Toshiba vs. Dell

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absolutezero1287

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May 23, 2007
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204
l'm looking to buy a laptop and I was wondering which was the better deal.

Inspiron 1520 $1,351

PROCESSOR Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T7500 (2.2GHz/800Mhz FSB/4MB cache)
OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® XP Home
DISPLAY Glossy, widescreen 15.4 inch display (1280x800)
VIDEO CARD 256MB NVIDIA® GeForce® 8600M GT
MEMORY 2GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 667MHz
HARD DRIVE Size: 250GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM)
INTERNAL OPTICAL DRIVE CD / DVD writer (DVD+/-RW Drive)
WIRELESS NETWORK CARDS Intel® 3945 802.11a/g Mini-card
BATTERY OPTIONS 56Whr Lithium Ion Battery (6 cell)
SOUND OPTIONS ExpressCard Sound Blaster X-Fi® Xtreme Audio Sound Card

Toshiba Satellite A200/A205 $1,327

PROCESSOR Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor T7700 (2.4GHz, 4MB L2 cache, 800MHz FSB)
OS Windows Vista® Home Basic 32-Bit
DISPLAY 15.4" Diagonal Widescreen XGA TruBrite® display (1280x800)
VIDEO CARD:
ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 2600 with 256MB GDDR2 discrete memory + up to 255MB allocated shared graphics memory using ATI HyperMemory™ technology
MEMORY 2048MB PC5300 DDR2 667MHz SDRAM (1024MBx2)
HARD DRIVE 160GB HDD (5400rpm, Serial-ATA)
INTERNAL OPTICAL DRIVE DVD SuperMulti (+/-R double layer) drive
WIRELESS NETWORK CARDS Intel® PRO/Wireless 3945ABG (802.11a/b/g)
SOUND OPTIONS Standard Stereo Speakers (It doesn't mention what sound card it uses and tech support wasn't available)
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2007
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I would not buy ANYthing with Vista Home Basic on it. It's way too stripped down and still too many compatibility issues.
Are you going to be connecting it to a second monitor or projector? If so, you might stay away from the Toshiba. The built-in software for the graphics is difficult to make work with multiple monitors/projector.
 
Joined
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9,288
I'll leave the critiqueing of the hardware to others. I'll tell you what I think of the support after the sale.

First off, it seems no one's tech support grades better than average any more. Some calls result in no help at all.

Toshiba War Story:
But, a recent exchange with Toshiba really made me angry. I ordered System Recovery software for a Toshiba laptop A105. They told me the software is free (yeah, right); but, then comes the kick in the butt. Shipping is $40 for 7- to 10 days and $45 for 3 days guaranteed delivery.

I called seven days later to see where my guaranteed three day delivery was. (ordered on 10/22/2007 and called on 10/29/2007)

Their Reply: Oh, it's been backordered and we have no idea when it will come in.

My Reply: And you were to let me know this when?

Their Reply: We don't normally do that; we just ship it when it comes in.

Me: I want to complain to someone about this failure to notify me there is no notification sent me that you cannot fill this rush order. I was told I needed to talk to someone in the Customer Neglect Department and they would connect me to that department.

I was then put on hold for 22 minutes. I hung up and called back Customer Neglect about an hour later. I was on hold for another 12 minutes. I called Customer Neglect again on 10/30/2007. After being on hold again for over 30 minutes, I still had not talked to anyone in Customer Neglect.

Dell War Story:
Read post #1 and Post #33 in this thread
http://forums.techguy.org/random-discussion/143517-im-fed-up-dell.html?highlight=dell+hard+disk

Another Dell War Story:
The following is a section of the notes on one of my long-time customers. I have removed only his identifying information and added some text for clarity:

Early March 2007
Jim called with crashed system. I diagnosed bad sectors on the hard disk. Dell replaced the disk with a "refurbished" one. Surface test for bad sectors on the new disk was negative. About four days later, Jim called with a crashed system again. I did another surface scan and found bad sectors. This so-called "refurbished" disk seems to be someone else's problem passed on by Dell to Jim.

Dell refuses to replace the disk because their proprietary diagnostics says the disk finds no bad areas. I explain to the "tech" that CHKDSK finds bad sectors, marks them and then their proprietary software skips over the bad sectors because CHKDSK has already removed them from the file table as usable. I also explain to the "tech" the system is crashing daily. Still, Dell refuses.

03/15/2007
I ordered another disk for Jim at his $120 expense for this replacement that should have been covered by the Dell warranty. The machine is only four months old.

03/16/2007
I picked up Jim's computer for repair, replaced the disk again and delivered it back to him a few days later.

I'm not advising you to buy or not to buy Dell or Toshiba. I'm just suggesting that if you do, do so with open eyes.
 

absolutezero1287

Thread Starter
Joined
May 23, 2007
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204
Wow Alex, that's pretty bad. I'm on a Dell box right now. But I really haven't had any problems with customer service.

Pam, I'm putting XP on it. I've tried Vista and a lot of apps that ran on XP went apeshit on Vista. Compatibility issues is a euphemism. No, I'm not really going to be working with second monitors, but thanks for the tip.

gamerbyron, I'm a student so I need it for word processing and things like that. But I also like to play some games and listen to music. Something like a Dell XPS or a kickass Voodoo PC would be sweet but my pockets don't run that deep.
 

Frank4d

Retired Trusted Advisor
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Sep 10, 2006
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9,126
I recently bought a Dell Latitude notebook for my daugher. If you go to the "Small and Medium Size Business" section of their website, they still offer Windows XP on many laptops.
 
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FWIW . . On the rare instances where the support desk seems unwilling to accept the obvious, when I call back and get a different tech, it usually goes better
 
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Well, absolute, if I had to chose between the 2, I'd pick.... um, neither.
No way would I put my money in a Toshiba. Their proprietary software for the graphics and wireless card is too restrictive.
I own an Inspiron E1705 and I'm quite happy with the laptop in regards to performance. However, the battery crapped out after 14 months, just past the 1 year warranty - even though I have a full 3 year warranty on the machine (warranty was a freebie from the job), batteries are not covered. After research, I find this is quite common for most of the Inspirons, and Dell's stance is: Inspiron batteries have a typical lifespan of 18 - 24 months.
I'd buy a Latitude. They are geared toward business, rather than personal, but you can chose most of the components. As a tier-2 Dell tech, I'm responsible for about 200 Latitudes at work. NONE of the 80 Latitude D620's I put into service a year ago have had battery problems and not one has had a HDD issue. Only problems I've had is 1 bad mobo and a couple of keyboard replacements due to kids tearing the keys off.
We wipe all Dell software off and re-load a basic Windows image. I've had no problems with being forced to use Dell's software for graphics, wireless, etc.
From my personal experience, I'd say spend a couple hundred more and buy the sturdier Latitude.
 

absolutezero1287

Thread Starter
Joined
May 23, 2007
Messages
204
I'm looking at the latitudes right now. aaagghhhhh <drools>...2.6GHZ duo core...

Well, the latitude knocked my other choices out cold. I'm going to save up now.
 
Joined
Oct 14, 2007
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It's worth it. I've got an 820 for work that we got last year. I'm very well pleased, great battery so far, exceptional wireless card. hehe... and I have dropped it twice while walking around taking an inventory and did no damage to it.
 
Joined
Oct 31, 2007
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Regardless of anything else, the Dell bests the Toshiba hands down, from workmanship to support.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
58
I'd go with Toshiba -_-.

I find their laptops & notebooks better than Dells crapbooks.
 
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Messages
22,466
I think they both stink...HP is the way to go these days for laptops.
 
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