"great system but lousy keyboard"3.0 starson by calvinburnes
Pros: intel wireless, battery life, speed, screen, tpm chip
Cons: i don't like the keyboard
Summary: i have had this machine for 2 weeks. for the most part, i love it. but there is one nagging thing that i don't like: the keyboard. i have found this with keyboards on other dell notebooks as well. i find that if i type fast on this keyboard, my finger sometimes get caught under the keys. it usually happens when i depress a key and bring the finger up at any sort of an angle. it is disconcerting in that i feel that unless i slow down or modify my typing style, i will inadvertenly start ripping keys off this keyboard.
fortunately, i purchased the 3 year warranty with next day service. i highly recommend this option to anyone who buys a notebook. i am a computer consultant and i can attest that you see a lot more failure on notebooks than desktops. this is because notebooks run hot and they tend to get banged up a lot in transit. i don't buy the warranties for the desktops which rarely have problems. but i insist on them for notebooks. well worth the extra money.
there is a lot to like about this system. it is fast, and battery life is superb. the intel 2200 wireless option works flawlessly- it connects to my wireless access point almost immediately and never looses the connection. i don't recommend the dell wireless option, simply because i don't think you can beat the intel wireless.
true, the system does run hot but this doesn't bother me a bit. although it does run hot, it runs cooler than some of my other notebooks (for instance, my compaq presario 2100 notebook).
the screen is nice and crisp. i ordered the wxga option as its native resolution is quite readable (1280x800). i don't recommend the wsxga or the wuxga options unless you are under 25 with excellent vision. the native resolutions on these options will be really high, rendering everything on your screen to be really small. not good if you are over 40 with compromised vision.
but the main reason i love this system is the TPM chip. not many people know about this feature but it is awesome. it allows you to set a password which is stored in a security chip on the motherboard rather than the windows registry. once you set up this feature, you can easily encrypt files and folders. this is an awsome feature if you have sensitive data on your computer that you don't want to other people to access (for instance, a thief that steals your computer). it is virtually impossible to hack into this security feature since it doesn't rely on the windows registry which is vulnerable to hacking. as far as i can tell, the notebook doesn't come with any directions on how to use this security feature. you need to go to the dell website that lists all the drivers for the computer, and download the broadcom security platform tools. this is where you can find directions on setting up the tpm security system. you don't have to purchase any additional software to enable this great feature.