Finally, after weeks of anxiously waiting, I have been able to play with my new laptop. As I said earlier, it’s a Dell Inspiron E1505, complete with 15.4″ widescreen monitor, 256 MB ATI graphics card, 80 GB hard drive, 1 GB of memory, and a combination CD/DVD burner running Vista Home Premium. I also took the liberty of ordering an Easy Transfer cable along with the laptop to make the move from my old Toshiba to the new Dell a snap.
Contrary to what you may hear, the set up was the easiest part. I plugged it in, started it up, and ran into no problems whatsoever getting things up and running. The free trial apps included were easily uninstalled and replaced with my personal favorites, such as avast! for anti-virus (replacing the already halfway done McAfee trial), Firefox for a browser, and Office 2007 (which replaced Works 8.5, which is practically useless). I installed a few more applications so the Easy Transfer process would bring over all my application settings, and finally set about getting things transferred.
The first step in this was to install the Easy Transfer program on my old machine. Next, plug the cable into both laptops and let it get detected. Neither of those posed any problems. However, when it came to actually getting things transferred, I ran into major obstacles. The program worked fine on both computers and I was able to select what documents and settings I wanted from the old computer. Unfortunately, every time I clicked the “transfer” button after selecting what I wanted, the program worked for a couple minutes…and crashed. Only on the XP machine, however. I thought I had overtaxed it by having it transfer while it was still calculating the size of the transfer. But no matter what I did, it always crashed, making it impossible to transfer my files as easily as I had hoped.
You can imagine my frustration. I have over 20 GB worth of documents on my old machine which would have transferred very quickly over the USB transfer cable. But since the program refuses to work, I’m forced to send the files over a wireless network, which is quite a bit slower and has the added risk of failing randomly (for whatever strange reason) and mucking up the whole transfer. Hopefully it won’t, but it will still go all night if I’m lucky.
On the bright side, however, the Vista laptop is great. I’ve run into almost no problems getting things customized and installed, although the requisite User Access Control dialogs can get kind of tedious (and eye-straining due to the screen flickering they cause). I’ve yet to put any games on, but I’m hoping to do that soon to see how well it performs at gaming. I’m not expecting anything dazzling, but an ATI graphics card should put out quite a bit better performance-wise than the old Intel integrated graphics I had on the Toshiba.
More stories on how this laptop fares will be sure to follow. Hopefully it will turn out to be a nice little machine (especially considering how long I had to save up my money to buy the bugger).