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Dell Latitude D830 User Review

The Latitude series of laptops is part of Dell’s business line. As business machines, they are more focused on reliability, durability and subtlety (whereas the more consumer-oriented Inspirons tout more powerful media-centric features such as a high-end discrete graphics solution, dedicated media keys, more attractive price points, etc.).

Other series in this lineup include the Precision series (high-powered mobile workstations aimed mostly at high-end graphics professionals, particularly those with the need for 3D rendering) and the newly-released economy-class Vostro series, introduced to replace the now long-in-the-tooth business Inspirons. The Latitude sits squarely in the middle of both lines, providing a balance between high performance and price.

The Latitude comes in a wide variety of flavours, but for most people the choice really lies between the 14.1” 630, and the 830 which is the larger, 15.4” model. This model comes in as a desktop replacement, as its weight isn’t suited to lugging all around town.

The configuration I ended up getting was:

2.2GHz Core 2 Duo T7500, 800MHz FSB, 4MB L2 Cache

Dell Latitude D830 Dimensions is 15.4 Inches

2GB DDR2-667 SDRAM

120GB 5400rpm SATA HDD

8X DVD RW Dual Layer drive

15.4” WUXGA screen

256MB NVIDIA Quadro NVS 140M

Touchpad with integrated UPEK Fingerprint Reader

Intel 4965 WLAN (802.11a/g/n)Dell Latitude D830 User Review

9-cell battery

Dell Bluetooth 2.0 (EDR)

Windows Vista Ultimate with media

4-Year Next-Business-Day Parts and Labor On-Site Response Gold Warranty

4-Year Accidental Damage Warranty

I also opted for a few accessories:

Logitech VX Revolution Cordless Mouse

Belkin Travel Surge Protector

Extra 90W AC Adapter

Western Digital Passport 120GB Portable Hard Drive

Interlink Electronics Bluetooth Remote Control

Reasons for Buying:

The reason I needed NEEDED to buy a new laptop was because my last Windows PC, the Compaq Presario X1000, was in serious need for repair. The hinges and power button action were cracked badly, the hard drive was heating up obscenely and the battery held a charge just longer than it took to hard boil an egg. I was, however, impressed with the high quality of the screen, in particular the high WSXGA+ resolution and the computer’s overall performance. I still had the MacBook Pro, but I wasn’t willing to sacrifice both performance and precious hard drive space on running two operating systems and maintaining project and work files for both OS’ on that same tiny hard drive. I work in advertising and events, and my primary use for the system would be Office 2007 Professional, especially Excel (for my cost estimates and budget controls), Project (for project management, especially critical when running multiple promotions and events at the same time) and PowerPoint (for presentations to clients). As I tend to take on other roles when needed, my computer had to be capable of handling Adobe CS3 (for rendering stage designs, advertising collaterals and other items), Premiere (for Audio-Visual Presentations)

I knew then that I would settle for no less than a 15.4” widescreen laptop with at least WSXGA+ or better resolution – preferring to move up to WUXGA. The system also had to be powerful enough to handle the load of specific software I needed to do my job without buckling or slowing down. Finally, my experience with the X1000’s flimsy plastic parts led me to look for a solid and durable, if not rugged build.

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