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Dell Inspiron e1705 Laptop

Page 3 Performance Quality & Conclusion

06/03/06

Performance & Quality:

 

    For ordinary web browsing, email, and instant messaging, the processor clocks itself down to about 980MHz, which allows the laptop to keep the fans on a lower speed to insure quiet operation, and longer battery life. When gaming, or doing anything that requires more processing power, the processor then "wakes up" and goes to the full 1.66GHz it's capable of. When running at full speed, the laptop allows the temperature to rise more than I'd like it before the fans kick on full speed. Even with the fans on full speed, the laptop is not that loud, and the system cools down very quickly. As with any laptop, you must ensure that the air vents are not covered or blocked to protect the unit from overheating.

 

    The Intel wireless card that was installed performed flawlessly. Using the ProSET application, you can easily find and connect to any wireless signal in the immediate area. ProSET also saves your configurations in case you have wireless signals you connect to regularly. I did not have a single problem with the wireless at school, home, or otherwise.

 

    When it comes to gaming, this machine is no slouch. Using Guild Wars, because it natively supports widescreen resolutions, I was able to run the game at 1920x1200 with almost full detail at a great frame rate. Because the GeForce 7800 Go with 256MB of video memory allows you to play the game at the native resolution of the LCD, the game looks amazing. I also attempted to run Battlefield 2, however, because the configuration of this particular laptop only includes 512MB of RAM, the game did not run well. Forum users report with 2GB of RAM and a faster hard drive, this laptop runs BF2 very well, but until I am able to put that much RAM into the machine, or another hard drive, I can neither confirm or deny those reports.

 

    The keyboard on the laptop is very nice to type on. The keys are very responsive and do not feel cheap. And because this is a 17" laptop, the keys are all standard sizes. The only issue I have with the keyboard is that I consistently hit the "Windows" key when I was attempting to hit the left "Alt" key. The reason for this is because there is a "Function" (Fn) key where the "Windows" key normally would be, and the left "Alt" key is pushed towards the center into the space bar. However, this is a normal thing for laptops, and it is easy to get used to the new placement.

 

    The touchpad is very responsive. Almost too responsive at default settings. You'll find yourself accidentally registering a click until you get used to the responsiveness, or unless you change the sensitivity of the touchpad which is very easy to do. The only gripe I have with the touchpad is that it is off center of the keyboard to the left. Normally a touchpad is centered directly underneath the keyboard, and because this one is not, my left palm rests just on the touchpad, where on other laptops, it would not come in contact with it at all. Combined with the excellent responsiveness of the touchpad, it could create a frustration for some users. In order to not have my left palm touching the touchpad, I have to position my hand in a way that is slightly uncomfortable for normal typing. It is not painful, but it may frustrate some for the first week or two. Dell would have been better off to center the touchpad to the space bar, which would alleviate this slight problem.

 

    The speakers include a subwoofer on the bottom of the laptop. The sound produced is above average, with the high very crisp, and there is plenty of volume. Impressive compared to the majority of laptops I've personally used. The only issue I have is with the placement of the speakers right in front, below where your forearm and wrist rest on the laptop. Because of this, it is easy to muddle the sound, but this gripe is minor, but it does seem to bug me.

 

    Included with this Dell Inspiron E1705, is a utility called "MediaDirect". There is a separate button to the left of the power button, when pressed will do either one of two things. If the machine is powered on, it will launch the Windows Media Center program. If the machine is powered off, it will boot to the proprietary MediaDirect program installed on a separate partition of the hard drive. The MediaDirect program basically allows you to play any of your audio or video files, DVDs, or music CDs without having to boot into Windows. If you have mp3s that are protected by DRM (Digital Rights Management), MediaDirect can not play those files. I found that if I was just going to watch a movie, that using MediaDirect was a superior experience to using Media Player in Windows.

Pros:

17" UXGA screen available

Newest Centrino Duo technology

Above Average sound

Relatively low cost for what you get, MediaDirect

 

Cons:

Backlight Bleeding with TrueLife display

Placement of speakers

Placement of touchpad

Amount of software preinstalled at factory.

 

Conclusion:

     

     Overall, the experience I've had with the Dell Inspiron E1705 is a very positive one. The performance you get for the cost of this laptop makes me believe it is well worth the purchase. Dell is now offering even newer hardware with this laptop, all of which changes, and I can't go into here. I give the Dell Inspiron E1705 a 5 out of 6 stars. What keeps this laptop from getting a 6 is the LCD backlight bleeding and the placement of the speakers and touchpad, as well as the lack of a gigabit ethernet port. With those changes I believe this laptop would be perfect.

    

Rating: 5 out of 6 Stars

Review Date: 06/03/06

Reviewer: Ludic

 

 

Overall, the experience I've had with the Dell Inspiron E1705 is a very positive one. The performance you get for the cost of this laptop makes me believe it is well worth the purchase. Dell is now offering even newer hardware with this laptop, all of which changes, and I can't go into here. I give the Dell Inspiron E1705 a 5 out of 6 stars. What keeps this laptop from getting a 6 is the LCD backlight bleeding and the placement of the speakers and touchpad, as well as the lack of a gigabit ethernet port. With those changes I believe this laptop would be perfect.

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