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Widescreen Notebooks: More Than Just Expensive DVD Players?

A Modest Audio Quality

In the area of sound quality, the Dell Inspiron 6000d offers only modest performance. The C-Major audio chip used by SigmaTel offers no HD audio functionality and only brittle stereo sound. The two speakers on the front also sound kind of "thin", and the pre-installed driver does not allow setting treble and bass via software either.

Expandability And Power Management

As a so-called 'all-in-one, two-spindle system', the machine offers only scarce options for expansion. The optical drive is permanently installed, so you can't just upgrade it or exchange it for a second battery.

The optical drive is permanently installed.

Memory and the hard drive can of course be upgraded as required. If the battery life is not enough, you can shell out $189 for a nine-cell system with a capacity of 80Wh, as an alternative to the $100 six-cell 53Wh battery. This increases battery life - theoretically at least - by about 50%. This value notebook, tailored to meet the requirements of private consumers, does not offer a special docking station connection.

Dell takes a similar tack with power management as Acer. A software tool called "Quickset" allows you to create your own power schemes. Unlike typical Windows settings, these also take display brightness and wireless module status into account as parameters. A task bar icon affords users quick and easy access to the individual schemes.