Thursday, November 3, 2011

DELL Lattitude E6510

Recently I got a new Dell laptop at work. This new laptop replaced a 6 year old Lattitude D600, which was still working well but became too slow to run all the software, that IT installs on our work computers.
I love new computers. They are slicker, faster and better than the old ones. A lot of technology is packed in the new laptops. In any event this was my mood until I started to use this machine.
The one I got was nearly top of the line Lattitude E6510. It has Core i7 with 4 cores and 8 total threads, 4GB of ram and 250GB hard drive (our standard memory size to run a 32 bit OS), 1920x1080 led screen, decent video card and what ever else came in the bundle.
When I just started using it, I was pretty impressed how fast this machine was. I also liked the back-lit keyboard which allows you to work in the dark environments, like an airplane. The fingerprint reader is a nifty gadget, as well as built in camera and the microphone. I guess these things were around for a while, I just never had a laptop that had them all.
I was quickly disillusioned after using that machine for a few days, especially away from my desk. The keyboard on this laptop is terrible. The internal design has metal parts rubbing against each other during the key press, so all of the larger keys squeak in a very annoying way. I had to pop most of the keys and put a small dub of lithium grease one the metal parts. This becomes old very fast, especially when you are traveling and don't have the grease handy. Also powerful processor does come with the price - heat and short battery life. The machine is hot and noisy. The fan makes annoying purring noise and almost permanently turned on. The battery lasts under 2 hours, which is less than my 6 year old laptop did. I can't figure out how to make it last longer. All I want is to edit a file in Word or a text editor and have the machine last for longer than 2 hours, is that too much to ask?
The speakers are next to the keyboard and protected by a grill with the small holes drilled through it. The holes accumulate dust and grime and are impossible to clean with anything but a brush. I prefer speaker grill to be easier to clean or at least be some place that does not get dirty easily.
The machine is heavy but this is not a complaint. I knew how heavy it was when I ordered it. It does not bother me, but people looking for a lighter machine should avoid this laptop.
The bottom line that I miss my old laptop. It was slow but it was solid and had pretty good battery life. With my 2 batteries it could last a whole flight across Atlantic. This one not so much.
On the bright side, looking on how poorly this laptop is made, it will not last 6 years and I will have to get a new one in a year or two.

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