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Dell Inspiron e1705 Laptop

Page 2 Installation & Appearance

06/03/06

Installation & Appearance:

     The time from order to delivery was about 7 days, which is pretty good for a custom built system. The ordering process was simple, as Dell walks you through every choice available with information available to assist someone to make the correct decision, even if they don't know a megabyte from a LCD. After ordering, Dell does not actually charge the credit card until the system actually ships, which is also nice.

 

     The shipped package came earlier than Dell estimated by a day, and my first impression was that the laptop was extremely well packed. The cardboard uesd for their boxes is thick and sturdy, and the packing material is much better than simple styrofoam. There seemed to be little to no possibility of damage to the machine due to shipping.

 

     Included with the system was an AC adapter, a quick start guide, user manuals and recovery CDs. I ordered a copy of the Windows XP Media Center 2005 media for an extra $10, as I normally like to reformat the drive and do a fresh install of Windows myself.

 

     Why would I want to do this when Dell installs Windows for you? Well, the first time I booted the system, after going through the initial walkthrough to setup Windows, there were 58 running processes. The time to load all these processes and programs made it seem like this new laptop was slow and not worth the money I had paid for it. Another thing Dell did was set the Windows display DPI to 125 instead of the standard 96. What this does is enlarge everything which might be useful for someone with sight issues, but when you order a display with 1920x1200 resolution, you expect to have a lot of space! I did not like how the display looked the way Dell had it setup, and if I did not know how to set everything back to Windows default, I would have been very unhappy with the way the display looked in Windows.

     The other thing that I did not like about the LCD on the laptop, was the immense light leakage. Light leakage is what happens when the edges of the screen leak light onto a dark background. If you look at the bottom of the LCD, you should be able to see the areas of light creeping up into the screen. This also occurs in the upper left hand corner. I've read on many user support forums that this happens in the majority of these types of displays with TrueLife. Now, I was able to reduce the amount of light leakage to an acceptable level by adjusting the gamma and brightness in the Nvidia control panel, but I don't think a normal user would know how to do this easily.

 

     Also, the default background Dell uses with their laptops is not native to the resolution of the display. This means the picture is stretched to fit the area, which makes the image look not as sharp. I quickly went out and found some wallpapers that were 1920x1200 and applied one, and the LCD looks a LOT better. By using a wallpaper that is the native resolution of the LCD, it shows how good the display really is. If Dell had some sort of 3D rendering done native to the resolution of the screen for the computers they sent out, it would really up the "wow" factor of getting a new computer and might increase customer satisfaction.

 

     After adjusting the display so that I was happy with it, I started to remove programs that I felt weren't needed. Dell gets income by making agreements with companies to distribute their software with a new PC. While I understand this need from a business standpoint, personally I feel that it has come to a point where the sheer amount of programs included bog down the system so much, that the user doesn't feel that the new system is quick and worth the money they paid for it. Also, the majority of the programs are demos, which means they won't work after a certain period of time unless the user pays a fee to purchase the full program.

 

     After removing all of these programs, and defragmenting the hard drive, this system really started to show how quick and wonderful it really is. The new Core Duo processor starts to shift away from pure processor speed, as was the focus of the Pentium 4, and now focuses on doing more work in less cycles.

 

 

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