After twelve years of owning desktop computers, I finally opted for a laptop so I would no longer be chained to my desk. After months of research and weighing various makes and models, I settled on the Dell Inspiron 600m Notebook Computer. This particular model has exceeded all of my expectations and at a price that is hundreds of dollars lower than many competing brands.
For several months I agonized over my next computer purchase. I knew I needed to be more mobile and only a notebook computer would permit me to take my “show on the road.” Still, the decision-making process was not easy as the number of different makes and models out there is mind-boggling. Ultimately, I settled on a Dell in part because of my previous good experience with the company as well as the affordability of their product line.
The model I chose was the Inspiron 600m. As with almost everything that Dell builds, it is a “new” model; at least the 600m designation is. That is one of the confusing things about Dell and some other manufacturers: every month Dell introduces new models and you need a scorecard to compare one model with all the others. Fortunately, Dell’s website allows you to do just that.
Key features of the Inspiron 600m include:
Lightweight: Just over five pounds.
Mobile Centrino Technology is standard.
Pentium M 725 Processor
24X CD Burner/DVD Combo Drive
256MB DDR SDRAM 1 Dimm Memory
Wireless Network Card
Microsoft Windows XP Home Addition
WordPerfect Productivity Pack
I kept my computer fairly basic but I did opt for the latest version of Norton Security, a surge-protected cable, a wireless router, and a wireless mouse. I selected the wireless mouse as I thought the keyboard’s mouse would be difficult to use. After two days I quit using the wireless mouse as I quickly got used to the built-in one.
The screen is bright and the keyboard is solid. The mouse keys, however, are noisy, almost clunky; you wonder if Dell could have used a quieter spring for each key.
The battery lasts at least four hours without recharging and when I do need to recharge I can go from nearly dead to fully charged in less than one hour.
For the price — I paid just over $1100. for everything including shipping and local taxes — the Dell cannot be beaten. I haven’t had to call customer service yet, so I cannot comment on that although in years past your call would be routed to a technician in India. This model comes with a standard one-year limited warranty; I avoided a later sales pitch over the phone to get a three-year warranty. Their top-of-the-line warranty sends a technician to your house to fix your computer, so it can be an option for those of you who do not want to ship — and thereby lose the use of — your computer back to Dell for repairs.
You will find the Inspiron 600m to be adequate for standard business work. Check out their myriad of other models if you do plenty of graphic design or if you need a larger screen. I am happy with the 14.1 screens, but you may prefer their 17″ model.