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Dell Precision M90 Review - $509 - San Francisco

Post #: A897792
Posted on: 01 June
Reply to: (Use contact form below)

Price(USD): (Not Provided)
Ad Type: For Sale
Computer Type: Desktop PC
Price Format: ---

# Intel T2600 2.16GHz Core Duo
# 1GB DDR2 667 RAM
# 100GB 7200RPM HDD
# 17" WXGA+ @ 1440x900
# nVidia Quadro FX 1500M
# Intel 3945a/b/g/ wireless module
# Windows XP Pro


Originally, I saw this notebook configured through an education reseller suggested to me by my university for software solutions. It was a nice configuration for a nice price. I decided to call Dell up and see if they would match the price of the configuration. That way I could make sure to get the exact specification listed and I could get it straight from the source, eliminating possible hassle if anything needed to be repaired after purchase. Plus, I just felt more secure getting it straight from Dell. After some hassling with customer service, including them trying to offer me an Inspiron 9400 instead, I finally got them to accept the deal. In the end, I purchased this machine for $1,975 plus tax, which was a great deal in my opinion seeing as how my university offers a measly 12% EPP discount compared to others getting 30-35%. I have yet to price this configuration for less than $2500 despite the several deals Dell has run in the past month.

Build and Design

Hands down, this is probably one of the best aspects of the Precision M90. It is built off of the same chassis as the XPS M1710, and sports a magnesium-alloy casing and steel hinges, as well as Dell's patented Strike-Zone technology. I found no flex anywhere on the system since I have had it. Not even the LCD flexes when you open it. When I first got it, I actually had to almost 'pry' the lid open due to the hinges being nice and tight. It's one of the best built computers I have ever used. Design-wise, the M90 is also quite nice. I prefer the look of the M90 to the XPS, and it is definitely meant to deliver the professional looks that engineers and business professionals demand. As you can see from the pictures, it replaces the colors of the XPS to a simple black and brushed metal look, and the lights of the lid were removed. Otherwise, it is exactly the same as the XPS, save for the 3-button mouse. It even features the media buttons on the front, which is a very nice addition that I have grown to love and use a lot. One feature that is sadly missing from this 17" is a numeric keypad. It's not really a standard, but several 17" notebooks these days come with them, and I wish this one had.


If the build is the best aspect of the M90, the screen would have to be the worst. As is the case with nearly all Dell 17" systems, the screen leaves a little to be desired in many respects. I got the WXGA+ screen manufactured by AU Optronics, which is supposed to be the least reliable screen available for Dell 17" notebooks. Fortunately, I seem to have gotten relatively lucky. I have yet to find any dead pixels, the screen is nice and bright, and the colors are actually quite vivid after you play around with the settings in the nVidia Control Panel for a while. However, the viewing angles are not very good, at times it seems to be unevenly lit, and there is still some light leakage, though not nearly as **** as many I've seen. You can see from the pictures below what I'm talking about. The screen is nearly unviewable from the top, though I never look at it from that angle so it doesn't bother me that much. Also note that the actual look is not nearly as **** as what the pictures indicate. I've heard these effects are much less prominent on the WUXGA screen, but I have yet to use one of those. While it has its drawbacks, overall I am still quite satisfied with the screen. It is definitely an improvement over my old C640s LCD.


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