Ivor O’Connor

December 21, 2008

Inspiron 1526 Impressions

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 5:07 pm

It works pretty much as expected. I bought a refurbished one. See a prior post about reburbished products from Dell. (http://outlet.us.dell.com/ARBOnlineSales/topics/global.aspx/arb/online/en/InventorySearch?c=us&cs=22&l=en&s=dfh.) It has 4GBs of RAM, two 64 bit CPUs, comes with Vista, and costs less than $500. It has a green shell.

I got it with Vista for several reasons. It was hundreds of dollars cheaper than the same hardware with Ubuntu installed on it. I suppose M$ pays Dell to install Vista on their laptops. Perhaps also because most people who get Ubuntu require much more support. I’ve seen stats showing preinstalled computers with Ubuntu are four times more likely to be returned. So perhaps Dell takes this into consideration on their pricing. However considering how ass backwards everything with Dell is I doubt they are that organized. It must be because M$ pays them to pander Vista.

Another reason I got it with Vista is my old all-in-one brother mfc-8860dn printer is fantastic and I want to continue using it. (http://www.brother-usa.com/MFC/ModelDetail.aspx?ProductID=MFC8860DN.) Especially since I have no idea if my HP L7780 all-in-one printer will ever work correctly. And even if it did work correctly I don’t like having to wait for the ink to dry. If I print X pages on the 8860dn printer it takes seconds. Not minutes. And the pdf scans are almost never askew as they routinely are on the HP machine.

The most important reason for buying it with Vista. To run quick books. I need accounting software badly and waiting for solutions on Ubuntu was getting to be absurd. It’s amazing how useful quick books is.

Anyways, Vista aside, there have only been two surprises with this Inspiron.

The first is the annoying fan. If you watch the temperature of the CPUs you see why. It starts at 48C and sharply rises to 52C in about 20 seconds and then the fan comes on. The temperature drops just as sharply back down to 48C again in about 20 seconds. I’ve tried setting the computer to use as little energy as possible but despite this it still happens. Even at idle. The noise is annoying and can be sometimes heard over the speakers. I figure the fan will quickly wear out and then either I’ll return the laptop on warranty or it will work with no fan. I don’t plan on having anything on the hard disk so if the computer gets fried so be it. I did look for utilities to control the fan but none exist for this version of inspiron. Furthermore this is a known issue with the inspiron 152X series. Despite all the complaints, and there seem to be armies of complainers, Dell has kept mum…

The second surprise is how I can work with an external hi resolution screen while also working with the built in laptop screen. I like lots of screen. I wonder why my Ubuntu laptop does not do this. Maybe I should look into it.

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