General chatter - Anyone own a Dell computer?




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2frustrated
12-04-2006, 05:25 AM
We're thinking about buying a new home computer - and DH gets a whopping 3% discount at Dell, so I've configured one that's about right for 500 - about $1000 USD. Unfortunately it comes with all the gubbins, TFT screen, keyboard mouse etc that we already have.

Anyone have any thoughts on DELL??


silverbirch
12-04-2006, 05:34 AM
Brief, incomplete, possibly rambling thoughts. I have had a Dell since the Dark Ages. Dealing with them was OK then. Now the firm's got so big that it is hard work. So I'm a bit off them because of that.

Re. new gubbins. Yes. It's a nuisance but there is a possibility that your existing screen, keyboard and mouse may not be compatible with the new computer. Seems hard to have to chuck perfectly good things away, doesn't it?

Ditto computer software bloat (perhaps a Microsoft thing). Dell seems to be hand-in-glove with various other corporations (Microsoft, etc) so you get a lot of stuff you don't need or want. I have spent a lot of time getting rid of stuff I don't need so my computer will work faster.

Oh, and finally, I'm not very keen on XP. It seems to make things happen which I really don't want to happen and undoing them takes time.

HTH. :)

2frustrated
12-04-2006, 05:52 AM
With this new monstrosity we get a free upgrade to VISTA! :faint: I'm still running '98 on our laptop and we've had it for 6/7 years and it's still going strong-ish. It sometimes just crashes and restarts, but apart from that everything still works.

My old computer blew up in a power surge. I'm going to buy a new socket (possibly in the package with the Dell thing).


silverbirch
12-04-2006, 05:59 AM
With this new monstrosity we get a free upgrade to VISTA! :faint:

Watch out, is all I can say. :devil:

alinnell
12-04-2006, 08:56 AM
Jen, I have a Dell and my kids both have Dells and my laptop is a Dell. I've never had a bit of trouble with any of them (and DD had a refurbished one for many years). At my old job, all of our computers were Dell. My new job, we have HP. I really can't say that they are any different. Since I've never had any problems, I've never had to deal with anyone on the phone for tech support, so I can't back up or deny what siverbirch said about that. When I got my newest computer, I had to buy a new printer because the old printer attached with a serial cable and the new computer only had USB connectors. DD got the old printer and is very happy with it (and I love my new printer). New is always good in my book!!!

PS I learned a new word today--gubbins!!! (had to Google it!)

2frustrated
12-04-2006, 09:07 AM
Glad I enhanced your vocabulary alli :p

I think we're going to go for it - they seem very cheap for what you get, eg I can get a whole package for £500 with the same spec as just a tower from PC World that would cost £800.

nelie
12-04-2006, 09:13 AM
I purchased a Dell for my parents because I did some research and thought it was a good computer. I do recommend them. I also recommend HP. Should I mention that we got a brand new HP laptop? HP and Dell were the only two brands that I looked at.

FrouFrou
12-04-2006, 03:34 PM
We've had our Dell for about 5 years now, I think. And we love it. We went with the bigger screen and some other upgrades and the price was still reasonable. We've not had any problems with it, knock on wood! DS has a Dell laptop and has had it about the same amount of time, again, still running strong. Not sure I would have anything else after having a dell. Just my 2 cents. :)

Tara D
12-04-2006, 03:50 PM
I've had two Dells (my only personal computers). I've had my laptop for about 2 1/2 years. The site at which the power cord gets plugged into got very loose (making it difficult to maintain electrical power), so I called Dell. They basically told me nothing could be done and that I should just buy another computer. Luckily, I called around town, and found that the problem could be fixed...mind you, it wasn't cheap ($250), but I couldn't afford a new computer and everything else was working just fine. The computer is good -- I just question the service advice sometimes.

WindyCityChick
12-04-2006, 04:11 PM
I have a Dell laptop that I've owned for about 3 years, and have not had any problems with it (knock on wood). However, my mother's Dell laptop, which was only a bit older than mine, recently had some issues, and dealing with Dell's customer support was extremely frustrating. She ultimately wound up getting rid of it and purchasing a new HP at the local Best Buy because she can bring it in for service there, whereas there is no local Dell service location.

I would net it out by saying that the quality out of the box is generally pretty good, and is comparable to other manufacturers like HP, but if you do have problems, then Dell is not great with support, so you may want to factor this into your decision.

jillybean720
12-04-2006, 04:28 PM
I'm actually really surprised to hear so many people saying the like HP--I've heard nothing but bad stories about them and have had plenty of bad experiences with my Compaq (now owned by HP). I have a Dell laptop for work, and I love it. The only problems I've had have been office network-related, not the computer's fault.

I've never taken a computer anywhere to get serviced or fixed or whatever, so I can't comment on that. I'm quite handy at figuring out how to fix things myself, and my boyfriend is a bit of a computer geek, so I have no reason to take it anywhere.

nelie
12-04-2006, 04:46 PM
Jill,
I don't know why but Compaq sucks :) I've heard plenty of compaq horror stories but I've actually never heard of any HP ones. I'm not sure why there is a huge difference even though it is made by the same company. Although all manufacturers have their issues, some have more than others.

The HP we just bought was a replacement for an HP that we already have which hasn't had any problems. I think Best Buy also sells quite a lot of them because talking to the sales people they said they have a hard time keeping HPs in stock.

jillybean720
12-04-2006, 05:19 PM
The HP we just bought was a replacement for an HP that we already have which hasn't had any problems. I think Best Buy also sells quite a lot of them because talking to the sales people they said they have a hard time keeping HPs in stock.
Part of that is simply because it's a recognizable brand. There aren't many computer brands you can buy in stores that have such notable names since things like Dells and Gateways were not sold in stores (although I believe Gateway has lost a lot of their market share and are now availble in some stores). Since HP bought out Compaq, pretty much all that's left is HP and a bunch of companies trying to become big names that just haven't had the longevity in the market of HP (such as Sony--they only started making computers a few years ago, and they tend to be a bit pricey).

People buy what they know, and so here we are debating Dell and HP and not much else :dizzy: My boyfriend worked at Circuit City selling computers, and he said not only did they sell a lot of HPs, but they were also the most frequently returned for repairs. I believe both HP and Dell outsource their tech support services to India (as most big companies do), so there's probably not much difference there. I guess the bonus to an HP would be being able to bring it back to the store for service (depending on the store and the warranty--be sure to read the fine print, as some warranties require that you attempt to solve the problem through the manufacturer before resorting to the retailer).

Alright, no need to keep pointing out what a nerd I am...:p

Oh, and yes, Compaqs suck (although mine probably sucks even more simply because it's from 2000 and originally had Windows ME, i.e., Mistake Edition), but they're still made by Compaq, not HP. HP bought them out and owns them business-wise but didn't take over their manufacturing.

chick_in_the_hat
12-04-2006, 05:20 PM
Compaq should come with a really big sign on the box that says POS!!!!

HP is a whole nutha thing.

I have a Dell laptop at work - no problems with it if ya don't count a battery recall. ;)

Zorak
12-04-2006, 05:55 PM
If you are looking for a new desktop, then I prefer the build it yourself route. You can build a computer with better components for the same price or cheaper than an OEM (Dell) computer costs. Sites such as Pricewatch and New Egg are two good sites to buy computer parts from. You'll also avoid getting new hardware that you don't need.

However you'll have to load the operating system yourself so if you don't have the disk, then you'll either have to download one (Linux) or buy one (Windows). Or you can be like me and dual boot between the two although I'm rarely in Windows. :smug:

There are instructions on the Internet on how to build a computer ,but if you are too squeamish about doing it yourself you can always bribe a neighbor that knows how.

almostheaven
12-06-2006, 10:08 PM
Hubby and I used to service in-home PCs. So...

Go with Dell or Gateway. Personal preference...Dell. And I don't know why you have to take the monitor. It should be configurable to subtract for the monitor. And unless you have a monitor that came over on the Mayflower, it will be compatible. Dells have THE best warranty...next day. Everyone else, well they say three, but I can tell you from experience, there's no guarantee in that. Dells are super easy to upgrade and work on, the box is easy to gain access without everything squeezed in like in other systems.

As for HPs, they're ok for newbie users, but I wouldn't own one. And warranty work will be at LEAST three days. Buying an HP is like buying PBell...remember those? Same company but they no longer make PBells.

Compaq? Run, run very fast. They're so proprietary...you add one stick of RAM and then have to restore your software later...nope. You have to remove ANY and ALL upgrades before your restore software will recognize it as a Compaq again. They're the WORST machines to work with, to upgrade, and to fix. And the warranty is again three or more days.

I've owned nothing but Dells since about 1998 and will own nothing else. I think we're on our third Dells. We always buy two...his and hers. LOL And in all that time, I've only had ONE problem, with a CD drive. The guy was there with the drive the next day. We always order ours stripped and put in our own extras...RAM, secondary hard drive, and ethernet cards, and use our existing monitors.

nomorefatpants
12-07-2006, 01:29 AM
I have a dell laptop as do most people in my law school. They recommended them because they supposedly have awesome customer service. I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't purchased the additional warranty...it has already paid for itself. I've had my motherboard, screen, dvd-rom, etc replaced and now my new problem...well not so new. For over a year now, my laptop, which is designed to be portable...crashes if i unplug it, so if i'm studying somewhere, i'm plugged in, and decide i need to move, i need to power the whole thing down. Most people I know at school swear they'll never buy another one. That being said... the techie people recommended them so I really don't know...and the prices are always really good.
HTH

2frustrated
12-07-2006, 04:38 AM
almost heaven - I couldn't get an option without a monitor, keyboard, mouse etc. It really annoyed me! But then they charged extra for a modem! :lol: :crazy: I could've called them and tried to get them to configure a package specially for me, but since this was some bundle deal thing, I thought I'd just go with what they gave me! It even includes a "free" webcam which I don't want! I think I'll be busy on e-bay...

I think I've got a reasonable deal - I've got 1024MB ram with 8MB cache, Intel dual core, 250GB Hard drive :faint: DVD +/- RW drive and a 256MB graphics card. Anything resembling that amount of power was approx £800-£1000 for JUST THE BOX from anyone else.

Zorak - I was thinking about building a new comp, since I already have an old case that got blown up in a power surge but DH wasn't keen and thought it would be simpler to get a package. :rolleyes: I've also bought a photo-printer that he didn't want :devil: :D

jillybean720
12-07-2006, 05:40 AM
2frustrated--sounds like you've gotten a great deal, and even WITH the new monitor, mouse, etc.

Obviously, you'll hear good and bad about any brand, any product, but I think the good of Dell outweigh the bad. I also think laptops are a whole different beast from desktops. The chances of something happening (dropping, jerking, shaking, kicking, freezing, heating...) to a laptop make them more prone to having issues (and that's even if you're careful and take good care of it), plus it's a whole new ballgame to try to cram all the stuff from a desktop tower into something smaller than a Trapper Keeper (remember those? ;) ).

And yes, I remember Packard Bells...what a mess :dizzy:

My Compaq is barely a Compaq anymore. My boyfriend has installed so many new components and changed some sort of configurations (I'm not THAT into computers that I could actually tell you what he did) so it runs fine now. At least all I use it for is the internet and a little word processing. I have my Dell laptop from work for anything that requires real power :p

nelie
12-07-2006, 08:19 AM
Congratulations Frus :)

I don't remember the brand of my first laptop but I bought it used from a friend who needed money in college. I'm not sure her parents would've been so happy about selling her laptop for cash but hey I went with it. Anyway, I dropped that thing so many times (on hard surfaces too) and it kept on ticking. I also have an apple laptop that is really good but it isn't good for games. We thought about buying a desktop but we don't use our computers in one single place so we went with a laptop. It is kind of sad though, between our work computers and home computers, we have 5 laptops and 1 desktop. I used to have 2 other desktops but I gave one away and sold the other. Geeks we are :)