Dell Vostro 1500 laptop review
The Dell Vostro 1500 is the equivalent of small businesses in the Inspiron 1520. This computer, from less $ 600 can be configured with anywhere from a Celeron M540 processor at a much faster Core 2 Duo 7500. Unlike the model Inspiron, AMD is not an option available.
Setting:? (Total: $ 877)
- Intel Core 2 Duo T5470 (1.6GHz)
- 1GB 677Mhz DDR2 SDRAM
- 120G hard drive 5400 rpm
- nVidia GeForce 8600M GT 256MB
- 8x DVD Burner with double layer capacity
- 15.4 "anti-glare screen (1280×800)
- Dell Wireless 355 Bluetooth Internal (2.0 + Enhanced Data Rate)
- Dell Wireless 1505 Mini Card (802.11b / g)
- 85 WHr 9-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery
- Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic
Note: Since this machine was purchased, Dell has increased the price of this computer.
After unpacking the Vostro 1500 and the first of the handle, I was rather impressed by the construction. On picking up the system, it is clear that the computer is very robust and held over time. Unfortunately, the side effect of that build quality is the heaviness and size. This machine is a beast. I make a note of give it to people and watching their reaction. Everyone is shocked by the sheer weight of this machine.
Building / Design
The design of this system is rather spartan, but very professional style with solid black. It is not flashy like a laptop high end gaming would be, but it does not look bad to my eyes. LEDs have a nice saturated blue color, but has been inconsistent in style. Several lights, including LED battery level, the CD LED, Dell Vostro 1500 Battery and "Wi-Fi Catcher" LED are green. In addition, the low battery indicator is a weird shade of pink, which is nothing else in the system. Although this is not a functional concern, I would have preferred the colors to be more consistent. I also do not like the color pink light illuminates the battery when the battery reaches a low level.
The construction of this system, as shown above, is very good. The back of the screen and the bottom of the case seem to be a fairly thick magnesium alloy, which is solid, but has side effect of adding much weight. My configuration, without the battery, is 6.2 pounds. The battery is 1.1 pounds, as is the charger. In total, transport system weight is 8.4 pounds. Clearly, this computer is not designed to travel very far. When I pushed around box, the only places that have been given in large areas of the palm rest, and only a little. The keyboard does not give detectable. I disappointed, as I was with the Inspiron 1501 battery VGP-BPS8 With the Express Card release button. In position space, it is extremely difficult to push those of us with chubby fingers.
The construction of the screen is not quite as good as the rest of the laptop. Neither twisting nor pushing on the back of the screen resulted any ripple. However, the screen itself is relatively easy to twist, and squeaks when twisted. Pressing the top of the screen gives only a small amount of wobble, but not enough for a problem in my opinion. As noted in the comments of the Inspiron 1520/1521, the screen locks leave a little space between the rubber pads on the screen and the palm rest, the thickness of a dime. That was enough to stir a bit and make noise if it is closed and it is shaken.
The screen on the Vostro 1500 is relatively common. I opted for the anti-glare 1280×800, 15.4-solving model. The vertical field of view on this screen can be considered poor, at best, and I often find myself adjusting the tilt of the screen to match the how I'm sitting. The horizontal field of view is much better than the vertical, and I have no complaints. Even closer look at the screen, I am unable to distinguish the noise "Dell" that some commentators have described. What bothers me, however, is the ability of this screen to draw dust. Cleaning the screen is an ordeal that must be done frequently to remove dust from the screen. I do not know if the screen gloss would improve or not.
In defending the screen, it's pretty clear when put on full brightness, and colors seem well saturated and accurate to my eyes. The light leaks are relatively minor on this computer and are visible on a screen all black, and then only on the top and bottom.
As expected from most laptops in this price off, the speakers are nothing spectacular. There is an excess of sound in the range of 4K, and not enough in the range of low-end, causing very metallic sound speakers. I recommend that you use EQ if you want to listen to music on this computer. For example, the screenshot below shows my iTunes EQ settings. Fortunately, these speakers do is rather loud, and because of the position on the underside of the computer, they do not get smothered by the hands.
PCMark 2005 is a synthetic benchmark that tests all areas of system performance. The Vostro 1500 was, however, unable to complete this criterion. I do not know why, but it seemed worthy of mention.
Unfortunately, the stock hard drive 5400 rpm is not always cut it. Since I am now using this computer as my standard gaming computer, I loaded games on it. What I discovered is that with some games, Battlefield 2, in particular, the hard disk drive loads everything slowly enough that by the time I loaded the game, the match is half over. If you intend to use this computer for games and you have the money, spend the extra on the disk 7200 rpm.? If you intend to use it solely for less hard drive intensive applications, the reader of 5400 will be fine.
HD Tune is a hard of baseline tests that the speed of transfer and access speed of hard disk. It is clear that this drive does not set a record performance and the transfer rate is inconsistent.
Keyboard and Touchpad:
The keyboard and touchpad of the Vostro 1500 Lenovo V100 battery are both very strong and unabated. The keyboard, as with all portable keyboards, takes some adjustment to learn the positioning unique keys. I am a big fan of how Dell set this machine keyboard. The function key, as shown in the pictures, is placed just right of the control key and the same size as the Windows key (sometimes I pressed the Windows key instead of the function key). The delete key is placed in the upper right corner, and is probably the most natural place, it can go. It is the road not to be accidental, and he is easy to find.? The function keys are pretty standard, and include F1 for sleep / hibernate, F3 for battery status (which requires software Dell installed to operate), F8 to switch monitors, and the up / down arrow to the brightness of the monitor. A referral that I have is that the numeric keypad does not require that numlock is, but the function key must be held down during use. I also had a key stop working properly for some time. I'll explain in the customer support section.
The touchpad is not as good as the keyboard. Dell chose to move down the keyboard in this line of computers, which, if it makes it more attractive and better defined, significantly reduces Vertical Touch Pad. By my own assessment, it is 3 "wide, 1.5 inches – certainly useful, but much too short for my taste. Scrolling regions Top and bottom are also difficult to resolve correctly using software, and I often struggle to get them to turn independently of their environment. Heavy users hands Caution: I often find the edge of my palm rests or taps the touchpad on occasion, causing clicks where they were not intended. The large buttons placed below the touchpad are a good size, if they are soft as with Inspiron computers and more. There is no click the satisfaction that there are some touchpad buttons.
Ports of entry and exit:
This computer has a many ports, but surprisingly it lacks a DVI-out can be expected. The VGA port is located on the right side of the system. Dell has designed this system get 4 USB 2.0 ports, two on the back next to the power plug, and two on the Ethernet port. Also featured are an IEEE 1394 (FireWire) on the same side as the VGA, 10/100 Ethernet port, and the CD. The system also has an 8-in-1 memory card reader, which can read: SD, xD, MMC, SDIO, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, Hi Speed-SD and Hi Density-SD. Contrary to the widely used right, the left side of the case features few ports. There is a microphone jack, a headphone / speaker, and an Express Card slot. The back is also fairly unused, with nothing other than power input, an S-Video (including supporting several adapters Dell will sell for component video, etc.), and two USB ports I noted earlier.
I opted for my computer to use the Dell Wireless 1505, which includes features Pre-N. The wireless range on this card is fairly average, and it connects to most networks with ease. But it is important to note that this map does not communicate with all wireless routers without a fight. My recommendation, for compatibility, is the Intel Wireless Wi-Fi instead of Dell. It seems to be more compatible from what I read (the low-end Dell cards also seem to have problems even connection). I do, however, as the wireless switch on the side left of the notebook. This switch allows control (configurable via the Dell software in Windows or via the BIOS) from within the system of wireless cards, including, if installed, Bluetooth, 802.11x, and any WWAN cards. This switch has three options: start, stop, and a third switch momentary, dubbed "Wi-Fi Catcher." This technology, if it is used when the system is off, will turn a little green flashes when a network without wire is detected in the range of the system in about five seconds. If used from Windows when the Dell software is installed, a window instantly pop up with all the wireless networks within range. While this may seem unnecessary, given a similar function is available on Windows, Wi-Fi Catcher is much faster.
I opted for the 9 cell battery life extended on the computer Portable. This battery extends about three quarters of an inch past the edge of the computer, and spans almost the entire back. On the underside of the battery are 5 LEDs and a button, if pushed, illuminates the LEDs to indicate battery charge remaining (20% per LED). I tested the battery life by instructing the computer in standby mode when the battery was at 2% and do not close anything on inactivity. In Full brightness, while connected to a wireless access point and watch a DVD, I managed to squeeze 3 hours and 20 minutes out of the battery before suddenly pausing. It seems appropriate in most cases, and it is likely that the low power consumption (word processing on the low screen brightness, wireless for example) would more than four hours, a reasonable time for a desktop replacement machine. Do not expect to be a road warrior. If you need the life of the booster battery, Dell offers a battery that replaces the optical drive.
System operating and software:
The Dell Vostro 1500 comes with two CDs: one to reinstall the Dell MediaDirect feature and the other is a CD of drivers, including both XP and Vista drivers. No hard disk to reinstall the operating system is included, to my dismay. The Dell MediaDirect installation disc seems to be only for Vista, if Vista is the operating system chosen. More information about this in a moment.
My system has been preconfigured with Windows Vista Home Basic. After a day with Vista, I decided that I prefer Windows XP, and quickly began to install the old operating system. This process, which in the past, took about an hour, took 10 hours to do. My attempts have been disturbed by the Dell MediaDirect. MediaDirect, for those who do not know, is a fast boot Linux OS available Using a small house "button near the power button. It allows you to watch movies, read documents, listen to music, view pictures, and some others. According to the instructions supplied with the disc, the disc MediaDirect must be installed first, then the operating system must be installed in the empty partition MediaDirect leaves. I did. Several times. As it turns out, Dell did not want to leave a way to downgrade. When I tried invoking MediaDirect, the first time, it does not install properly. When he finally did, it was established, then said she could not access information on the hard disk. After rebooting the system, it became apparent that MediaDirect was going to be a problem. He went thanks to its "inability to access the hard drive" routine again-I was stuck on Windows. Finally, my solution was to install Windows without MediaDirect and simply not press the MediaDirect.
The software on the Vostro is surprisingly free of bloatware, as it is announced on the site. I asked my system without security software, and it came exactly as I wanted: a clean slate. It was a welcome relief after some I've worked with systems that take hours to uninstall the software.
The Dell configuration software is relatively spartan and pales in comparison with the configuration software available in systems manufactured by other companies, including Toshiba. There is little definition to options, a configuration tool for Wi-Fi Catcher, certain parameters of the basic screen, and that is all that is included. There is no option to slow the CPU to improve battery life that was visible to me.
Several weeks after receiving the laptop, the "a" touches the keyboard has started to fall keypresses seemingly randomly. I contacted Dell technical support, on Sunday evening with my problem. They have requested an address and Tuesday morning, the new keyboard was at my door. It was a Self-installation of the keyboard, which was easy because the instructions in the manual considerable. When I finished, I put the old keyboard in the box that was shipped to me and used the included return label to ship the old keyboard to Dell. (If you do not, you are charged for the keyboard replacement).
On the note of the manual, it is impressive compared to today's standards. It is 222 pages long and covers everything a basic user would probably need. In the second half of the book is the reduced maintenance manual, which includes how to remove and install the hard drive, memory, keyboard, and wireless cards. For me, having the printed copy was a nice touch.
The average power is a relatively inexpensive system for businesses and home users alike. Its good construction and configuration options allow the good practice it is an excellent and versatile machine for many different applications. Despite some design flaws, the Vostro 1500 is still an excellent machine.
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