After debating about it for over a year I decided to take the plunge and get myself a laptop. I’ve told myself over all these years that nah, I don’t need one…but it seems the time has come when it becomes necessary for me to have one. I opted for the Dell Studio 15 because it had just the right mix of what I’ve been looking for in a laptop—a powerful Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 3GB of RAM (free upgrade), backlit keyboard, a 320GB hard disk with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit preinstalled. That, coupled with the gorgeous Ruby Red cover, 3-year warranty against accidental damage, and a free Belkin Messenger backpack, sold me completely on it. Furthermore the audio quality is excellent, a far cry from previous Studio laptops. The icing on the cake was when it connected without fuss to my Linksys wireless network at home—wunderbar!
Some minor niggles? Well get this—no indicator lights for hard disk operation, Caps Lock, etc. In fact the only light is the Power On thingy on the right-hand side of the cover, but the power cord does have a cool blue light to show that it’s receiving juice from the mains. I solved the Caps Lock problem by turning on Toggle Keys in Windows, also a little picture icon appears on screen whenever Caps Lock is pressed. I still would have liked a Hard Disk indicator light though. And there are only three USB ports. My, aren’t we miserly, Dell. I’ve already used one USB port for my Logitech cordless mouse with its Nano receiver. Looks like I might have to get a USB hub later on. The glossy surface of the touch pad and the surrounding area is also prone to fingerprints and marks, so be prepared to do some occasional wiping.
Now I’m exploring the new Windows 7. Some changes compared to Vista of course. I didn’t like the new wider taskbar but that can be changed to a more Vista-ish one, thank goodness. The notification icons on the right are also just a ghostly white color—oh well, can’t have everything. And I was surprised that Microsoft didn’t bug (excuse me, prompt) me to install their latest Live programs—I installed Live Mail, Writer, and Messenger since I use these three programs. I hated the way Windows Live Messenger would not remain in the right taskbar notification area; it would stubbornly anchor itself on the left side near the Start button. I solved this by closing and exiting WLM, then right-clicking its icon on the Start menu and selecting Properties. Choose Compatibility Mode for Vista, click OK, and restart WLM. You’ll find that WLM now resides in the right taskbar notification area.
That’s it for now, typing this on the Dell. It feels great!Tags: Belkin, Dell, laptop, Logitech, Studio 15, Windows 7, WLM9