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Dell Inspiron 6400 Core 2 Duo laptop

An inspired Inspiron?

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The overall PCMark05 score of 2,705 is pretty much par for the course, although the CPU score of 5,068 highlights the Core 2 Duo's general performance but also to PCMark's increased use of multithreaded tests.

One small annoyance is that the integrated Philips SDVD8820 DVD±R/RW drawer tends to vibrate quite loudly when fed a less than perfectly balanced optical disc. This aside, the 6400 was generally very quiet in operation even when the going got tough.

I strongly suggest that Dell reconsiders the type and amount of pre-installed software. While having anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall programs are a plus, apps like Google Desktop should be for the user to add later if he or she chooses to. A regular barrage of pop-ups suggesting things be fixed, changed, reconfigured or emailed back to Dell just serve to make the installed software feel sluggish and intrusive rather than reassuring or helpful.

Verdict

With a base price - for the T7200 Core 2 Duo - of £789 inc. VAT and shipping, the Inspiron 6400 is an excellent and affordable route into the Core 2 Duo world. It has all the credentials to be a dependable multimedia companion with its great screen, comprehensive connectivity and decent processing power. But be aware it's neither exciting to look at nor to game on. ®

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85%
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Dell Inspiron 6400 Core 2 Duo laptop

An unremarkable yet solid buy primed for multi-threaded software...
Price: From £789. The reviewed version cost £824 inc VAT RRP

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