sure it would make a great desktop replacement, or even a good gaming laptop. That said, though, I can't bring myself to buy another Dell machine until they re-earn my trust.

    The short version of the story is that I bought a laptop from them and tried to get it fixed under warranty. They failed to fix all of the problems when I sent it back, and failed to note the problems as unfixed. When I got it back, outside of warranty, with the problems unfixed, I called Dell, and Dell refused to fix them, saying that it was out of warranty. They did, however, fix the problems they caused while it was being repaired. When I got it back from the second repair, there was an additional problem, a cracked access panel. It took a good half-hour of arguing to get them to replace the panel. I did finally get them to fix the original problem, but it took a sternly-worded letter to senior management [] to make it happen. That letter details several of the problems I've had with Dell over the years; it also contains the full version of this story.

    Short answer is that I have lost my faith in Dell, and until they prove themselves to me again, I won't buy their products, and I advise other people to do the same, no matter now nifty-cool they may be.

    • It's not that they are "nifty-cool", in fact they actually kinda hick.

      But they are cheap. That's why they are in business.
    • I too had this problem with Dell, which is a common problem with my model and models similar to it. It seems the onboard NIC is extremely prone to failure in the L400 and Inspiron 2000/2100. The first time i sent it in they claimed they couldn't find a problem with the PCMCIA nic, which odd since i hadn't sent a PCMCIA nic or made any claims about the PCMCIA slot, so I sent it back, and they replaced the board. This happened 2 more times. On the 3rd time it was roughly 3 weeks before the warrenty ended. So I called, they sent a guy to pick it up. A week later I haven't heard from them, so I called.

      Tech support insisted I ABUSED the network port. I tried to explain how insane that sounded, but they kept telling me to call this other number, to the department that does the repairs. Which I did, multiple times, no one ever picked up and I left at least 4 messages. No one returned my callsd. Two weeks later, out of warrenty, I get my laptop back, unrepaired. Thats just BAD customer relations.
    • by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @02:42PM (#5442184)
      Short answer is that I have lost my faith in Dell, and until they prove themselves to me again, I won't buy their products, and I advise other people to do the same, no matter now nifty-cool they may be.

      And just how do they prove themselves to you again if you won't deal with them?

      I note that we have 5 Dells in our immediate family, including the 5 year old Dimension I'm typing this on. I've also worked closely with another dozen, and never had any problem with Dell service or support. I submit that your experience is not universal to all Dell owners.

  • WUXGA = Wide Ultra eXtended Graphics Adapter

    That's a lot of adjectives, and a whole lot
    of pixel lovin'.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    With a screen that big and a video card that powerful, imagine the battery life that you'l<Disconnected>

  • We just purchased 6 Dell Latitudes where I work for field work (architectural). We chose them after much research on durability, continuity, stability. So far they are doing a very good job. It would be nice to see this display adopted into the Latitude series. For someone who does graphics, animation, CAD, etc this would serve as excellent work at home or field systems. Funny enough the reason we didn't choose an I book. was because you said it lack of compatbility with existing apps. AutoCAD, 3D Studio, Revit, etc.
  • by lysander ( 31017 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @02:14PM (#5441912)
    anyone else hate these resolution names? WUXGA? UXGA? SXGA? XGA? SVGA? VGA?

    *bangs head against wall*

    wouldn't you rather talk about 1600x1200 and the like?
  • If you look closely at the BTO page, you'll see they offer an 802.11g card. I didn't know any WinTel manufacturers had offered those....
  • by Drakino ( 10965 ) <> on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @02:15PM (#5441921) Journal
    From everything I have seen on the Geforce chip in the laptop, you definitly don't want to be away from an outlet while playing games. the chip pulls just about as much power as it's desktop equivelent when in 3D mode. This would make a decent LAN party notebook, for those with too much money.

    For me, I gave up laptop gaming a while back. It's just too expensive in the long run for worse peformance. I much prefer a Shuttle case, and a bigger LCD that still keeps my trips from the car to the party down to one. It's a bit more hassle with additional cables and such, but it's well worth it for the smaller hit on my wallet. For a top of the line gaming system last August, I spent about $1800, including a nice 18.1 inch LCD with the lowest response time on the market. The LCD can be had for about $300 less now, and the 9700 Pro is also cheeper then the $400 I paid at release. I also got more storage then can be crammed into a laptop at 120gb.

    Anyhow, I dpn't see myself ever buying one of these. The laptops I own go for ultimate portability and ease of surfing the net wirelessly. If I want desktop power, I sit at a desktop.
  • by hexdcml ( 553714 ) <hexdcml@hotmail . c om> on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @02:19PM (#5441964)
    Crikey, at that price, I might as well save up to get either a 17" PowerBook or get the 15" now.. both are way thinner, lighter and better looking. I think no discussion about notebooks is complete without a comparison to Apple notebooks and the obligatory Mac Vs. PC debate. However, I'd just like to point out that their [Apple's] notebooks are just *that* much better (IMHO) than anything that's on the market. Dell and co should take Sony's stand and actually try to build a)Fully featured notebooks b)Pay attention to asthetics c)light and portable enough to be actually used as a mobile computer. *start rant* I take my iBook everywhere with me and much to PC notebook owners, I don't feel it a hassel to open it up just to check on a date on my iCal or catch up on work anywhere. OS X's instant on makes it as if I'm using a palm top.. unlike XP's startup from sleep. It's those 20 seconds or so that puts people off from starting their computer *end rant* I took a look at the "bottom" of the Dell on the website and noted all the fugly holes, ventelatiion, battery compartments, compulsory Windows stickers and other bloat. Why can't they just keep it simple??
  • by justMichael ( 606509 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @02:20PM (#5441987) Homepage
    And are drooling about this thing.

    I speced one as close as I could to my 1GHz TiBook and it was the same price and the Dell did not include a SuperDrive equivalent.

    So considering that the keyboard/mouse thingy has been replaced twice in my Dell Inspiron in 18 months, I think I will stick with my TiBook.

    Looks like a nice machine other than the fact that I have seen too many Dell portables fall apart.
  • Unless I messed up the numbers I get about 159dpi horizontal and 143dpi vertical. Time to get out a maginifying glass to read any overengineered web sites that still assume everyone is running 640x480(or maybe 800x600) at 72 dpi.

    I am assuming the widescreen is 16x9 and the 15.4 inch is the diagonal measurement. But the numbers are almost the exact same for a 4x3 screen (~155 horizontal)

    (16x)^2+(9x)^2=15.4^2 => x ~= .84 => 13.4inch by 7.55inch
    (4x)^2+(3x)^2=15.4^2 => x~= 3 => 12inch by 9inch
  • by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @02:21PM (#5441995) Journal
    Thanks for the 'news', but I'm not in the market for a laptop right now.

    And if I was, I'd have found this information myself.

    BTW, I'm trying to sell an old waterbed. Do you mind if I stick a flyer up on the homepage? Thanks.
  • Thinkpad (Score:3, Informative)

    by NetJunkie ( 56134 ) <jason DOT nash AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @02:23PM (#5442012)
    I have a Thinkpad T30 with their 1400x1050 14" screen and LOVE it. It's enough room for two side by side pages or a web browser and a couple of IM windows. It's not real heavy and has been a serious workhorse. It's crashed once in the last 4 months, and that was due to new ATI drivers (that weren't official).
    • same here! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by phoxix ( 161744 )
      I love my T30. This thing rocks! Its especially works well for linux users being that 99% of this laptop works just dandy with linux.

      Sunny Dubey

  • by green pizza ( 159161 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @02:27PM (#5442045) Homepage
    Compare these two photos:
    Inspiron 8500 []
    PowerBook G4 []

    I know, I know... it's just the bottom of the machine, but you gotta love style.
  • $3,277 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by xaoslaad ( 590527 )
    OK, for a Geoforce4 4200 Go with 64MB RAM, a 2.4 GHz processor, and 1 GB RAM using 2 DIMMS, I managed to run the price up to $3,277..........

    Now I can get a Shuttle SB51G case for ~325, a 3.06 GHz P4 for $548, 2x512MB DIMMS for $88 [total], and a Built by ATI Radeon 9700 Pro for $320, total = 1281.... mind you I still need HDD, Display, and CD-ROM drive, but can I manage to rack up another 2K for that? Especially if upgrading and using my old CD-ROM, Display, and HDD???

    Don't get me wrong, I love Dell; I think they typically make superior PC's/Servers&Notebooks. But, is portability at the sake of performance, and that whopping price tag worth it???
  • WUGXA? (Score:3, Funny)

    by frostfreek ( 647009 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @02:37PM (#5442146)
    "notebook with a WUXGA screen"
    Call me back when you have an Awooogah screen.
    I want to use it on my submarine.

  • Cool!

  • by hirschma ( 187820 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @02:59PM (#5442427)
    Outside of the one that SGI released a few years ago, there have been no widescreen tubes or panels for the PC (perhaps some very high-end models).

    Widescreen is nice. The Mac world proves that.

    So, why aren't the PC makers and monitor vendors come out with 16:9 displays and give everyone a reason to upgrade?

  • Is it me or... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Monofilament ( 512421 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @03:00PM (#5442443) Homepage Journal
    are dell laptops just looking worse and worse. I'm not talking about features.. I'm talking about physical looks. they've release 3 different laptops recently of varying economics, they all look the same.. and they all are ugly as SIN!

    At least teh old inspirions.. standard black.. with the wildly overprice clip on color pads.. were neutral looking. It was black.. it went with anything. Now these things area light blue and odd shade of gray. Seems like colors you'd have as baby-shower decorations than on a laptop.

    Laptops are a fashion statement.. if your gonna be lugging one into your local starbucks it better not be an eye-sore. I looks like they cut the side off some old computer cases and formed them to a laptop case.

    The laptop I will get next will need to be power efficient and powerful(not so concerned about weight).. But if I have to pick i'll choose mroe power than power efficiency. Thats why i've got hopes for Centrino.. or some variant with the Pent-M ..

    This laptop is neither of my requirements.. and its an ugly monster to-boot
  • I've had the misfortune to have two Dell laptops (Inspiron 7000 back in '99, Latitude C840 presently). They were not my choice - work machines. Both have been heavy, cheaply made junk. The Inspiron had multiple hardware repairs before I got rid of it (screen failure, memory, casing). The current Latitude is only 5 months old and the hard drive crapped out last week. It takes the patience of Job to deal with Dell Support, particularly when you are an IT professional and you already know what is wrong! It only took 3 days to argue the drive replacement out of them.

    Also I'm not sure why Dell bother putting Nvidia graphics adapters in these 'high-end' laptops. Check out the most recent update available for the Geforce 4 440 Go drivers for the Lat C840 (v28.35 anyone?).
  • by Aqua OS X ( 458522 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @03:19PM (#5442630)
    I'm sorry, but that high of a resolution on a 15in monitor seems kind of idiotic to me. Everything would be tini-tiny, it would only be good for watching DVDs.

    Dell should of produced a 17in 1440-900 laptop like Apple. That'd be a hell of a lot cooler.
  • by nightsweat ( 604367 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @03:33PM (#5442788)
    I love all the whining about the weight of the thing. The bag you carry it in will probably weigh as much or more.

    I used to carry a Mac SE with a jerry-rigged hard drive home every night from work on the train. The damn thing was 35 pounds by the time it was in the bag.

    I was happy when we switched to the Compaq Portables. Happy, I tell you!

    Oh yeah, we ate sand.

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.