• February 17, 2009 /  Technical Help

    Having just bought a Dell Studio 1535, at a good price for the spec, it will still be the last Dell I’ll own & I will definitely not be recommending Dell to anybody any more. In fact I can’t think of anything I would recommend any more apart from a Mac! Unfortunately Macs are over priced for their specs, so it’s a difficult dilemma – either pay too much for something, or buy something for a reasonable price, which will have some irritating niggles, and get treated badly by the company you buy it from.

    That gets me to my point about why I won’t buy or recommend Dell any more, these are my reasons:

    • If you do have a problem with your Dell, you will find, by ‘Googling’, that many other people have the same issue. You will also find that, in most cases, Dell really don’t seem to care about these problems and will resist admitting that it could possibly be anything to do with them.
    • Although they sell laptops with Ubuntu, they will not provide any Linux drivers for their printers! What’s that all about?
    • They do not support XP on their latest models. Yet if you search you will find hundreds of posts from people who are upgrading their laptops from Vista to XP (yes I do mean upgrading). Not only are Dell not meeting their customers’ needs by refusing to supply their laptops with XP, they are also not helping customers who have chosen to upgrade to XP themselves as they are not releasing XP compatible drivers for many of their later laptops. This shows a complete disregard to the needs of customers purchasing their hardware. I’m not saying that Dell are alone in this, I’m sure many of the other laptop manufacturers are just as bad, but my experience has been with Dell, (& I’ve used Dell a lot in the past & always recommended them) & so that is what I am writing about. Not releasing drivers for XP is acceptable if new driver releases are to add extra functionality, but usually they aren’t, they are to fix bugs – it is unacceptable to not release compatible drivers which fix bugs. By not supplying laptops with XP & not supporting XP with bugfix driver releases for later models, Dell are restricting the freedom of their customers to use the hardware in their own way & forcing them to accept either compromised functionality, or forcing them to use an inferior operating system – Vista has been slated widely & most experienced computer users do not want to use it, it is probably the worst thing Microsoft have released since ME (it may even be worse).

    So what are my annoying niggles on the Studio 1535 – the onboard mic doesn’t work with the XP drivers, this renders the onboard webcam practically useless. The touchpad is slow & occasionally jerky, this problem has been reported widely by many users & occurs on Vista & XP – search the web for this one, you will find Dell in complete denial about it!

    These niggles are not a big issue for me. I got a good deal on the machine & have a good spec for the price. The webcam was an extra, it being useless because of the mic isn’t too much of a problem for me. The touchpad problem I can get around, by selecting ‘enhance pointer precision’ in control panel, it stops the occasional jerkiness, at the expense of making it a bit slower & I can plug in an external wireless mouse. But, what this has highlighted for me is Dell’s attitude – ‘just give us your money and put up with the problems’. It’s not good enough Dell, so that’s the end of it for me. Next time I’ll probably pay over the odds & buy a Mac!