29 Mar 2006

Returned Laptop, only to buy a better one!

My HP laptop had a screen defect, so I sent it in to be repaired. They acted well, and returned it 2 days later fixed. The problem was that the HD was now corrupted and wouldn’t format. HP Blamed FedEx.. I called them, and they said they’d happily replace it. Suspicious, I asked if they’d be replacing it with a refurb (used, but recertified) HD. They tried to avoid the question, but ended up confirming my doubt. I told them it was unacceptable, as I’d paid for a NEW HD just a few weeks prior. In the end, they offered to give me a full refund. I accepted. Although I don’t really need a laptop now (after all, waiting will always allow you to get a faster and better one down the road) I found a rather tempting deal.

Dell had recently released (as of about 3 weeks ago) their new flaghsip Inspiron. The 6400 (aka 1505) that had a Core Duo Processor. So I could watch a DVD while browsing the internet, emailing someone, and be in a VoiP phone call – while signed in and chatting over MSN with voice and video conferencing all at the same time with no lag). The problem? Dell didn’t yet sell it with a dedicated graphics card. They sold it with the awful intel GMA 950 onboard graphics). It must have just been coincidence that 4 days after I’d returned the laptop, they started selling it with an ATI RADEON X1400 128MB (which while not amazing, is sufficient). Also convenient, was the fact that I was able to get quite a good deal on it. I found a $750 off $2000 coupon, and a separate $35 off coupon, and a free shipping coupon. I opted for the Dell inspiron 6400, which starts at about $800. But unfortunately, for my coupon to work, I had to get about $1200 worth of upgrades. This is what I ended up getting – It cost $2070 – 6% – $750 – $50 = $1190! + free shipping and a free printer

  • Intel Core Duo processor T2500 (2MB Cache/2GHz/667MHz FSB)
  • 15.4″ 1680x1050 UltraSharp; Wide Screen SXGA+ Display with TrueLife;
  • 1GB DDR (2x512Mb)
  • 256MB ATI MOBILITY Radeon x1400
  • 120GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
  • 8X DVD+/-RW
  • Intel PRO 3945 and Dell 350 Bluetooth Internal Wireless
  • Primary Battery 53 WHr 6-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery
  • Additional Battery 85 WHr 9-cell Lithium Ion Additional Battery

Funnily enough, getting an additional 9 cell battery was the same price as upgrading the primary 6 cell to the 9 cell.

Also of note, is that I’ve seen a similarly spec’d Dell 6400 go for $1600 on ebay. I may not even end up keeping it, as if I make $300 on this, I could get something even better.