Inspn_640mI use a couple of laptops at work (two Dell Inspirons, a 9100 and a 8200) and I’ve come to like the idea of having a portable machine to work with (though with the 9100 that’s debatable, lol xbox huge). So I’ve taken the plunge and ordered a Dell Inspiron 640m for home. Here’s the spec:

  • CPU – Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor T7200 (2.0 GHz, 4 MB L2 cache, 667 MHz FSB)
  • LCD – 14.1 inch UltraSharp Wide Screen WSXGA (1440×900) TFT Display
  • Memory – 512MB 533MHz Single Channel DDR2 SDRAM (1×512)
  • Hard Drive – 80GB (5,400rpm) Hard Drive
  • Optical Drive – Fixed Internal 8X DVD+/-RW
  • Primary Battery- 9 Cell, 80Whr Lithium Ion
  • Weight is about 2.5kg (slightly more due to bigger battery)

I intent to use it for programming and general web surfing / blog related guff and I was after something that was relatively light, fast, portable and hopefully quiet! I’ve read a few reviews on it and they all seem pretty positive.

The standard amount of memory is pretty crappy and it’s much cheaper to buy another 1GB from Crucial than to spec it up from Dell (they were charging £100 for another 512MB, whilst I paid slightly less than that for a GB from Crucial!). At some point I’ll upgrade fully to 2GB at least (it can take 4GB!), but 1.5GB isn’t too shabby to start with.

Hard drive speed is ok at 5400rpm and from experience I’m happy to stick with that. My Inspiron 9100 has a 7200rpm drive and it can get very hot and it’s not that quiet either. Plus the upgrade price to 7200rpm on the 640m was a bit steep at £60.

You’ll probably notice there’s no mention of graphics card above and that’s because it’s integrated, in this case an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950. I’ll be the first to admit that on normal tower and desktop’s they’re the scourge of Satan, but in a laptop they make sense. A decent laptop graphics card bumps the price up by a couple of hundred quid and also puts a much bigger drain on the battery, which is something I’d like to avoid. With the 9 cell battery (standard is a 6 cell), I should get 8+ hours out of it.

Apparently the GMA 950 can run Vista Aero Glass. I’ll soon know it it can since I intend on nuking the OS that comes with it (XP Home, ugh) and putting Vista on it straight away. I’ve also read that it’s possible to run World of Warcraft… how well I don’t know. Should be fun finding out!

Hopefully it’ll arrive in the next few days! Whoop!

By Paul

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