"A fine notebook computer"4.0 starson by mykecusa
Pros: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHtz processor ... 4 GB RAM ... 320 GB HDD ... 15.6 screen ... 6 hour battery
Cons: Dell unilaterally changed the purchase agreement. This really soured me on this notebook.
Summary: I bought the Dell Inspiron 1545 to replace the Dell Inspiron 9100 upon HDD failure. Folks talk about the 1545 notebook being heavy at about 6 pounds. The 9100 weighed in at a little over 9 pounds. For me the 1545 is a lightweight. I guess it is all relative. In any event, my notebook computer serves more as a portable desktop. It is a backup system should my desktop malfunction, crash, or fail, and only sometimes do I take it on a trip.
I like the screen on the 1545 (15.6") much more than the screen (15.4") on the 9100. The photo images seem sharper and clearer, which aids in my photo processing.
The Core 2 Duo processor, 4 GB RAM and 320 GB HDD are a notable improvement over the 9100's 3 GHtz Pentium 4 processor, 2 GB RAM, and 40 GB HDD. I can load plenty of photo images, RAW plus .jpg, for processing. The photo memory card slots on 1545 make loading the image right from the camera memory card a snap.
The 6 hour battery time with the 1545 is 3 times what I had with the 9100. This truly helps when I take the notebook out with me to postprocess and print images away from home. A big plus with this battery capacity.
Unfortunately the 1545 is short on device and keyboard indicating lights. I like in particular the HDD activity light, indication of power management mode, and numeric keyboard active indicator lights, as the 9100 has. Maybe a small point, but I was use to them.
Gamers seem to be turned off by the 1545's graphic card. I'm not a gamer, so I am actually pleased with the 1545 graphic card. I actually liked the ATI utility for the graphic card on the 9100. I have not identified any utility for the 1545 graphic card. Oh well, I am pleased with the image quality of the 1545 as is.
The 9100 only had 3 USB ports, the same as with the 1545. This really is not enough for when the notebook is acting as a desktop replacement, but I find it adequate when I take the notebook with me on a trip. At home I bought a 7 port USB hub and the problem was solved. All those attached devices stay home anyway and I only have 1 USB cable to unplug/plugin for portability.
I thought the 5400 rpm HDD might be a disadvantage compared with the 7200 rpm HDD on the 9100. This has really not turned out to be the case, and I really notice no slow down due to this difference. This might just have to do with the over all package of the 1545 Vs that of the 9100. That is the Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHtz process + 4 GB RAM + 3 GB Cache + 320 GB HDD gives the overall system operation a better impression to me.
Overall, I really like this budget notebook from Dell. It serves my needs quite well. Unfortunately Dell unilaterally changing the purchase terms makes this my last Dell computer.