Dell sells two budget models, the Inspiron B120 and B130. Starting at approximately $500, the B120 is the least expensive laptop in Dell’s portfolio and features a 14.1-inch wide-screen display, a low-end Intel Celeron processor, either 256MB or 512MB of RAM (we recommend shelling out for the 512MB), and a CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive. With such anemic components, the B120 is strictly for basic tasks such as e-mail, Web surfing, word processing, and other lightweight apps.
One of the big surprises with the Inspiron B130 is the hard drive. The system comes with a very high performance 60GB 5400rpm model that is faster than many found on competing notebook computers. On the down side, the system comes standard with a 24x CD-RW/DVD combo. This lets users create music or data CDs or playback DVD movies.
The screen for the Inspiron B130 is a bit of a disappointment. The 15.4″ wide screen LCD is nice while the system is plugged in, but when running on batteries it dims the screen to the point where it can be hard to operate. It is driven by the Intel GMA 950 integrated graphics that share 128MB of system memory. Don’t expect any significant 3D graphics performance from this solution.
The B130 and for that reason you can expect to get the usual rather poor sounding notebook speakers. The speakers are located on the right and left front sides, which is good placement since they fire forward to where you are sitting. If only the audio they pumped out was good. The speakers are good enough for system sounds and the likes, but playing audio music or listening to DVDs is pretty painful. You need external speakers or headphones via the lineout to get any type of decent audio.
Also missing from the B130 is a FireWire port. Not that you’ll need it anyway, since video editing will be a chore on this laptop. All three USB ports sit on the left side, which is a sign of future peripheral cluttering. The optical drive on the laptop is a basic DVD/CD-RW that lets you burn CDs, but not DVDs. Obviously, Dell wants you to make these upgrades and tack on more dollars to the price tag. For those wondering about wireless, even the cheapest laptops come with it. In this case, the built-in Dell Wireless 1370 gets you access to all 802.11g access points.
Dell Inspiron B130 Features:-
# Intel Pentium M 735 (1.7GHz) Processor
# 512MB DDR2 Memory
# 60GB 5400rpm Hard Drive
# 24x CD-RW/DVD Combo Drive
# 15.4″ WXGA (1280×800) Wide Screen LCD
# Intel GMA 950 Integrated Graphics with 128MB Shared Memory
# V.90 56Kbps Modem, 10/100 Ethernet and 802.11b/g Wireless
# Three USB 2.0 Ports and Express Card/54 Slot
# Windows XP Home, Word Prefect 12 Word Processor1370 Internal Wireless (802.11b/g)
By Corwin Brown
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