Dell E4300 two week review

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I have had my Dell E4300 for two weeks now.  At this point I think I can offer an opinion which is based on fact and real usage and opposed to first impressions and emotion.

What I like

  1. I really like the size and weight, it is thin and weighs less than four pounds.
  2. It is fast and it hasn’t crashed on me during normal use.
  3. The mechanics.  It feels solid – nothing flimsy about it at all.
  4. Real docking station.  I really like not having to plug anything when when I get to work or go home. 
  5. Built-in BroadBand card.  I really like this – it is nice to not have to worry about an external card.
  6. The color – I picked the bright blue and while it make no difference to how the machine works, it is nice to have something a little different.
  7. The neoprene sleeve that comes with it.  Sometimes I don’t want to carry my computer bag so having the sleeve is a nice compromise.

What I don’t like

  1. Dell Control Point Connection Manager – this is the one thing I really don’t like about the machine.  The DCP CM is a nuisance.  For whatever reason it wants to create “Profiles” for each different configuration, why I don’t know.  Each time I use the BroadBand card the screen flashes and a DCP window “informs” me about a profile change when all I want to do is make a connection.
  2. The “clicking” sound of the 7200 RPM SATA HDD.  It sounds like there is something wrong with it but I guess that is just the way it works.  Odd.  It is loud enough to be noticeable.
  3. Windows XP.  I may be one of the few who happens to like Vista but at this point, XP is old and running it on a brand new machine is a bummer.  Unfortunately, my employer is reluctant to deploy Vista.  I could probably push it but for now, I am living with XP.
  4. Undock:  The way the release button on the docking station works it sounds like something is breaking.  Each time I undock it I cringe a bit.
  5. Stand-By:  I am seeing some flakiness coming out of Stand-By when using the docking station.  I would guess about half the time the machine doesn’t come out of Stand-By correctly.  I have a dock at work and a dock at home – my normal (and preferred) usage is to go into Stand-By when I leave the office, remove it from the dock, go home, put it in the other dock, and come out of Stand-By.  It should work but doesn’t always.
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