Had this only a day, and am still running diagnostics, updates, repairs and software installation.
There are several Windows updates that have failed to install, and there are several errors reported including memory leaks in the Event Viewer->Custom Views->Administrative Events. There are 4 USB ports. 1 one on each side, and 2 in the back.
The USB port on the right side next to the DVD drive, includes an E-SATA port.
The Ethernet port is 10/100 and is located on the right side next to the USB/E-SATA port.
The power plugs into the back of the machine not the side. The finish is glossy metallic Blue looking the keyboard area is glossy metallic silver looking. The screen is probably one of the nicest looking I have seen at this price, compared to the 17" Toshiba at the same spec, and nicer than all the Acer's and HP's I shopped. Built in Dell diagnostic, failed to update, crashed, and will no longer work. Touchpad is multi-touch, you have to configure it to use "momentum" and the other multi-touch features. The pad is slightly recessed, the 2 buttons are about level with the top, and hard for me to "hit". Full size keyboard with number keypad. This keyboard is NOT back lit. Blue-tooth is present.
Wifi antenna is weaker than any other machine I have tried and has less range. It loses 1 bar signal at 11 feet from the router straight line no walls. The Wifi N signal will NOT quite reach 150 mbps, and the fastest I have obtained with it is 130 mbps. Intellipoint drivers for my Microsoft wireless keyboard and mouse fail to install. (laser desktop) but the devices work anyway. This is the only Windows 7 machine I have any issue with this on. (tried 10 others with no problem) Fan noise is noise, runs semi-frequently. Has a low pitched hum that hits me wrong but others may not hear it. Speakers are actually pretty good for a laptop, and are placed in front sort of underneath and sort of face forward. Nice touch Dell! Power usage is pretty decent.
Idles as low as 11-12 watts with the screen turned down. Other machines in a similar class 14-16 watts. This Dell does seem to hover about 16-20 watts for use on audio playback with scrolling screen text. This power use is about what a similar Toshiba with special Eco Utility turned on would use. It's great. I do see spikes into the 30 watt range using my kill-a-watt during start up and other tasks. Charging does peak it over 65 watts, which is about what our 21" iMac uses all the time. Our use is text reading, and spoken audio, as well as basic office and web.
It does show 4 processors cores because of the hyper-threading on each of the dual core i3.
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