Dell Notebook - Inspiron 1720 vs Inspiron 1520?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by fframe38, Jan 12, 2008.

  1. I am considering getting a new notebook computer - Dell Inspiron 1720 or Inspiron 1520.

    All things being equal, I would prefer the 1720 because of the bigger screen, except that I want to get it running Windows XP, and it seems that Dell does not support that option for the 1720. There appear to be some people that may have gutted it out and assembled the XP drivers themselves, but it seems from my Google results that it was quite a difficult task, and perhaps not something that would be recommended.

    So my questions are these:

    Has anyone bought a Dell Inspiron 1720 notebook and successfully got it running using Windows XP Professional? If so, were you satisfied with the machine? Were there any downsides with the 1720? Was it too heavy? Would you recommend it?

    Has anyone bought a Dell Inspiron 1520 notebook with Windows XP Professional on it? If so, were you satisfied with the machine? Was the screen big enough to satisfy you for basic trading app needs (charting, etc)? Were you always wishing you had a bigger screen? Would you recommend the Inspiron 1520?

    Has anyone else bought any other brand of 17" notebook running Windows XP that they found to be really great? HP? Toshiba?

    Thanks for any input.
  2. I bought 1710 (same as 1720, just AMD chip inside instead of Intel) with 1920x1200 screen.

    XP Pro runs just fine without any issues. All the hardware drivers are not that hard to find on Dell's website actually.

    Plus, that screen is just gorgeous. 1680x1080 was too small for me, so 15" was out of the question. 1920x1200 resolution is enough for my trading setup.

    Battery life sucks, but I don't really care for that since I always plug in the power, whether I'm at home, at hotels, friend's house, Starbucks, etc.

  3. 17" is needed if you want to run your laptop at 1920x1200.

    1680x1050 is ok on a 15.4 inch monitor.

    You could get a 17 Inch Precision M6300, which comes with XP Pro. This costs about $500 more than the 17 inch Inspirion running Vista Ultimate. But you do get a better processor and video card for the extra $$.
  4. I have an Inspiron 1520 with Vista Basic and often wish the screen size were bigger to look at charts and tables.

    I wish I'd gotten the 1720.

    Why do you need XP Pro?

  5. I don't really NEED XP Pro, it's just that I hate buying decent high end hardware that ends up wasted on a bloated OS ( ie Vista ). Plus, I would like to avoid compatibility issues (I have lots of old software that I still run), and I am hoping if I can get a good machine now with XP Pro, that I can last until the next (after Vista) OS before I have to upgrade the machine.

    The performance metrics for Vista vs XP are basically atrocious, plus there is a new Windows XP SP3 coming out that is supposed to boost the performance of XP as well. Let's just say I would just like to avoid Vista for now.

    It sounds like the big screen is a must. Thanks for the input.
  6. BCE


    Here's a really good review of the Inspiron 1525 which just came out and replaces the 1520. It has lots of nice features and I almost bought one but unlike the 1520 it doesn't offer a dedicated video card option but only the integrated one.,+120GB+HDD,+1GB+RAM)
    BTW it's available this week at Staples for $599 in case you're interested. :)
    I'm looking at a 17" hp but waited one day too long to actually order it and missed a great sale. Snooze you loose. :)
  7. Here's the follow-up for anyone interested in the outcome:

    I caught a $400 sale on the Dell Inspiron 1720, about 2 weeks ago, ordered it immediately (Midnight Blue color), received it last week, spent the weekend installing Windows XP Professional on it ( successfully ) and my trading apps, and am now enjoying the new machine.

    If anyone else is dealing with the questions I had earlier:

    1. The 17" screen is GREAT! I got the GeoForce 8600 video card, and I am very pleased with the laptop. Charts look crisp and I am fully satisfied with the video. Do not settle for the 15" screen - the Windows XP issue is a red herring now, even though it was challenging for some last summer.

    2. The resource usage of Vista on this machine was horrendous. When the machine came pre-loaded with Vista Home, I ran on it for a day or two before I had time to do the Windows XP install. Just running Vista ALONE with nothing else, the operating system consumed 33% of the available memory ( 670 MB out of 2 GB !!! ). When running Windows XP after loading many apps including a database app which runs as a service in the background and my trading apps, the machine was only consuming about 20% of the available memory.

    3. The install of Windows XP Professional was easier than anticipated. Apparently, the Dell website support is better now than it was last summer - all of the available drivers are now available in the Inspiron 1720 section, and the only real tricks involved formatting the disk using Media Direct CD before installing Windows XP Pro, either slipstreaming the SATA disk driver onto a Windows XP CD, or else getting access to a USB floppy so you can load the SATA driver from floppy - I chose the floppy route with success.

    4. It was refreshing to be rid of all the bloatware, trialware, etc that usually comes with a new machine - call it a pleasant side effect of installing Windows XP Pro on it cleanly.

    5. Allow about 8-16 hours of time to complete the work required to do the install - there were 90 critical updates that needed to be installed on Windows XP after starting with SP2. Once I put Office 2007 on the machine, there were some other large updates involving that as well. Once Windows XP SP3 comes out, this should be less of an issue.

    6. The Inspiron 1720 is a little HEAVY, so if you are someone who wants a MacBook Air or something really light and portable, this machine is NOT IT. But it is great if you are looking for a desktop replacement quality laptop.

    In all, I am happy with the machine, and thanks to everyone who provided input to my questions earlier....
  8. BCE