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Dell Offers FreeDOS With New PCs 488

Zed writes "Showing a distancing of itself from Microsoft, Dell now offers businesses a chance to purchase computers without a Windows operating system. The N-Series computers start at $319 from Dell's website and ship with a FreeDOS CD in the box."
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Dell Offers FreeDOS With New PCs

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  • Re:Is this new? (Score:5, Informative)

    by SubTexel ( 715118 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @09:40PM (#8095489)
    Nope, you are right. They have been doing this for quite some time, they also offer Linux as an alternative as well.
  • Re:Is this new? (Score:5, Informative)

    by frdmfghtr ( 603968 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @09:41PM (#8095497)
    Yep, back in 2002...

  • This is news? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Orien ( 720204 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @09:44PM (#8095539)
    I know this isn't exactly new info, but if you look at freedos.org [freedos.org] you will see that they have a news post about it. It has been available for a while now, but only in Canada. The news is that it is for US also now.

    FreeDos is a cool project. You should check it out if you haven't yet.

  • by bc90021 ( 43730 ) * <bc90021NO@SPAMbc90021.net> on Monday January 26, 2004 @09:44PM (#8095540) Homepage
    Since Dell has half the market cap [yahoo.com] of IBM [yahoo.com]. which makes it a sizable company in its own right, Microsoft (granted, which still has a larger market cap than both combined [yahoo.com]) should realise that two of the biggest computer makers are trying to distance themselves. If they weren't already afraid of the free movement (whether it be Linux or FreeDOS!) they should be paying a lot more attention very soon!
  • Element Computer (Score:5, Informative)

    by Deraj DeZine ( 726641 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @09:44PM (#8095544)
    They're not exactly Dell (referring to the size, not the quality), but Element Computer [elementcomputer.com] has a strict no-Microsoft policy to avoid paying expensive licensing fees to Microsoft. All the computers they sell run Lycoris Desktop/LX (a Linux distribution). They've got some pretty nice computers for the price... now if only I wasn't so cheap...
  • Dell Servers + Linux (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 26, 2004 @09:45PM (#8095557)
    This isn't that new. When shopping for servers at Dell, you'll notice several OS options, including RedHat and "No OS." Granted, it's good to see a non-Microsoft for desktop machines.
  • More precisely (Score:5, Informative)

    by ScottSpeaks! ( 707844 ) * on Monday January 26, 2004 @09:46PM (#8095564) Homepage Journal
    Here's a better link [dell.com], from the FreeDOS.org site.

    According to their news entries, this is new for US customers, but it's been available to Canadians for a while.

  • Re:So... (Score:2, Informative)

    by FreakWent ( 627155 ) <tf@ft.net.au> on Monday January 26, 2004 @09:46PM (#8095566)
    to run freesco from the HDD you need a booting fat32, free dos is nice and easy...

    This doesn't explain why you'd buy it with a brand new Dell though.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 26, 2004 @09:46PM (#8095570)

    When Dell stops this [cypherpunks.ca] bullshit, and offers a windows delete credit across their entire product line (without invalidating warranties), then you will finally know that you aren't paying a full microsoft tax when you order a computer with Linux or some other operating system.
  • by piznut ( 553799 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @09:50PM (#8095603)
    Supposedly, you can get linux pre-installed. My assumption is that it will cost extra since it is Redhat Enterprise WS.

    Their website seems pretty light on the details about linux but this page [dell.com] tells you what systems it is available for. Then again, anyone who actually wants linux on a desktop machine probably knows how to obtain and install their favorite distro anyway.

  • by ayeco ( 301053 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @09:51PM (#8095620)
    They are required to provide an OS with the computer systems they sell. This is an OS, and saves the end user a buck or two. This is great.
  • by queen of everything ( 695105 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @09:59PM (#8095725) Homepage

    Wal-Mart has had a cheap workstation for sometime that you can purchase without an OS, or get it with Lindows (I think). They aren't available in stores, only on their website, but its good that there are options out there.

    It'd make a great little server to play with

  • Re:FreeDOS (Score:5, Informative)

    by Howard Roark ( 13208 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @10:04PM (#8095778)
    You install Linux on it.

    If you read the fine print carefully, you will discover that the N series systems actually ship with no operating system installed. They include a FreeDOS media kit in the box. This way you don't have to pay any Microsoft tax on the machine. I suppose you could use the FreeDOS to test the machine before you installed the Linux distro of your choice,
  • Re:FreeDOS? (Score:2, Informative)

    by larry bagina ( 561269 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @10:04PM (#8095780) Journal
    why would you dual boot into FreeDOS? There are a handful of DOS emulators/vms than run FreeDOS from within linux.
  • by AzrealAO ( 520019 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @10:04PM (#8095781)
    It's intended for Businesses who have a volume licence agreement for x number of Windows Installs. This let's them buy new workstations without having to pay for a Windows Licence they already have.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 26, 2004 @10:04PM (#8095784)
    The article says it's being offered to BUSINESS customers... these guys probably allready own a crapload of licenses and if they want to they have a staff that can nuke the box and install Linux.

    Business also implies "professionals" though that isnt allways true.
  • by hazzey ( 679052 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @10:10PM (#8095843)
    I read about something like this a while back. It seemed that Microsoft's arguments were mostly about having NO operating system on a computer(and therefore a pirated version of windows being installed). So what Dell is doing is just putting the lowest form of an operating system on it to get around that argument. That is a good idea because I'm sure that not everyone would want what Dell put on (RedHat/Suse/...)
  • Price difference (Score:5, Informative)

    by ScottSpeaks! ( 707844 ) * on Monday January 26, 2004 @10:16PM (#8095905) Homepage Journal
    Dell's offering a $200 rebate on the comes-with-Windows model at the moment, but if you set that aside, roughtly equivalent sample configurations are priced as follows:
    • Dell Dimension 2400N: 2.4GHz Celeron, 256MB RAM, 80GB HD, CD-ROM, no monitor, FreeDOS: $369
    • Dell Dimension 2400: 2.4GHz Celeron, 256MB RAM, 80GB HD, CD-ROM, no monitor, Windows XP: $599
    The arithmetic is left as an exercise for the reader.
  • Re:FreeWindows? (Score:5, Informative)

    by bhtooefr ( 649901 ) <[gro.rfeoothb] [ta] [rfeoothb]> on Monday January 26, 2004 @10:22PM (#8095959) Homepage Journal
    ReactOS (formerly FreeWin95, a project to create a Windows 95 clone) is a project to create a Windows 2000 clone. It's at version 0.2 (just a couple of days ago, and I thought they hadn't made it to 0.1.6 yet). It'll have Wine in there to actually get decent Win32 support. BTW, the rosapps all run great on Win2K/XP, but they sucked ass on 0.1.1 when I tried it, which is good, seeing that they're coding against Win2K, and not ROS.
  • by H310iSe ( 249662 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @10:32PM (#8096050)
    No shit! I fired dell over a year ago when I got a shipment of 3 boxes with what was absolutely the *worst* software build I have ever seen in a prebuilt system (barring the free pcs that briefly flared a few years ago). I mean, I couldn't believe we paid for this crap, ads, buggy & gimped shareware that actually bluescreened XP when certain photos were opened, terrible MS Office install, buggy wireless encryption, fucked up symantec sales pitch. Really, really horrible. I've had good experiences with Dell's hardware support though, so I'd think about Dell again if I could buy plain old $300 boxes from them... If I can get over how pissed I am about the crap they've done w/ software in the past.
  • Re:Now how about... (Score:5, Informative)

    by blixel ( 158224 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @10:33PM (#8096054)

    Yeah that's what I'd like to see. I e-mailed Dell two months ago about getting a laptop without Windows XP on it and this is what they said: (in short they said tough luck)

    > Problem Description:
    I tried to purchase the Inspiron 5100 Notebook online but I noticed when I selected the option to customize that I was not able to remove Windows XP from the selection. As a long time "alternative operating system user", I have no desire to pay for an Operating System that I have no intention on using.

    Dear Sir,

    Thank you for choosing Dell Online Customer Care.

    I apologize for any inconvenience this matter may have caused.

    Unfortunately, we are unable to assist you with your request.

    Online Sales Center at 1-800-915-3355 ext 62032 or via e-mail


  • BIOS FLASHING! (Score:3, Informative)

    by solios ( 53048 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @10:46PM (#8096167) Homepage
    For all you froods who are all OMFGWTF WHAT IS THE POINT?!!!!!!!!!!!!!1, well... that's it.

    Motherboard BIOS. Updates? DOS floppy or DOS onboard generally required. Not always, especially these days, but geeze. FreeDOS, I assume, will work just as well as DOS for this purpose.

    I'm a Mac user and I know this! What's your excuse? ;-D
  • Re:justice dept. (Score:2, Informative)

    by This is outrageous! ( 745631 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @10:47PM (#8096176)
    Right... and this would be the relevant section (emphasis mine):
    "Regarding the complaints concerning the difficulty of end users to purchase desktop computers without Microsoft Windows pre-installed, this complaint appears related to Marketing Development Program funds that Microsoft provides to OEMs. Under the MDP Microsoft provides financial incentives per units distributed to OEMs that meet specific milestone criteria established by Microsoft (
    e.g., logo design, advertising copy). However, these MDP funds are reduced by $1 per unit if any desktop computer is sold by the OEM without a license to an operating system (Windows or otherwise). According to Microsoft, this provision is directed towards software piracy concerns. As structured, the MDP does not appear on its face to violate the explicit terms of the Final Judgment with respect to the pre-installation of operating systems."
  • Re:FreeDOS (Score:5, Informative)

    by LinuxHam ( 52232 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @10:56PM (#8096243) Homepage Journal
    How about putting the OS you purchased a license to use on your old boxen, that's not currently being used?

    Those licenses are not transferable. You can't even blow away a PC and reload it with another copy of the OS you bought with it.
  • Re:Is this new? (Score:2, Informative)

    by falsified ( 638041 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @11:00PM (#8096276)
    Everyone says that Dell uses shitty hardware, but I haven't noticed this at all. I dropped an old, metal answering machine (as in from the 80s) from about eight feet right on the mousepad and after I ran chkdsk or some similar program, the Inspiron (and hard drive, save a bit of free space) worked just fine, including the mousepad. I run Win2k on this computer, and I've had to restart this thing maybe four times in the past year, mainly due to a problem that the NVidia card has when I try to play some DOS games, which is to be halfway-expected since I'm running a post-DOS version of Windows. (The fact that I have an always-on notebook says something about heat management as well, I suppose; also, I haven't checked for an updated NVidia driver since I bought this computer, so the "shitty hardware" assertion is inaccurate here.) They also have prices on laptops that, last time I checked, aren't matched as far as major brands go. Every week or so, on their online store, they throw in a bunch of freebies and rebates as well.

    Maybe I've just gotten lucky, and maybe their desktops aren't as hardy as their laptops.

  • Re:Is this new? (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 26, 2004 @11:01PM (#8096281)
    Obviously you are trolling. And obviously you are an idiot. But...

    I don't know of any computer company that does what you are talking about these days. I do remember 10 years ago Packard Bell (and the like) made proprietary all-in-one sound cards/modems/video cards that plugged into a riser board off the motherboard.

    But as far as I know, all of these companies use "standard" motherboards and parts now. Integration is standard. It started with the ATX form factor bringing PS/2 ports, IDE controllers, and Serial Ports onto the motherboard, and continued on with sound cards, video cards, and so on. And no, it's not a "Bad Thing(tm)". It's just like everything else. It has it's place. The difference between the Packard Bells of years past and the integration that you see now is that now you can open up your machine and replace the defective integrated motherboard with any of dozens of different choices. You don't have to call Dell and pay $300 for a proprietary motherboard. And besides, the system comes with a warranty that would replace it for $0 should it break down within the warranty period.
  • by AtariDatacenter ( 31657 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @11:28PM (#8096470)
    Read their own words. "Ideal for companies with proprietary software images"

    Remember the *double Microsoft Tax*? A large company pays to purchase a system (which has Windows), then they pay again for their special corporate image of windows? If they buy a system like this one, then they've got a single Microsoft tax. It makes sense.

    And it makes sense for people who run alternative OSs, of want more of a kiosk, or perhaps have a MAME box they want to get going. For $320 with free shipping, that's one hell of a MAME box.

    BTW: I found the URL given in the story a bad choice. I found this one [dell.com] instead.
  • Re:Is this new? (Score:5, Informative)

    by flyfishin ( 126609 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @11:39PM (#8096537) Homepage Journal
    Not according to the FreeDos site.

    "Update: (16 Jan 2004) This may look like a repeat, but it's not. Before, FreeDOS on Dell wasn't available to US customers - it was Canadian customers only."
  • Re:Why not Knoppix? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Monday January 26, 2004 @11:42PM (#8096558) Journal
    I was thinking the exact same thing. I have been getting distro happy the last few months, trying several, and I have personally burned and given out several Knoppix CDs, including mailing them to relatives. Its the best for trying Linux, without having to install anything. I have used it a more than a few times to recover data, check disks, copy data, etc. from win9x disks. Wanting to find out how to modify and reburn it, to run it more in 'expert' mode rather than desktop mode, but loving the completeness of it.

    I just downloaded featherlinux (70mb i think) to test it. Its supposed to be the best lightweight utility bootable CD version.
  • Re:Hmm (Score:3, Informative)

    by runderwo ( 609077 ) <{runderwo} {at} {mail.win.org}> on Monday January 26, 2004 @11:43PM (#8096563)
    DOS, and the 8086, are fully 16-bit in design and operation. The only thing 8-bit about them is the 8088's peripheral bus. The decision to use the 8088 rather than the 8086 in the IBM PC was made in order to cut costs for peripheral manufacturers.

  • Re:Is this new? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @12:04AM (#8096699)
    Well, if any body is interested in dell laptops then they should look here:

    This is dell laptops but without the dell name. U can even save and don't buy windows.

    I bought one of these laptops and its vary good, high in performance and inexpensive compared to the "brand named" ones.

    I discovered that these are dell clones when I was trouble shooting my mandrake 9.1 -9.2 installations, what confirmed it to me was the shutting down bug in mandrake 9.2. Since then whenever I have any problem I just google for dell inspiration 5xxx series and the problem I have.

    Any way, I am not affiliated with this site by any mean or way, its just I thought I'll point out a bout it since people here seems to be kind of interested with this dell deal.

    *I am too lazy to create an account.
  • by Wil63 ( 583159 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @12:39AM (#8096869) Journal
    It all depends on the particular license vendor. In the case of Microsoft you can even sell the software on eBay, as long as you provide all the accompanying documentation and original discs etc. Microsoft only prevents this on versions specifically marked "Non-transferrable". check your EULA.
  • Re:Is this new? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Xabraxas ( 654195 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @12:55AM (#8096958)
    From the FreeDOS website:

    Chuck found that US customers can purchase Dell systems with FreeDOS: Perhaps this is old news but browsing on Dell's Small Business site, I noticed that they are now offering select systems bundled with FreeDOS. From the web site: The n series features select popular models from the DimensionTM , OptiPlexTM and Dell PrecisionTM desktop lines sold without a Microsoft(R) operating system. Offered for IT professionals who want control over operating system development and installation, n series desktops are available with a copy of the FreeDOSTM open-source operating system included in the box, ready to install. Update: (16 Jan 2004) This may look like a repeat, but it's not. Before, FreeDOS on Dell wasn't available to US customers - it was Canadian customers only.

  • Re:FreeDOS (Score:3, Informative)

    by C10H14N2 ( 640033 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @01:02AM (#8097003)
    The Microsoft tax appears to be $109. The cheapest stripped down Dimension 2400 I could build was $428. The Windows version upgrade license is $99. Personally, if I WANTED Windows pre-installed, I'd prefer to be charged $200 for a full copy non-vendor-locked copy, thankyouverymuch.
  • Re:Is this new? (Score:3, Informative)

    by unitron ( 5733 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @01:14AM (#8097065) Homepage Journal
    Perhaps if you (and whoever gave you that "informative" mod point) would google for "dell non-standard atx" you'd realise that the proprietary problem is far from gone.
  • by barcelona_stony ( 745683 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @02:24AM (#8097380)
    Dells pricing makes little sense. Yes, if you configure the N-Series at its base price, it is $319, vs the $400 (Post Rebate) price of this weeks Small Business 2400 sale.

    But, the SB 2400 comes with:
    Pentium 2.4 vs Celeron 2.4
    Good Keyboard vs crappy keyboard
    Optical Mouse vs regular roller ball mouse
    80 GB 7200 Hard Drive vs 40 GB 5400 HD
    Floppy vs no Floppy
    Speakers vs no Speakers
    Modem vs no Modem

    AND a copy of XP Home you can sell on Ebay.

    So even if i'm installing Linux, why would I get the N-Series? Between the Pentium, Optical Mouse, Larger/Faster Hard Drive, (I won't use the rest but others will), I'd rather pay 400 for the better box.

    If you price the N-Series with identical specs to this weeks 2400 Deal, the N-Series is 479 with the Celeron (no Pentium upgrade available).

    Sometimes, Dell makes no sense.

  • Re:Is this new? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sivar ( 316343 ) <charlesnburns[ AT ]gmail DOT com> on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @03:08AM (#8097531)
    "Dell clones" do not exist because Dell does not make their own laptops. All PC vendors except IBM resell laptops made by Clevo, Arima, or some other Taiwanese ODM.

    That said, it is entirely possible that the company you pointed to uses the same ODM as Dell, in which case it may indeed be easy to get more or less the same laptop for a lower price.

    Interested parties may also look at www.powernotebooks.com and www.pctorque.com. These guys sell Eurocom and Sager (=Clevo) laptops at lower prices than many. It is a good way to get the same laptop, POSSIBLY MINUS SUPPORT, for a lower price.
  • Re:Is this new? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sivar ( 316343 ) <charlesnburns[ AT ]gmail DOT com> on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @03:14AM (#8097558)
    What brand of motherboard do they put in these things?
    Usually Intel (modified to use the proprietary Dell power supply)

    What's the wattage of the Power Supply?
    The wattage of the Dell power supplies is generally sufficient to run the Dell just fine plus a few hard drives and other upgrades. The problem is that they use proprietary power supplies. There is NO TECHNICAL REASON to do this other than to lock customers in. If you charge enough for a replacement unit, customers will probably just buy a new PC instead.
    The power supplies are like ATX, and at least a few years ago used an ATX-look alike connector. They may have changed this, because plugging a standard ATX PS into Dell motherboards would let the smoke out of the PS, possibly the Dell itself.

    What kind of RAM is used? DDR Dual Channel? What brand is the RAM?
    Dell usually uses major brand RAM--whatever they can get cheapest in bulk. Not an issue. The RAM generally uses conservative timings, but then, timings really don't matter for most applications beyond 1-5% performance.

    What brand is the hard-drive? What is the rotational speed of the hdd? How much cache does the hdd have?
    Dell often uses Seagate or, IIRC, Maxtor. Not an issue, really.

    Sounds like a decent deal as long as they are using decent hardware.
    Decent Dells (i.e. not the super cheap systems with integrated video, etc.) use pretty good hardware. The problem is that the pretty good hardware is also pretty proprietary. Some parts are interchangeable, particularly with their overpriced gaming systems, but you buy Dell for the support (on paper at least) and because they are cheap. If you are a business, you buy them because they are a major OEM and give great support if you are a big buyer. And because they are cheap.

    Dells are not meant for geeks that can build their own system from parts. They are meant for the other 95% of people that want a little black box that just works, and if it doesn't, has a toll-free number to call for help.
  • by DeBaas ( 470886 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @03:45AM (#8097655) Homepage
    Its good to see at least one PC Retailer distancing itself from Microsoft.

    I'm not sure this qualifies as distancing itself. However, another big PC retailer (at least here in the Netherlands) that does this is NEC. We order PC there without Windows quite often, and they are delivered with freedos. Probably for the same reason.

  • by DrHyde ( 134602 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @05:51AM (#8098015) Homepage
    I recently used FreeDOS as a stepping stone to installing Linux. I have a Toshiba Libretto 50CT, and those little bastards have no built in floppy or CD. They *do* have PCMCIA floppy or CD, which are bootable, but only the BIOS recognises them so once the kernel has loaded and run - poof! the device disappears so you can't insert the second disk or load files off the CD or anything else useful.

    But because FreeDOS, like MSDOS, uses the BIOS, it *can* read files off floppies, so I created a zip file of a minimal Debian installer plus pkunzip, loadlin and a kernel, used split(1) to break it into floppy-sized chunks, and copied it across like that. Ahhhh, swapping disks 20-odd times! That brings back memories!

    Anyway, once all the data was on there and on a little DOS partition, I used loadlin to boot a kernel, load a root disk from a disk image, and then pointed the installer at the files I'd extracted from the recombined zip file.

    A (slightly) more detailed account should show up on Linux On Laptops [linux-on-laptops.com] soon.

  • Re:Is this new? (Score:5, Informative)

    by scott_davey ( 552885 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @06:09AM (#8098059)
    We just got in some multi-million dollar SANS from HP and they threw in a bunch of dual Xeon 3.2 GHz w/HT, 2GB, 136GB U320 Raid 5 Linux servers. HP has Open Source drivers for the Gig cards and even drivers/software for thier HP Lights Out management app for the Linux servers. With Dell you don't get any of that.

    Actually, last year we bought a bunch of Dell PowerEdge 2650s with RedHat 9 (and then had to purchase RHEL only six months later because of that end of life bullshit...but that's another story).

    Anyway, Dell has a really good installer that asks a couple of questions, then installs RedHat with all the right options for the hardware, including Dell's drivers for their gigabit ethernet card and RAID 5 config. It even included a custom hardware PNP lookup file with identifiers for all the components in the server that aren't in the standard distro.

    Dell also have their management interface for linux, which does everything the windows version does.

    I was quite impressed with Dell (Not so much with RedHat over that end of life thing)

  • by jez9999 ( 618189 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @08:17AM (#8098436) Homepage Journal
    Oh yeah, I guess you could run windows on your AMD XP XXXX+ and use Windows Movie Maker...not!

    No, maybe not. Ya see, Windows Movie Maker is the 'Notepad' of movie editing on Windows.

    But you could use Magix video deLuxe PLUS [magix.net], Magix Movie Edit Pro 2004 [magix.net], Sony Screenblast Movie Studio [sonypictures.com], Ulead Videostudio [ulead.com], Pinnacle Studio [pinnaclesys.com], Roxio VideoWave Movie Creator [roxio.com] ...
  • by Moraelin ( 679338 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @09:43AM (#8098805) Journal
    Dimension 4600
    Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Professional (not the default "Home Edition")
    FREE TurboTax(R) Basic for Tax Year 2003
    512MB Dual Channel DDR SDRAM at 333MHz (2x256M)
    80GB Ultra ATA/100 Hard Drive (7200 RPM)
    3.5 in Floppy Drive
    Single Drive: 8x DVD+RW Drive
    Combo: RecordNow! and MyDVD Deluxe (DVD+RW only)
    Dell(R) Quietkey(R) Keyboard
    Dell(R) 2-button scroll mouse
    Productivity Pack including WordPerfect(R) and Money(R)
    17 in E171FPb Flat Panel Display
    128MB DDR NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Graphics Card with TV-Out and DVI
    Integrated 5.1 Channel Audio
    Stereo Speakers
    Dell Media Experience
    Dell Picture Studio, Paint Shop Pro Trial, Photo Album Starter Edition
    Integrated Intel(R) PRO 10/100 Ethernet
    56K PCI Data Fax Modem

    The cost? $1,627

    What do we have here? It's a good $272 cheaper than that Mac. Even though it has an 8x DVD burner, as opposed to the Mac's 4x. Also note that the DVD writer software and everything _is_ included in the price.

    Even then, the comparison is already skewed. A more exact comparison would be a 2 GHz Celeron machine with el-cheapo SDR RAM. That's still faster than the G4, but not as overkill as the P4.

    And still more useful than the Mac. On the PC you can actually play games.

    Also note that it involves _no_ assembling stuff on your own.

    Do I need to spell it out for you? Yes, the Macs are overpriced. Way overpriced. And for a lot of us, just plain useless either way.
  • by clickster ( 669168 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @10:46AM (#8099420)
    Sager laptops (which use the same components as Alienware and Voodoo laptops but in different cases) are cheaper than Dells if you're looking for a high-end laptop. Plus, you don't have to pay the Microsoft tax. Don't buy directly from Sager though. Buy from powernotebooks.com or pctorque.com. Both are cheaper than buying directly from Sager and, unlike Sager iteself, both have unbelievably good support (check resellerratings.com). That's one thing that no other PC company can match Powernotebooks and PCTorque on - service. The support people are actual laptop tech, not training room book-fed. They bend over backwards to help you and you get responses immediately. Not canned, pre-typed responses, actual e-mails/phone calls. I bought a Sager 4080. It has a 15" SXGA+ screen that has a glossy/high-contrast coating on it that makes it far clearer than a standard SXGA+ screen. It's hard to make out the individual pixels. It came with a P4 2.8 GHz processor with HT, 800 MHz FSB, 512 MB of PC3200 DDR400, 60 GB 5400 rpm hard drive, 128 MB RADEON 9600, and a built-in webcam. The whole thing only cost me a little over $1500. They also have a 5680 model that supports dual-channel DDR and has a UXGA screen and an 8890 model that supports 2 CD/DVD drives and 2 hard drives at the same time (running RAID). Or swap on of those CD/hard drives out with a 2nd battery. It also has a built-in TV tuner card. And a built-in floppy to boot. Anyway, I used to buy only Dell or Toshiba, but now I'm strictly Sager

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