Dell Latitude D830 Review
The Dell Latitude D830 is the successor to the Latitude D820, a mid sized business notebook with a 15.4" screen and the new Santa Rosa platform. Weighing in at nearly six pounds it tips the scales at the upper end of the thin-and-light category. Pricing as of this writing starts at $899, and like most Dell notebooks there are plenty of customization options available.
My Latitude D830 is configured as such:
Intel Core 2 Duo T7300, 2.00GHz
15.4 inch Wide Screen WUXGA LCD
2.0GB, DDR2-667 SDRAM, 2 DIMM
256MB NVIDIA Quadro NVS 140M
80GB Hard Drive 9.5MM 7200RPM
90W AC Adapter
8X DVD+/-RW w/ Roxio Creator and Cyberlink
Intel 4965 WLAN (802.11a/g/n)
9-Cell/85 WHr Primary Battery
6-Cell/48-WHr Modular Battery
Vista Business, with media English
Dimensions are 1.39" x 14.2" x 10.34"
Weight is 6.5lbs with 9-cell battery and optical drive
Reason for Buying
When I began looking for a laptop nearly a month ago my primary objective was to find a solid machine that would last me through four years of college. My last notebook was an old Inspiron 500m which I deemed sufficiently thin-and-light for heavy travel and light tasks so I began looking into a larger, more powerful machine though I did not want a full-out desktop replacement. As this notebook would also be a graduation gift, price was not an object and I wanted something that was really something!
Being a long time Dell user, my initial inclination was towards a Dell, but I looked into machines of other brands as well. HP and Asus dropped out early on due to cosmetic preferences, but I put some consideration on the 14 and 15 inch Lenovo T60 series.
A few of my friends own older Thinkpad models and have nothing but praise for them. Indeed, Lenovo is known for superior build quality though typically at a price. By all means the T60 is a beautiful machine, but I was put off by a couple of small details. My biggest qualm is that I cannot stand having a battery stick out. Apparently that seems to be the current trend with a lot of smaller machines sporting bigger batteries and the 14-inch T60 was no exception. I wasn’t terribly fond of the port configuration either, particularly the positioning of display and telecom ports on the side of the chassis and the lack of an S-video output. The small touchpad and some very minor aesthetic points also put me off. The 15 inch T60 was a bit better but it still lacked an s-video output and was a tad bit too heavy.
Subsequently I went to Dell. After deciding against Inspiron and XPS notebooks – I hated those big white Inspiron bumpers and there isn’t a 14 or 15 inch XPS – my choices came down to the Latitude D630, D830 and Precision M65. The D630 was the thin-and-light of the group but suffered from the same issue as the 14 inch T60 in that the battery stuck out and it was missing an S-video port. Reviews I read about the D630 also mentioned poor sound and a loose battery. The D830 addressed most of my concerns with the D630 but I fretted over the weight of a 15 inch notebook. After changing my mind several times, the D830 finally won me over.
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