Just slightly more expensive... usually.
Must say that I won't buy a Dell next time. Absolutely not Mr Dell. And hopefully all of you who had unresolved problems with your Dell laptops won't either.
Here are some of the problems I had with my inspirons 6400/1505 :
1- DVD writer didn't write properly after 1 month. Had to contact support and wait to install a new one
2- tons of blue screens in the first few months and this was with the supplied drivers + original XP installation. Don't remember how but I finally fixed the problem. Spent many hours with tech guys who could barely speak english.
3- battery completely stopped working after 5 months. Got a second one that stopped working after 6 months -- warranty was over so couldn't get another one. Had to rely on ebay scams (got 3 other batteries from Hong Kong and other China provinces... that lasted not even 3 months each. The third one lasted 2 weeks only -- will never buy from Hong Kong again. Never, ever. It's too far and there doesn't seem to be any ethics... + ebay doesn't care once the few weeks period is over and you've been stolen. Bay protects the sellers, not the consumers. But that's another story)
4- A few dead pixels appeared after only a few months + white spots.
5- paint on the "palm resting" started to fade after one year.
6- Hinges broke after 2 years and cracked the LCD display. Had to to a repair myself with epoxy a few weeks ago. Took me a full day.
7 - power supply sopped working after 1.5 - 2 years. Had to get another one which also stopped working after 1 year !! Now relying on another one I bought second hand from someone who had a Vostro. Hoping that it'll work until I save enough money to buy my next laptop.
8- after 3 years I now have a vertical superb green stripe on the left my screen/display. Beautiful. Now if I could get to chose the color, at least...
Honestly, I wonder why people still buy from Dell. It's impossible this was an isolated incident. To many things went wrong. How can I trust them again ? And I take really good care of everything I own. Heck I still have my Linn Sara speakers from the early 80s, in perfect condition ! And my girlfriend is using one of my older laptops I bought in... 2002 ! My scanner, printer, ... everything else works perfectly. Just this !!/?#$ laptop...
What will be my next laptop ? Don,t know. I'd like to rely on reviews of older laptops, to see how they went through real life. Not just these stupid tests like pushing at the back of the screen to see if it flexes, etc. etc. Really, those don't tell a thing about the cheapness of the components used to build the laptop... (the plastic, the battery, the hinges...)