"Computer was great, except for Vista!"4.0 starson by mauibeachboo
Pros: Style, quietness, speed
Cons: Windows Vista OS
Summary: I configured and purchased a Dell Inspiron 531 three weeks ago (early October.) I built a great system, and was thrilled to be able to use a $350 coupon (on any build over $999.) I'd never had Vista before, but I figured it would be cool, too. I was excited over the whole thing.
The new computer came, and I was able to migrate much of my old XP stuff over by using the Belkin cable. Fine, so far.
Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there, but none of that is the fault of the Inspiron 531 itself. The problems stem from Vista, 100%!
My Epson RX500 printer didn't work as it previously did. I was able to locate a driver on Google, but in order to use all the features that I'm used to (and that I paid for in the first place), I was supposed to order an update for $10. Even after I installed some of the features, I got a pop-up error message every single time I tried to print anything.
Then, I realized that my personal screensaver (a CD I'd purchased privately a couple of years ago) wouldn't work either. Neither would my Broderbund Printmaster program, which I use a lot. Neither would any number of handy-dandy little useful utilities that I use in my everyday life. My Logitech MX610 laser mouse wasn't able to be configured properly anymore, either.
Google Earth was a nightmare, but I finally was able to locate a driver or fix or something for that.
The final straw came when I realized that none of the fonts I'd laboriously saved for years were available on Vista. Worse yet, even if I located them again, I was unable to download or use them with this OS. Since I'm in the middle of a couple of web design projects, I wasn't about to have to abandon all that work and start over by making hundreds of new graphics!
Factor in the constant annoying pop-up messages requiring authorization and passwords for my every move, and I'd reached the breaking point. I live alone. I'm the ***** user of my computer, and I don't need to be treated like a stupid child who's incapable of making a download decision on my own!
As luck would have it, it was the last day of Dell's 21-day return policy, so I contacted them, and they agreed to let me send it back. I explained to the Dell rep (in India) that my problem wasn't with the computer itself, and I'd have been very satisfied if only it ran XP instead. He then advised me that XP was indeed an option on the Inspiron 530!
Interesting that the option to purchase a new system with XP instead of Vista is now a special box on the Dell home page, because it hadn't been there a few weeks prior. Obviously, they've had many unsatisfaied customers, and rather than go through the hassle of returns (since it isn't even the Dell system that's at fault in the first place), they're now giving customers the options. The fact that Dell has been forced to offer XP as a special item speaks volumes to me.
I then re-configured an even better, more powerful 530, and again was able to use a $350 off coupon! The new one came, and I love it! It's lightning fast, super powerful, whisper quiet and very stylish.
I totally recommend Dell Inspiron desktops to anyone, but I'll hate Vista forever. Until I got "tricked" into upgrading, I had no idea that Vista had all the probelms it does, but since my experience, I've been researching it, and I'm thrilled to know that I'm not alone.
The only problem with the Inspiron 531 is Vista. Aside from that, it's a great machine.