Dell 17.3" Quad-Core Laptop (5 Colors)

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Dell 17.3" Quad-Core Laptop (5 Colors)
Price: $449.99
Shipping Options: $5 Standard
Shipping Estimates: Ships in 3-5 business days (Monday, May 26 to Thursday, May 29) + transit
Condition: Factory Reconditioned

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Some helpful links:

Product Support Page M731R

Service Manual

CPU Benchmark

[MOD EDIT: Removed links to CNet;different model reviewed]
[youtube=l7z_TLxlePU][/youtube]

Bought it before several weeks ago. In a word. Meh. Its sweet to look at, good battery life, fine for streaming, buuuuuut it seems terribly underpowered and slow. I am writing this review on an old laptop because it is easier and quicker. I do like the numerical keypad on the keyboard and the screen size is heavenly for my tired old devilish eyes but it is just very hard to get excited over this machine. Part of it is Windows 8. Truly that is sooooooooo cumbersome and tedious. It does however have a 7.0 looking desktop that you can easily switch over to but unfortunately, everything that is in this store is not in that store if you know what I mean…wink wink nudge nudge say no more. I have nothing against Dell or this machine. It is ok for the money. Next time I will just spend more and do even more homework to make sure I gets what I needs.

Although this is not the highest performing laptop it should not be slow by any means. Either something is not configured correctly (driver issues?) or there is possibly a hardware issue. Install Iobit Start menu 8 (free) http://www.iobit.com/iobitstartmenu8.php and it will give you back the windows 7 experience. As far as the microsoft store goes, you don’t have to use it- you can install programs the old way and download whatever you need and install just like in W7. You have to have a family member or friend that’s enough of a geek that they can evaluate and tweak this for you.

I just bought this laptop new from Amazon last week for $819. CRAP! I really do like it although the jump from Win 7 to Win 8.1Pro is not so thrilling. I’ll be used to it soon though just like I have been with every other OS upgrade. Nonetheless, I’m very happy with the hardware - screen, processor speed, keyboard (had to have a backlit keyboard), number pad, ports (HDMI, 4 USB, etc. I teach an MBA class on Tuesday nights and last night was my first to use this new laptop…only to find at the last minute that I needed a VGA port, DOH!, and the classroom did not have a converter from my HDMI to the classroom’s VGA. No bueno.

Anyway, I’d buy this again in heartbeat at this price.

I’m concerned with the current state of laptop screens. All of the cheaper Dells that I have seen use this new grainy display technology. It’s even worse on HP laptops.

Unless your laptop indicates it is an IPS screen, avoid it or be disappointed. These cheaper Dells are good computers, but I recommend spending more to get a Dell XPS with an IPS screen. I have one and it is exquisite.

Unfortunately, IPS screens, despite their quality, can still come with dead pixels just like the cheap screens as I found out recently.

Edit: Windows 8.1 without a touchscreen is just silly. There’s a reason these reshopped laptops are on sale today.

I agree with gak0090,

Your computer has more than enough spec wise to not be slow!

In fact sometimes they come with the power settings on low in order to conserve battery life. If you don’t need battery life (plugged in) just change Power Options to High Performance. This is
accomplished in the Control Panel…d;^)

Also check here for more tips…

http://tinyurl.com/increase-laptop-performance

I hope that helps you, pRon

I bought this laptop about a week ago from Woot for 20 bucks cheaper actually. It was in the laptop takeover section. The screen is so big I love it. I haven’t noticed it being slow, but it does have a 5400 rpm hard drive. I will probably switch that to a SSD at some point in the future. I really hate Windows 8 but with enough tweaking you can kind of get it to look like Windows 7. I was slightly worried about ordering a factory reconditioned laptop but the thing looked brand new.

[MOD: Last week was an A8 processor with a different graphics chip as well.]

IPS is no guarantee that the screen will look better. There are cheap manufacturers of IPS screens that sell to laptop manufacturers also. A high quality TN display calibrated correctly could be better than a lower quality IPS (e-IPS) display.

The other thing to consider is subjectivity. Just like when you compare plasma TV’s for LCD- what you may prefer might not be the same as what someone else prefers.

I like IPS panels, but I also have some TN panels that are pretty decent. The IPS do have some backlight bleed sometimes, it doesn’t bother me- but some people might find it annoying.

I too just bought a similar Dell laptop WITHOUT the touch screen. STUPID STUPID STUPID!! Luckily my laptop has a ‘multi’ touch pad that lets you do a lot of typical screen gestures like swiping, pinching, etc. SPEND the bucks and get a touch screen. OR get the laptop, and cry to Microsoft that it isn’t compatible with your work, and they will roll you back to win7

I used to rant and rave about Windows 8, but really it’s because I have problems with change. Windows 8.1 is fine, it is faster than win 7, and smoother. We all groaned about Win 7 when we had to give up Win XP or VISTA!

This isn’t quite true…

Windows XP was very well received at the end of 98’s life-cycle. It wasn’t that much of a change, was really ushering in 64-bit architecture and more efficient RAM usage. These kinds of changes were largely under the hood, leaving the end-user oblivious to them.

Vista was simply Win 7 without driver support. Y’know, you gotta start somewhere and Vista paid the price of negative user-perception because of crappy hardware manufacturer buy-in. Late Vista adopters were very happy with what they got.

Windows 7 is still a viable OS and it isn’t hampered by a add-on GUI that seems to have forgotten that not everyone has or wants a touch-screen.

Windows 8 isn’t a stinker because it’s different, rather it’s a stinker because MS forgot that static computer setups don’t work the same as mobile setups.

And yes - this machine is slow. Call a spade when you see it.

/if your unit doesn’t come with a touchscreen, do yourself a favor and buy a copy of Win 7 on the net. They go for around $60.00 and are well worth it.

For anyone who still gripes about the 8/8.1 Start menu. Install http://www.iobit.com/iobitstartmenu8.php to get the start menu back for free. Just watch the installer and uncheck the crap-ware it wants to install.

As a much more customizeable version to that I’d go with Classic Shell http://www.classicshell.net/.

It is also completely free no paid version what so ever. It runs as a service, can be set for all profiles or only some. It also lets you customize Windows Explorer windows as well.

Possibly the lowest quality IPS screens I have come across are the large e-IPS Dell UltraSharp 24-inch monitors. They are far better than any TN panel I’ve come across and I own many and have installed many more.

I suppose for gaming the refresh rate is lower and I’m not sure what the fuss is about bleeding backlights but IPS is worth it.

What I’m really concerned about are the super grainy screens you see on practically every sub-$500 laptop now. I started seeing these with later model Acer Aspire One netbooks and Chromebooks and now it’s pretty much everything under $1000 that doesn’t specifically label itself as an IPS screen. The worst offender is Toshiba followed by Dell with the grainy 17" 1366x768 displays. I almost bought a nice 17" 1600x900 until I saw it in person.

I bet those grainy screens never have dead pixels, too.

On the bright side, the Microsoft Store has a row dedicated to quad-HD laptops from $800 and up.

Trying to figure out how this compares to my current 2010ish laptop samsung that was had a GT 330m graphics card and a i5 M430 2.27ghz processor?

Woot and Dell have created a Catch-22 warranty situation for this machine with previous ownership information requirement and ignorance. Woot sells/sold these refurbished laptops with a 1 year Dell warranty. But Woot purchasers (or at least I) cannot access the warranty.

My laptop’s screen stopped working and I called Dell, went through some tests, and Dell said, yes the screen needed replacement and that the machine was still covered by its warranty. When we started to schedule an appointment for them to fix it, they said I was not the listed/registered owner of the machine! They directed me to a web link that one fills out to change the ownership register. I went there but that website requires one to know the previous owner. I tried putting Woot as the previous owner but got an email back saying my change of registration failed. I contacted Woot’s customer service multiple times. Twice the didn’t seem to even read my request and the one time they read my request they suggested putting Woot as previous owner! Not very helpful. I have spent hours talking and online type chatting with Dell but Dell is adamant about getting the previous owner’s name and email from me. I have sent them copies of my purchase receipt to no avail.

I have bought a number of things from Woot and I look at their website pretty much every day. I realize they are not responsible for the warranty, but they should be able to provide me with enough info so I can use the warranty. I cannot be the only one with this problem, many don’t know they have it as they have not and will not use the warranty, but still Woot should be more helpful – it nothing else they should contact Dell to try an clear this up for all Woot customers.

Sorry to hear that you encountered issues with the manufacturer.
It sounds that Dell was unable to assist you in resolving the issue you were experiencing.

If you haven’t already, please email into support@woot.com and let them know what’s going on. They should be able to help answer any questions or concerns you have with your order.