Questions about the Dell e1705

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Hi, it's me again. Thanks much for the info on the TV tuner in my other
thread. As you know, I just received my Dell Inspiron E1705 a few days ago,
and now after using it for a few days, I have some questions as I never had
a laptop before, maybe these little "annoyances" or what I think may be,
are normal, so please bear with me and set me in the right direction if I
got the right laptop. I paid about $1500 for this one, and can't afford
anything more right now, so I didn't choose all the top options when I
customized my order.

I plan on using it for a one man business, mainly using a camcorder to take
videos in people's homes. I can then have the laptop handy to burn them a
copy on a DVD, will probably normally keep the laptop in my car. I'll use it
for other more routine business stuff also as my home desktop pc is so slow,
so the laptop will be my business computer. I chose MCE because it's mainly
XP Pro with added media functionality, and my home pc also has XP Pro, and I
found a nice little bonus - Remote Desktop.

I just read in a review that the E1705 doesn't have PC card so you can't use
a wireless data card. Does this mean I can't get high speed wireless
Internet? I may need to connect while I'm out in the field and need good
speed as I'll be working with/uploading short videos.

OK here's my list of concerns, and below that I'll paste the specs:

I have a 17" screen, I know you have to look at LCD's straight on, but still
toward the edges the brightness drops off, and I can see  a lot of light
coming in from the bottom on a dark screen. I got the basic screen that was
offered, it looks matte, not glossy. If I take it outside, forget about
seeing anything on the screen if it's fairly bright out unless it's almost
dark out. I need to use this in the field. Seems OK indoors. I read nowadays
they have better screens to combat this, did I get old technology? There's 8
brightness settings, but no way of setting contrast, color, etc, as far as I
can see. I forgot to look in detail at the LCD screens when I was at Best
Buy, and of course you can't take theirs outside to see how good the display

There's no separate number keypad, just the numbers in the top row. I
noticed at Best Buy, some keyboards have a number pad, some don't, and
seemed price independent, so some less expensive ones had the pad while some
more expensive ones don't. Will I need that being in business soon?  I found
out they made it so a portion of the keyboard will mimic a number pad, but
you manually hold the Fn key down all the while using that function, and
it's not a separate pad.

I noticed when scrolling a longer page up or down, whether web or text, the
text gets unreadable as you're scrolling. However I noticed this on one in
Best Buy that I tried, I went to look for that. On my home computer, you can
see the text as you're scrolling, it doesn't change and stays crisp.

No screen adjustments such as contrast, color, only brightness. Not even
when playing a DVD, in fact with a DVD, the picture does not look sharp at
all, and I cannot find any picture adjustments, not even to fast fwd thru

I noticed on some media, you can't adjust the volume, it's stuck where it
was set before the media started playing.

Battery life seems good, will run 4 hours and still have power to spare as
long as you let it go into sleep mode quickly, I have a 9 cell 80 WHR
battery. Speakers don't sound great, but I guess OK for a laptop, it has a
small subwoofer on the bottom, but I don't hear any deep bass. Here's the
specs, just want to be sure I have the right set-up for my needs and what I
got is worth what I paid ($1400 something plus tax, but $150- $200 of that
is for the 3 year warranty and 3 year damage coverage. I still have about 16
days of the return privilege if needs be. Thank much again, here's the

Order Details
Order detail - order placed 2006-06-21 15:12:42

Inspiron E1705
Intel® Core™ Duo Processor T2300E (1.66GHz/667MHz FSB), Genuine Windows® XP
Media Center Edition 2005 Qty: 1
Unit Price: $2,030.00
Inspiron E1705 Intel® Core™ Duo Processor T2300E (1.66GHz/667MHz FSB)

LCD Panel 17 inch Wide Screen XGA+ Display

Memory 1GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz

Video Card Integrated Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 950

Hard Drive 80GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive

Operating System (Office software not included) Genuine Windows® XP Media
Center Edition 2005

Network Card Integrated 10/100 Network Card and Modem

Adobe Software Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 6.0

Combo/DVD+RW Drives 8x CD/DVD burner (DVD+/-RW) with double-layer DVD+R
write capability

Sound Options Integrated Audio

Wireless Networking Cards FREE! Intel® PRO 3945 and Dell 350 Bluetooth
Internal Wireless Cards

Office Software (not included in Windows XP) No productivity suite- Corel
WordPerfect word processor only

Anti-Virus/Security Suite (Pre-installed) No Security Subscription

Primary Battery 80 WHr 9-cell Lithium Ion Primary Battery

Hardware Warranty 3 Year Limited Warranty plus 3 Year At-Home Service plus
Nights and Weekend

Accidental Damage Protection (Except in Florida) SAVE 10 %! Add CompleteCare
Accidental Damage Svc to 3Yr Lim Warranty

Dial-Up Internet Access 6 Months of America Online Membership Included

Mobile Broadband No Broadband Expresscard technology is available in the
market now

Future Operating Systems Windows Vista™ Capable

Recycle SKU Free Recycling Kit

Operating System Re-Installation CD Genuine Windows® XP Media Center 2005
Edition re-installation CD

Dell Digital Entertainment Starter Entertainment Pack - Basic digital Music,
Photo and Game experience

Dell EPP/FSS Customers: Save 20% off select Inspiron E1705 systems!
Expires on 2006-06-22 11:59:59 - $406.00

54Mbps Wireless Firewall Router  Qty: 1
Unit Price: $0.00


Dell EPP and FSS Customers: Free ground shipping on select Inspiron systems.
Expires on 2006-06-22 11:59:59 - $19.00

Dell program members receive 12% off systems priced $1600 and up with 3/4 yr
At-Home service. Congratulations, you are receiving the maximum member
Expires on 2006-09-26 22:59:59 - $194.88

Sub-Total $1,429.12
Shipping Discount -$19.00

Shipping $ 8.00

Tax $107.81
Total $1,544.93


Re: Questions about the Dell e1705

Long post severely clipped for brevity -----

Your 1705 has built-in wireless.  You just about can't find a laptop these
days that doesn't.  It does not have a mobile wireless card.  So no using
your cell phone as a modem for the laptop.

If the screen does not seem to be performing, return the unit immediately
for another or simply a refund.  No LCD screen I have seen so far on units
from Dell, HP, Toshiba or Acer look decent in bright, direct sunlight.

I would have elected to order the machine with a dedicated video card.  But,
otherwise, the selections you made seem adequate, not cutting-edge fast, but
adequate for a basic business machine.  The lack of a number keypad is
pretty much universal on laptops.  There just isn't enough room for a real,
full-sized keyboard and a number pad.

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