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Purchased a New Notebook Computer: Customized Dell Inspiron E1705

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Dell Inspiron E1705I’ve finally pulled the trigger. If you’ve been following along, I’ve been looking for a new computer since August, to replace a five-year-old Fujitsu laptop that has seen better days. I had a tough time with Circuit City a few months ago, so I continued looking.

With the help of a former co-worker, we decided on a Dell Inspiron. He used to be a big fan of IBM ThinkPads, but in his expert opinion, the ThinkPads now made by Lenovo don’t have the same high quality parts as they once had. Conversely, Dell’s parts have improved.

I had to forego the numeric keypad. If it really bugs me, I’ll get an external one, but I think I’ll be fine. Here are the specs: (Warning, geekiness follows.)

Inspiron E1705
* Intel Core 2 Duo T7200 (2.00 GHz, 4MB L2 cache, 667 MHz FSB)
* Windows XP Media Edition, free upgrade to Windows Vista Home Premium (I will likely install Windows as well as Ubuntu)
* 17 inch UltraSharp WUXGA LCD
* 1GB memory, to be replaced by non-Dell 2x1GB DDR2-667 PC2-5400 SODIMM Memory
* 256MB NVIDIA GeForce Go 7900 GS
* 120GB 5400 RPM SATA Hard Drive
* 8x CD/DVD Burner (DVD+/-RW) with double-layer DVD+R write capability
* WiFi plus Bluetooth
* No preinstalled software

I think I’ll be quite satisfied. To save money, the 2GB RAM is coming from another vendor. Using a Dell 20% off coupon, and adding on sales tax, the total is $1,762. I’ll be expecting 3% cash back through Ebates [aff] as well as additional cash back from my credit card’s rebate. The memory adds another $214 (no sales tax), and I should eventually receive $20 of this cost back in the form of another rebate. I have free 3-5 business day shipping on the computer and free 5-7 business day shipping on the memory.

While this is less than the amount of money I thought I’d have to pay at this time to get what I want, it pretty much wipes away my chance of breaking a net worth of $70,000 by the end of the year. And I still have holiday gifts to buy.

Published or updated December 12, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Golbguru

Congratulations on the new computer. 256 MB GeForce card!!..that’s some serious gaming hardware man :)

$1,762 is a significant investment, are you thinking about Dell’s warranty? Dell laptops are not really well-known for flawless performance (with respect to their screens) after about an year or so.

Also about Lenovo, though the name has changed, I am certain that everything is still “made in china” and pretty much the same factories that have been handling IBM specified equipment. So unless Lenovo “recalls” some of IBM’s quality guidelines, you can still expect some good stuff from them.

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avatar Klauss

I just added a Dell desktop (last night) to the quiver. I have had a dell 17 inch laptop for some time without one problem, but with anything, the problems can arise no matter the manufacturer. Only reason for the additional investment is that my wife was always on our one laptop. I need to get up to date on what all the bells I paid for actually do. I am really interested in excel 2007 so I am pleased with the timing.

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avatar Matt

I’m very jealous, that’s a nice machine. Good call on the 256 MB video card… I was starting to run into issues with my home deskop that only had 64 MB video.

I think you’ll be happy with your computer for a few years at least.

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avatar Ken

I used to work for Dell, now I work for a competitor. Neither position was in either company’s personal systems groups. I highly recommend HP over Dell if you are going the conventional Windows route. However, that is not the way I choose to go. I love Mac OS X, but even I sometimes must use Windows. So I bought a MacBook and I can do both natively on the same machine. Best of both worlds and eliminates the need for a separate computer dedicated to Windows. It’s not a gaming machine though, but I don’t use computers for games primarily.

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avatar SCapitalist

NICE machine! I bought a Dell Inspiron last year and it has worked like a charm.
I like the way you bought the computer. Very smart choices. It has given me some fresh ideas for the future. It should be a long time before you need to upgade that beast.

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avatar Debt Free

I’m typing this on a Dell Inspiron I’ve had for about 11 months. Mostly, it’s been pretty rock solid, but there’ve been times where it just didn’t seem very stable, and would crash for no apparant reason. It’s funny, as I’ve loaded it up with more and more crap, it seems to have fewer problems. Not what I’d expect.

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avatar FrugalTrader

So when you receive the new ram how are you going to install it? If you install it yourself, does it void the warranty?

FrugalTrader
http://www.MillionDollarJourney.com

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avatar anonymous

I bought the exact same laptop in July. However, mine crashed not but a few weeks ago. Couldn’t figure out the thing. Finally discovered the battery matched some of their recall numbers, but they aren’t taking back the exact same battery (does that make sense?) Good overall, though, since I needed mine to be portable I probably won’t opt for the 17″ ever again. Finding a case is hard enough, but the thing weighs a ton ( when I set it in my passenger seat it will set off the alarm b/c it claims a person is sitting there and needs to buckle up! Seriously no joke!)

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avatar brett

Rather off-topic, but I suspect that when you’re 60 you’ll look back on this post and laugh about the 70K vs. 60K regret, because at that time you’ll be rounding all your asset figures to the nearest $100K. A $10K change will seem meaningless at that point.

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avatar James

I just bougth the same EXACT laptop im 17, and im going to use it for pure gaming =D Hops it can handle these game i play. (planetside)

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avatar Rick

Just wondering how you were making out with the notebook? I just picked up the same exact configuration from Dell for $1605.62. I can’t wait until it arrives! Hope all is well!

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,386 (Platinum)

The notebook’s great. I’m using now, and I have no complaints.

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