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Okay, first, hardware. This laptop is not very light out there, for those of you wanting featherweight laptops, but I carry mine with me all the time in my book bag and I don't feel the weight to be an issue. The screen gives crisp, vibrant images that are easy on the eyes, without any annoying glares at all
The DVD ROM is excellent because you can use it to burn CDs and DVDs, in addition to playing them.
There is NO floppy disc drive, but those are becoming outdated anyway. There is a USB port, and you can use the USB storage devices easily. Simply plug it in, and you're ready to save stuff onto your USB storage without having to go through any new hardware install processes.
The keyboard is very quiet, which is a plus when you are typing In addition, the keyboard has both the track stick and the touch pad, so fans of either will be satisfied. Also, both of them (yes, even the track stick) include the tap-clicking function, which is a small nuance, but nice. Basically, you tap once on the touch pad or track stick and it'll be as if you clicked the left mouse button. Saves time!
The battery lasts about 4 hours if you're running minimal programs, such as Microsoft Word. (When you run on battery power, the screen automatically darkens a notch to conserve power.) If you play music or watch DVDs on battery power, it's about a 2-hour duration.
All the RAM, drivers, and system requirements are up-to-date. I don't know any hardcore technical details. All I know is that everything works very fast
The speakers are mediocre. It doesn't play very loudly, which is understandable, because this is a small laptop with limited speaker space, and the sound is flat and tinny. So I recommend using earphones. The sound is much better through earphones if you are playing music, and you can hear the bass a lot more
As for software, this laptop comes with Windows XP Professional I'm not going to describe it in detail, but basically it has all the essential programs, such as Word, Internet, Windows Media Player, AIM, that you need. It doesn't include an image-editing program other than Image Preview and Paint, so for people like me who like to do computer graphics, you'll have to buy extra programs.
So far, after 2 months of using, I haven't experienced any malfunctions. The laptop has never frozen on me, knock on wood. :-) I use it very frequently, always leave it on, and carry it around (sometimes not as carefully as I should, I admit) and it is remaining sturdy and problem-less, despite my abuse.
This feature-loaded laptop works as well or even better than PCs, and all in all, it is a great investment for an all around laptop. I recommend it!
I have been issued a Dell D600 at work and have found the machine very good. There must be some hardware differences as mine has 2 USB ports and an external/internal floppy drive. Otherwise a good review. As for cost that everyone else has stated, that will all depend in the options selected when the laptop is purchased.