One of the nicer consequences of me passing the exams is that my research lab at University would provide with a new laptop. They'd already given me an old Panasonic to get me through the intervening months, but now that I'm a real student at the lab, they can afford to get me new stuff.
Based on Internet reviews I chose the Dell XPS M1330. Today, it arrived.
The pros: unlike your regular Dell laptop, this one looks extremely cool. The 13.3" widescreen WLED screen is fantastic. I like the keyboard so far (it's not gotten any real workout though). It has a fingerprint reader which is just plain cool (when Windows shows the welcome screen I just scan my finger and it logs on). Vista runs great on it, it's very fast, but with a Core 2 Duo T7500 (2.2GHz) and 2GB RAM, what do you expect? I also specifically picked the optional 7200RPM hard drive because I hate the usual slow laptop hard drives.
The cons: it's heavier than I expected. Maybe I've gotten spoiled by the Panasonic which weighs nothing. It's not super heavy but it could've been better. The edges around the screen are rather wide, without those the laptop could've been much smaller. It has only two USB ports. Dell installed the usual amount of crap on it that I had to take some time to remove.
One interesting thing is that Dell Japan didn't offer an option for an English version of Windows (especially weird since they did offer an English keyboard layout). But they did offer an option to get Vista Ultimate for a relatively small amount of money (which I didn't have to pay anyway :P ). So I got that and then used the English language pack available through Vista Ultimate Extras to turn the UI to English, which works great.
So overall I'm very pleased. But then again, since I've just gotten a great laptop for free, why wouldn't I be. :)
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