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Dell Inspiron 8100

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Review It's not often that a product leaves us speechless, but this month the Dell Inspiron 8100 enters this exclusive club. It is without a doubt the best notebook we have ever seen. It's not the most portable, or the most stylish, but it's the first mobile PC to leave even the most powerful desktops for dust.

It is powered by Intel's latest incarnation of the Mobile Pentium III, running at 1.13GHz - the fastest mobile processor on the market today, backed up by 256MB of RAM, a 48GB hard drive and a 32MB GeForce 2 Go graphics card. This outstanding hardware set up won the Dell a WorldBench score of 210. We are trying hard not to gush too much about this notebook, but this score is outstanding, beating all but two of our Power PCs.

The 8100 finally puts to rest the concept that you can't get the same performance from a notebook as you can from a desktop PC. It puts all those beige boxes to shame with its speed and specification. It won't let you down when it comes to the screen either, as the 15in TFT display can reach a maximum resolution of 1600x1200. This renders pin-sharp images, though some might find text rather small to work with.

Space is saved by the choice of a DVD-ROM/CD-RW combination drive, so you get both in one drive bay, offering six-speed DVD playback and quad-speed CD rewriting. There's a full complement of ports including IrDA, S-Video and FireWire, and for £100 extra you can add in a wireless LAN PC Card to fill one of the two available slots. Software is the bang up-to-date Office XP Small Business Edition and it's backed up by a one-year, collect-and-return warranty.

If you can afford it, it's the best notebook money can buy. ®

Info

Price: £1999.00
Contact: 0870 152 4699
Website: www.dell.co.uk

Specs

CPU: 1.13GHz Mobile Pentium III
RAM: 256MB
HDD: 48GB
Screen: 15in TFT
Graphics: 32MB GeForce 2 Go
Optical: 6x/4x DVD/CD-RW combo drive
Modem: built-in 56Kbps
Networking: built-in 10/100 Ethernet
Dimensions: 326x276x43.5mm
Weight: 3.3kg
OS: Windows 2000 + Office XP

Scoring

Build quality: 10
Features: 10
Performance: 10

All details correct at time of publication.

Copyright © 2001, IDG. All rights reserved.

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