A history of Dell Laptops


Reliability or luck?

That’s a good question to ask.  I’ve been buying Dell laptops almost exclusively for over a decade, and this is why. 

As of September, 2015 I own four working Dell laptops which span over a decade and a half in age, i.e. 1999-2015.  Only one has a dead battery, requiring the A/C adapter to run.  I think that’s pretty amazing, to be honest. To be clear, none of these laptops have enjoyed an easy ride.  They’ve all been workhorses during their prime, and 3/4 laptops have all been in regular use right up until today. 

The big surprise for me was that the Dell XPS (Gen 1) still runs fine off battery.  It is a beast of a machine, one of the early “huge power pack” laptops – also known as a Desktop Replacement – and can run for up to an hour on a battery manufactured sometime around 2004 when it was originally purchased.

IMG_4950 IMG_4954

Constantly in use

Two of the four laptops have travelled with me or been purchased overseas.  The XPS (Gen 1) was purchased in Canada, and the XPS Studio was my main machine when in China.  As a consultant, I’m always lugging ma1chines around, and these machines have done their fair share of work.

What helps keeping these machines in working order?

Without exception, I’ve heavily upgraded each laptop with aftermarket parts.  Even my brand spanking new Dell XPS 15 received a hard drive update within 24 hours of being received.  There’s not a single laptop there which hasn’t had hard disks and memory tweaked with better, improved components.  Extra batteries seem to help too – the XPS Studio has 4 of them, it will be interesting to see what happens with the XPS 15 on that front (built in battery).


About Rob Sanders

IT Professional and TOGAF 9 certified architect with nearly two decades of industry experience, 18 years in commercial software development and 11 years in IT consulting. Check out the "About Rob" page for more information.

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