Widescreen Notebooks: More Than Just Expensive DVD Players?

Keyboard And Displays

The Inspiron 6000's keyboard is desktop-sized.

With a width of 11.6"/29.5cm, the keyboard of the Inspiron 6000d is even 0.4"/1cm wider than a regular desktop keyboard. It offers a relatively large degree of key drop, with soft but pleasant pressure sensitivity. The cursor buttons are removed away from the rest of the keyboard in this model, making accidental miskeying while navigating nearly impossible. The overall typing feel is very pleasant, even though the position of the broad hand rest is relatively high above table top level due to the case thickness of 1.14"/2.9cm.

Well-thought-out key arrangement: important function buttons are placed so as to be locatable x "blind".

The armada of buttons for running the audio/video player light up in blue when one of the buttons is tapped. This makes operation much easier when lighting is poor.

Dell has put a row of multimedia buttons on the front side of the case that trigger blue background lighting when pressed.

Almost all other monitoring lights such as battery meter and LEDs for integrated wireless modules have been positioned more or less ideally within the user's field of view. In bright environments, the individual status lights are not very noticeable at first because of their silver tone. You only become aware of the symbols when there is activity. Under such lighting conditions however they are not bright enough and are fairly difficult to make out.

The touchpad has a built-in scrolling function.

Like Acer's machine, the Dell touchpad also features a scrolling function, which makes navigating lengthy texts or within windows vastly more convenient than with systems only equipped with a standard touchpad. The touchpad buttons are somewhat noisy, but do offer comfortable pressure sensitivity.

The status lights for hard drive access, battery status, and WLAN activity are difficult to make out in bright environments due to the color scheme used.