Top positive review
34 people found this helpful
on August 22, 2009
I've had a Dell Latitude D630 for almost 2 years now and there's one key feature that needs to be pointed out first. It's solid. Although I've never dropped it, it has been through a lot. It's very difficult to warp the LCD screen by applying pressure to the back of the display, and the screen is recessed a fair bit from the outside edges. I've seen quite a few people crack their screens but you'd have to try pretty hard to break this one. At first glance it appears thin, plastic, and flimsy; but when you pick it up and hold it you can tell there is a strong network of metal bracings underneath the surface.
When I bought mine brand new from Dell, quite a few technical things went wrong. First the touchpad never worked well out of the box. It skips, freezes and stops working intermittently. I understand this is a big problem with Dell laptops. The other joystick style mouse works well, but after a year started occasionally drifting to the top right of my screen at slow speed so I had to disable it. I usually use an external mouse anyway. After having the laptop for about a year, a section of the motherboard fried and the computer kept giving me video driver errors, but after I called Dell they politely came to my home and swapped the defective part free of charge. I play my fair share of PC games and this thing gets hot. Sometimes the bottom of the laptop will become uncomfortable to set on your thighs so I'm not surprised the board burned out. It's important to note that this machine only gets hot when it's running a video game. It usually runs at normal temperatures doing everything else. I invested in a fan cooling pad which does a good job keeping it cool.
Other than the mouse and heat issues, it's a good machine. It's a nicely sized laptop as well. Personally I feel like it's not too big or too small.
UPDATE April 20, 2012:
Even though nobody is probably still buying these machines, I'd like to report on my D630 almost three years after my original review was written.
It has been almost five years with the D630 and it's still functioning, of course not as well. The cooling fan is not as strong as it used to be, and the machine gets pretty hot when running multiple programs or playing video (years of dust accumulation probably affects the heat sink's ability to transfer heat to some degree, no pun intended). Lucky for me I don't play video games any longer, as I now see them as a waste of time, so that will no doubt lessen the damaging impact to my hardware. Right now with only Firefox open the machine is a normal temperature. The wireless card periodically stops working and I must disable and re-enable it to get it to work again. Some of the keyboard keys have become very sensitive probably due to debris underneath, but all are still registering. The touchpad still occasionally acts up by sometimes not detecting my finger in a specific area toward the center of the pad causing my pointer to leap as I cross over it, but for some odd reason flicking it a few times gets it to work properly again, and other times it goes completely unresponsive until I restart the computer. The pointing stick stopped tracking slowly across my screen and has become fully functional, albeit awkward to use. The original battery has died and I'm currently on my second. Dell let me keep a brand new optical drive after they misdiagnosed a hardware issue (DVD drive failed to detect discs) that turned out to be another fried motherboard making it twice I've had the motherboard swapped under warranty, so my DVD drive still works flawlessly. Hopefully it won't happen again since the warranty expired almost two year ago; the original warranty being three years covering everything but the battery and LCD display. The screen is still very clear with no dead pixels.
Not much else to report besides the system's performance benefited from a OS reinstallation. A comment below mentions bluescreens, but I think bluescreens are more due to badly written software than the machine itself.