Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Dell Inspiron 9300 notebook review

Dell Inspiron 9300 takes the multimedia portable to the next level by incorporating the Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005. The gorgeous 17-inch widescreen display will leave you in awe, and performance-seekers will love Intel's next-generation Centrino components, including the nVidia GeForce Go 6800 graphics accelerator. Just be sure to order the optional TV tuner, to take advantage of the OS's DVR features.

The body of the Inspiron 9300 is crafted out of sturdy and stylish magnesium alloy and measures 15.5 inches wide, 11.3 inches deep, and 1.6 inches thick; it has an attractive silver hue with white trim. At 8.2 pounds, the Inspiron 9300 is on the lighter side of robust desktop replacements, weighing more than a pound less than the HP Pavilion zd8000. Still, it's far too heavy for regular travel. With such a big case, the Inspiron 9300 can afford to include a big keyboard, though it lacks a separate number pad, which the HP Pavilion zd8000 has.

Performance is a strong point. The system is loaded with the 2.0-GHz Intel Pentium M 760, 1GB DDR2 RAM, and blistering graphics from the nVidia GeForce Go6800. Its 3DMark 2005 scores were impressive. You get six USB ports, a FireWire port, and an S-Video port. You'll also find a DVI-D port in the back. The system is configured with a DVD+/-RW drive to burn all your multimedia content. The 80GB hard drive is good for starters, but we recommend the 100GB option ($199) if you plan to record high-quality TV content. Dell also offers different "snap-on" covers to change the look of your system. The colors include Mediterranean blue, cherry burlwood, charcoal leather, and carbon fiber, which is dark black and tough-looking.

The Inspiron 9300 delivers exceptional design, features, and performance, but its warranty maintains the status quo. Dell backs the Inspiron 9300 with an industry-standard one-year warranty on parts and labor, available by mailing your laptop back to Dell; upgrading to three years of warranty protection costs $269. Toll-free telephone support also lasts for just a year. However, Dell offers a long list of warranty-extension options, including onsite repair, night and weekend service, and accidental-damage coverage, for up to $389. Since you'll be shelling out a pretty penny to get the Inspiron 9300, protecting your investment with at least a two-year warranty is a good idea.

Entertainment PC
A high-powered processor, up to 2GB3 of Dual Channel memory, a 17-inch widescreen display, integrated stereo sound with a built-in subwoofer and up to 100GB4 of storage capacity means you can get more out of entertainment. Power, storage and speed mean an intense audio/visual experience. Watch DVDs and videos, listen to your favorite songs, organize and edit digital photos, and more - the Inspiron 9300 has power to spare, making it the perfect PC for anyone looking to push their notebook experience to the next level.

Windows XP Media Center; 2GHz Intel Pentium M 770; 512GB DDR2 SDRAM 533MHz; Nvidia GeForce Go 6800 Go 256MB; Hitachi Travelstar 5K80 80GB 5,400rpm, Display: 17-inch WXGA+ and WUXGA, 6 Cell 53 WHr Lithium Ion Primary battery. Approximate operating time: Up to 3.4 hours, 64MB ATI's MOBILITYTM RADEON® X300 HyperMemoryTM.
Price: $1149
Rating: 7.8/10.

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Customer Review:
I love the 9300! Have no issues with the screen as others have said. Use it for movies, music, surfing web, and work. Movies are sharp and clear, sound is pretty good with no external speakers, and really good with externals. Only wish standard battery lasted longer. I knew I should have bought the upgrade! Now if I can just find a backback that holds the 9300.

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