About a month ago, my old laptop's motherboard died. Since my laptop was too old to be worth fixing up, I decided to buy a new one, which just arrived last week.
Things I like:
1. The color
Online, the laptop colors looked like something out of the late '90s iMac era. In real life, though, the colors are actually much more muted and opalescent. It's a pity, since I would probably have gone with purple if I'd known what it would actually look like. (I went with blue.)
2. That it's not a Mac
Don't get me wrong — I am infinitely grateful for the the loan of my roommate's school computer over the last six weeks. However, I am greatly fond of keyboard shortcuts and I find my style rather cramped without access to Home, Delete, Pg Up, and Pg Down buttons. (The Mac has a key called "Delete," but it functions the same as a PC "Backspace," which is to say that it deletes characters to the left of the cursor. What I was lacked was a button that deleted characters to the right.)
3. The Vista widgets
I was not at all excited about upgrading to Windows Vista, and even looked into Dell's program where you can pay extra and stick with Windows XP (but it wasn't available on the model of laptop I wanted). I'm not a fan of change, generally, and I'm still having some trouble finding my way around on the thing, but I actually kind of like some of the little widgets that came with it, including the clock and weather button.
4. The super long battery life
It probably helps that I don't have many programs loaded on this computer, but my battery life is crazy long right now. (I'm sure it also helps that I opted for the dual battery option.)
Things I don't like:
1. The twitchy trackpad
I don't know how to describe my trackpad issues any better than to call it "twitchy." I've turned down the sensitivity quite a bit and slowed down the cursor movement so that I don't go flying across the screen unexpectedly. In all likelihood, my old laptop was so old that the trackpad had become very unresponsive, so that's what I've gotten used to.
2. The lack of a 10 key pad
I know that laptops don't generally have 10 key pads, but my old laptop had one on the main keypad that you could access by holding down the blue function key. One of the main things I used it for was special character shortcuts, such as Alt + 0233 = é. Inexplicably, the shortcuts don't work with the top row numbers — with the keypad numbers — and I'm already getting annoyed at having to find workarounds to pull up the em-dashes for this sentence, for example.
3. The keyboard
In addition to the trackpad being twitchy, the keyboard is squishy.
4. Virus software issues
My computer came with a McAfee trial, but I'm supposed to get a free version of Symantec through the university. I had to uninstall McAfee in order to install Symantec, but the Symantec version that's supposed to be compatible with my operating system isn't working properly. So my computer is currently immuno-compromised. (This isn't technically Dell's fault, but it's still a problem until I can get our IT people to fix it.)