Just got my new Dell Precision M4700 laptop in, which is the top model of their range for 15" screens.
My last laptop was also a Dell Precision, the M4400. Having looked around to see if there's another brand I'd rather take, I still came to the conclusion that a Dell seems to be the best fit for heavy development.
So online I ordered it, with changing the default low 4G or 8G RAM to a more reasonable 16G. That's the first place where I noticed they are really overcharging for the additional RAM: 200 euro (about 261 dollars) for having put in 16G of RAM, while if you buy it seperately it's only about 100 euro. But since I don't like messing around with a brand new laptop (mainly because of warranty) I decided to pay the extra.
Here's a list of pros and cons of the laptop after using it for a few weeks:
- The power plug is straight, so it fits better in a block of power plugs, see the image below:
- It feels sturdy and solid.
- The power cord is still quite short. Why not just add 1 meter more?
- The plug that goes into the laptop is straight and at the back. Lots of times when you've got the laptop on your lap it will just fall out. Much better solution: an angled plug and plug it in on the side of the laptop.
- The keyboard has a numeric keypad. Why would you need that on a laptop? How often will data entry people use such a high end laptop? And it forces me to sit more to the left of the keyboard to be able to type... And I know I'll never ever use that numeric keypad... See image below:
- The Page Up and Page Down are placed at such a weird position. And it feels like they should be the other way around anyway: Page Down left, Page Up right...
- Right after I started it up for the very first time, I wanted to search in the Windows configuration screen. The whole machine just froze, I couldn't do anything else but hard-shutdown the machine via the power button. Ok this might be a Windows problem but still it shouldn't happen within 5 minutes...
- It's really hard to turn off the built-in webcam. Out of the box it will switch on automatically if a video stream comes in (or something like that). This should be the other way around by default. You can only turn it really off via system devices, not via the annoying pre-installed webcam control app.
- For creating a VMWare image of the same Windows 7 Professional OS as on this new laptop, you have to enter the Windows COA product key. And guess where they put it on the laptop? No not on the side or the bottom..... it is inside the battery compartment!! So when you're right in the middle of installation, you have to shutdown the laptop, take out the battery, write down the long key, put the battery in, start it all up again.... Djeezzz!!
- Multiple times I've had now that I put a VMWare guest in suspend-mode and that after that the light of the harddisk stays on "forever". I can hear it spin too. Even if after that I close the VMWare application, the harddisk keeps on going. When after that I put the laptop to sleep via the power button, it stops spinning. When I then turn it on again, the harddisk directly starts spinning again. In Windows Task Manager I can't find any process that is supposed to be reading or writing. So what is going on? Who is reading and/or writing? Is the disk crappy? After running diagnostics (during bootup) no problems are found. Is VMWare causing it? I can't reproduce it everytime, so can't really make a support call for it. But all 'n all it doesn't give me much confidence in the machine + setup combinatino.... I'm planning on re-installing the whole OS, so no Dell Recovery manager and other Dell software is on it anymore. Hope that makes it more stable...
- When I plug in a headphones cable on the left, my mouse keeps on bumping into the cable.
Well, that about sums up this "rant".... Next time I'll definitely re-consider whether I should purchase a Dell again....