I recently opted to wait on switching to OSX for one more buying cycle for a variety of reasons and purchased a Dell Inspiron E1505. I’m really happy with my decision, and I’m actually quite surprised how much I use it. In fact, the only thing I even use my desktop at home now is for playing music. The ergonomics of a laptop scared me quite a bit as I’m used to using MS Natural Keyboards, but now I’m totally used to the keyboard. I did however give-up on the touch pad because of the loss in productivity and bought yet another Perfit Optical Mouse to use with my laptop.
The battery life is really quite good– my laptop lasts a bit over 6 hours per charge even while using wireless networking, and I have two batteries so I cant really even envision a situation where I’d be using it for more than 12 hours without a power outlet. Granted I did buy the extra life batteries, so I’d expect them to be decent. Windows XP Media Center 2005 seems to be pretty slick and I can’t say I have any qualms about it versus having Windows XP Pro. Though honestly I have yet to try out any of the extra media hooha (more on that below).
The build quality and fit & feel of the laptop is about average I guess, but I also bought a midrange laptop, so I think it’s perfectly acceptable for the price I paid. I wasn’t really sure how much I’d use a laptop so I didn’t want to go all crazy, but perhaps next time I’ll be willing to spend a bit more.
About the only thing that I really don’t like about this laptop is that the TV Tuner card came as a seperate box! I just assumed that stuff would be built into the laptop. Because of that, I haven’t even taken the TV Tuner out of the plastic bag to even try it out. The latch which holds the screen shut also seems kind of cheesy.. if I traveled a lot with this machine I think I’d probably find a way to break it.
Overall I think I got a great deal, and am really pretty pleased with the laptop at this point.