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Dell Inspiron Series Pretty Good

Reviewing: Dell Inspiron 8200  |  Rating:
dave By dave on
Badge: Publisher | Level: 7 | Computers & Laptops Expertise:

I got my Dell Inspiron 8200 laptop about 5 years ago, and I do not believe they sell this laptop anymore. This review may be more helpful if you're searching for a decent used laptop.

Nonetheless, I would recommend the Dell Inspiron 8200. I call it a computer that's taken a licking and keeps on ticking. It has been a good investment, although required some upkeep and maintenance after 5 years.

The positives: This computer has a good screen size, a good keyboard layout (not a chiclet keyboard), good resolution, and runs well enough at 128 MB RAM and 1.2 Ghz speed. It also has an alright touchpad for the mouse, although the mouse nub is kind of useless. I found the computer to be fairly hardy -- I don't treat my laptops with gentle care or any of that.

The neutral: The speakers on this laptop are so-so compared to a decent pair of headphones.

The negatives: This was built right before the time when WiFi internet was built-in, meaning you will need to get a plug-in card. However, it also is from a unique time where computers were shifting, meaning it comes with items that can be considered "reverse compatibility": I happily have a 3.5" floppy disk drive and have the ability to use this with a dial-up internet connection if I need to.

The other big negative is that support for this computer has halted. If you need a part of need your Inspiron 8200 fixed, expect a flat $250 fee because Dell considers it "old". Knowing laptop repair is a very good thing in this case because some fixes are absolutely not $250 in parts of labor. Happily, Dell's customer service has now been moved out of India so you can speak with people who understand English well (previous experience).

The final verdict: I've been satisified with my Dell Inspiron 8200. It is a good computer for basic needs. The only place it falls down, only due to age, is for gaming or video needs. That's just a speed issue though.

Consider getting one if looking at the used laptop market for something to browse the net or write with a word processor.