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Dell Inspiron 1720 laptop

A laptop to replace your desktop

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Dell Inspiron 1720
The left side is taken up by a large cooling grill, Express card slot and the on/off/ Wi-Fi catcher switch

The build quality extends to the full size keyboard, which is a delight to type on. The keys respond to the lightest touch, and there's also a 10-key numerical pad too. Similarly, the touchpad is sensitive but not too sensitive and has both vertical and horizontal scrolling functions.

The indicators for mains power, battery power, Wi-Fi etc are back lit by blue LEDs and are found to the top right hand edge of the unit, neatly mirrored by LEDs on the side of the chassis.

Dell supplied the 1720 with a 160GB Fujitsu hard drive with a spin speed of 5,400rpm so not the fastest drive available, but you will hardly notice it. If you yearn for even more disk space, the 1720 has the internal space for an extra drive, Dell offers pairs of drives up to a stunning (for a notebook anyway) maximum capacity of 500GB (2 x 250GB drives costing £317.25 for the pair). Backing up the hard drive is a built-in 8x DVD burner.

The port placement on the 1720 seems a little lopsided as nearly everything is placed on the right hand side. The left is consumed by a large cooling grill, Express card slot and the on/off/ Wi-Fi catcher switch. The Wi-Fi catcher helps find the strongest Wi-Fi signal and connects you to it.

The right hand side also holds the optical drive, the 8-in-1 card reader, two audio and two USB 2.0 ports, a 4-pin FireWire port, LAN and VGA ports. On the rear of the chassis sit three more USB ports, an S-Video ports, and the V.92 modem port.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Next page: Verdict

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