So, last night I had my last straw with my current laptop, a Dell SmartStep. The laptop is nice in general - it has a good battery life and is quite speedy, but has too many hardware issues. The primary problem is that it overheats. Basically, any time I play a game, after 10-20 minutes the laptop just switches off. No warnings. Nothing. Just a black screen. With the powercord disconnected, I can get a bit more time (the machine runs slower on battery) but even then the machine will die. Normally this only affects games, but once it happaned during a coding session. I sent it in - but apparently the problem has returned. Then I discovered that the video out connection wasn't working. A quick search on the Dell forums found that many people had the same problem. Basically the connector doohicky (I'm a software guy) isn't connected well to the rest of the hardware and after a few uses it gets lose.

So - to make a long story short, while I love Dell, I was beginning to hate this laptop. So, I decided to pick up the new XPS. (I'll brag more about the system later.) There are two important things I want to bring up:

  1. When configuring this system, I noticed something very nioe - the ability to remove most of the crappy software. Normally when I get a new machine, the first thing I do is start uninstalling. For most of the options in the XPS you are given a No Software option. Thanks Dell, I appreciate it!

  2. For the heck of it I went over to Shopping Bargains when I was at the end of my check out process. This is a site I built a few months back for the SB folks using CFMX and our CMS, Element. I typed in Dell, and in a few seconds I had a coupon code that took off 310 dollars. Nice, very nice.

So, totally unrelated to the post and just for bragging purporses, here are the specs on my new laptop:

Pentium 3.4 Ghz
15.4 WUXGA with HT Tech
1 gig RAM
128 MB ATI Mobility Radeon 9700
60 gig Ultra ATA 7200 RPM
128 MB USB Memory Key (no floppy drive)
Windows XP Home (which will be changed to Pro)
Modular 4X CD/DVD burner (dvd+rw+r)
Subwoofer in the system itself
Backup carrying case
and lastly, the Plasma cover