Finally able to spend a little time with my new desktop PC - a Dell Dimension XPS Gen 5. Pretty good-looking, don't you think?
It arrived at the beginning of last week and I've now got everything unpacked, sitting on my desk and in use, sort of. Key apps like Microsoft Office, FeedDemon RSS reader, etc, installed. Most docs transferred from my laptop although still loads more to do. But at least I can use the new PC from now onwards for day-to-day business.
I must say that I'm very pleased with it. I didn't order the most top-of-the-range model (no Intel Pentium D processor, for instance, just the regular 3.2Ghz Pentium 4 processor supporting Hyper-Threading Technology) as the budget didn't quite go that far. Instead I settled on a mid-range customization that provides a great balance between price and performance.
I did go for additional RAM and a great 5-speaker sound system, and I did splash out on a gorgeous 19-inch flat panel monitor - the thing you stare at all day is worth that extra investment.
Some initial impressions:
- I am mightily impressed with Dell's product ordering system here. From customizing my system on Dell's website, to my first contact with Dell's sales office here in Amsterdam, to tracking my order online at the factory in Ireland, right through to seeing the delivery progress on the carrier's website, I have no complaints at all. Indeed, I find it really impressive that Dell has organized their online ordering system to work so seamlessly in different languages in different countries. Very good indeed.
- On the system itself, it has five internal fans including one for the Nvidia GeForce 6800 PCI Express graphics card. Yet the whole thing is whisper quiet. Impressive.
- It goes like greased lightning. Everything just runs so quick. I suppose I would notice the difference when compared to my IBM ThinkPad T30 2.0Ghz laptop!
- Loads of USB 2.0 ports everywhere (2 at the front and 6 at the back) plus 2 FireWire ports (finally, high-speed sync for my iPod Mini). Also, the monitor has 2 USB ports as does the keyboard (the old 1.1 standard there, I think). So I can't see a problem now on where to plug things.
- Very cool illuminated front panel, if that's something you care about (well, I do). And you can change the colours. Nice.
- I ordered the system with Windows XP Pro SP2. When the time comes, it will run Windows Vista.
More thoughts to come as I use it some more.
Next, I need to get a bigger desk - the box is a full-size tower. Probably off to Ikea for that as they have just what I need for the office at a reasonable cost.
If I ever do need to call customer support, I'll expect great service notwithstanding the increasing number of horror stories that are emerging about Dell's service - Jeff Jarvis' experience being the most extraordinary, although Allan Jenkins has some bad news closer to home, in Denmark.
I'll bear those in mind.