What's the build quality of Dell Laptops / Desktops/ Ultrabooks

I’m planning to buy a new laptop and I’ve my eyes on a Dell, but this will be my first time and I’m wondering if they are well build. Is it easy to upgrade e.g. memory? I might want to do it myself as memory upgrades are pretty expensive directly from them.

I always thought Dell is not for tech savvy people, but I could be wrong…

I liked Compal laptops, cheapest, but very sensible. Compal’s one of the world’s largest laptop manufacturers, but known little as most of its products go to OEM.

I liked my Dell laptop I bought in 2003 for over US$2,000. The one I bought in September 2011 is more like MacBook Air, but not really. Dell tried to copy 5% of a low-end MacBook Air, and the other 95% is useless, malfunctioning, ugly…

For now, the only laptop I want to buy is the Retina MacBook Pro with 256GB SSD.

Bak, I’m not sure “build quality” is any more or less across all of the laptops. They’re all assembled in robotized environments that may or may not have factory workers committing suicide in droves.

[I](“What we need are more safety nets to catch these loonies - but let’s not improve working conditions!!”) [/I]

One feature that I like about Dell’s is that their model-numbering (or Asset Tag) is all I need for downloads and updates. HP’s, on the other hand, have model numbers and then secret sub-level numbers that makes it nearly impossible to detect which Actual Model is sitting in front of me. I hate that. Lenovo, MSI, Sony - they all make Updating a lot easier than HP.

The bigger issues for me are (1) maintaining it easily, and (2) not having their OEM crap loaded in the first place.

Dell does that usually, but there’s no guarantee - they are no longer focusing on Notebook Design as a business strategy so they are probably doing the “re-labeling whatever our contractor sells us” like everyone else is.

Changing RAM has become a major problem because, often, notebook motherboards have a single RAM slot on the top and bottom of the motherboard. One of them will be easily accessed under the case - just a simple panel to unscrew. But the other one will need keyboard removal, maybe disconnecting the Video, Keyboard & Touchpad Connectors (UGH).

If you think you’ll EVER want additional RAM, then I’d check on that first and foremost. What a pain-! But they do this to segregate ‘heat’ into two locations instead of one bigger, hotter zone.

Apparently, “smokin’ hot” will never be a great attribute for notebooks.


I love dell. I’ve been using it for years now.

My sister tried to get me to buy a Dell in 1998, but it was fruitless, the machine I configured was over 3,000USD even back then and I was not going to pay that much for a Dell. The only thing of value in that build was the speaker system, Harmon Karden with sub woofer, and the monitor ( back then it was a decent monitor that weighed 150lbs. LOL, but it worked. Now they come preloaded with so much crap its almost a necessary thing to do a clean install before you use it. LOL.

Dell Computers are made in the same robotized factories in China as all other brands.

Where the difference lies is in the quality of the support site, and accessability
to drivers.

The BIG advantage to Dell is their licensing agreement with Microsoft.

The fallout of this is that restoring the operating system with a hard drive eventually fails and takes the recovery and factory restore partitions with it.

With Dell the OS re-installer NEVER asks for you to enter a windows product code
There will be a windows CoA on the outside of the computer but you’ll never actually need to enter it.

Unlike other makes, OEM reinstallers, System builders installations and even retail OS installers Only Dell computers with their factory installed OS invariably “activate” automatically, usually BEFORE you even get to your “first use” desktop.

Dell computers are literally the best thing ever for a lazy IT professional.

Personally I will not recommend any other brand of portable computer.

That being said I always buy HP desktops, HP’s can be upgraded like any other computer, Dells often have some proprietary hardware details that can make this difficult or impractical.