Dell Inspiron E1405 HP Pavilion dv5t Laptops

3 1/2 years ago I bought my first laptop. A Dell Inspiron E1405. Nice, little portable machine. Intel Core Duo T2350 1.83GHz, 2gb RAM, 62gb hard drive, which pales in comparison to the disk space available these days. I mainly use it for blogging, updating websites, email, Facebook, Twitter etc. Once in a while I test some code on it. Only downfall is it came with Windows Vista, which was standard at the time. It still runs great, but hardware wise, it is falling apart. I’m missing 4 keys from the keyboard, the left click button for the touchpad lost it’s spring a long time ago. The killer: now the display won’t stay up. The hinge went. Really sucks trying to sit on the couch and type. At the moment I have it set on the counter with a pack of BBs propping it up.
Well, the hinge was the last straw. I sucked it up and bought an HP during HP’s after Christmas red tag sale.
I went with the HP Pavilion dv5t because it has a 14.5″ display. My Dell has a 14″. I wanted something a little bigger, but not really as big as a 15.6″ display. I got it for $806.45 with tax. There was a $100 instant rebate, free shipping and $25.00 off with HP Coupon code SVMB39487. I also saved an extra 5% by clicking through to HP using Ebates. That saved me another $40.32, bringing total cost down to $766.13.
It has Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-460M Dual Core Processor (2.53 GHz, 3MB L3 Cache) with Turbo Boost up to 2.8GHz, 6GB DDR3 System Memory (2 Dimm), 500GB 7200RPM Hard Drive and webcam, bluetooth. Just Intel integrated graphics which is what my Dell has. Good enough for what I do since I’m not a gamer.
I’m a little uncertain as to how the HP’s touchpad is going to work out though. Apparently it’s a multitouch and lots of the reviews complained about it. The whole thing is touch, including the left and right click buttons. I guess it’s more difficult to use than a touchpad with actual left and right click buttons.
After I ordered the HP, I had second thoughts. I didn’t want another Dell since my old work one was a Dell that died and my home, falling apart laptop is a Dell. I went over to their site though and checked out what they had. Apparently, they no longer let you customize a system. They have a bunch of different machines, but you are stuck with how they are configured as far as processor, memory, hard drive size etc. One that came close to the HP I ordered was an XPS 14, but it costs more than what I paid for the HP, so I guess I’m satisfied with the HP I ordered. Hopefully it works out ok.
One thing I discovered though is laptops don’t come with an internal modem anymore. Since most people are going wireless, the modems are no longer needed, except for us poor saps who live in a rural area and can only get dial up or satellite. I am going to look into Mobile Broadband. I should be able to get reception and it should be pretty fast. Verizon’s 4G package is $50 per month with a cap of 5gb. It’s more than the $10 a month I pay for my dial up, but I think it will be worth it in the end to look into getting a faster connection. Until then, I can use my good old WiFlyer, which turns a dial up internet connection into a wireless dial up internet connection, or my Zoom bluetooth modem. I may look into getting an external modem too. You can pick one up fairly cheap on

More Laptops
More External Modem for Dial Up

Wireless Dial Up Internet Connection

I have raved many times about the Wiflyer. The cool, little tool, which turns a dial up internet connection into wireless using wifi. I’ve used it every day for about 3 years now, and it’s been great. Unfortunately, it’s been acting flaky the past few months, so I started looking for alternatives.
Always On Wireless, the company who makes the Wiflyer, appears to have disappeared. The Wiflyer is still available on ebay.
There’s a tool called Nebo Wireless, which uses 900Mhz FM cordless phone technology. It includes a base unit with a usb communicator. Looks kind of cool.
I could hook up a wireless router to my desktop and tap into the internet connection from my laptop. I decided this would be a last resort, since I don’t want to leave my desktop on all the time. Too big of a waste of electricity. My laptop costs much less to leave on than my desktop.
The last option I discovered is a bluetooth modem. There appears to be several different brands, but the only one I could find a link to, to buy was from a company called Zoom Telephonics. The modem plugs into an electrical outlet and a phone jack. That’s it. You then can connect to the modem using bluetooth. If your computer does not have the bluetooth capability built in, then you will need a separate bluetooth adapter, also called a bluetooth dongle. There are different classes of bluetooth: 1, 2 and 3. Class 2 seems to be the most common, but Class 1 provides the furthest range, 100m. The bluetooth modem from Zoom is a Class 1. Zoom also has several bluetooth adapters including a Class 1 adapter. A Class 2 bluetooth adapter will work, but your range will be limited to about 10m, so for a wireless dial up internet connection it makes more sense to go for the Class 1 bluetooth adapter to get the longer range.
Well, the bluetooth modem is the option I went with and it is AWESOME!! The Zoom bluetooth modem is very small, about half the size of the Wiflyer. The only thing missing is a volume control for the sound the modem makes when dialing up your connection. The Wiflyer had a volume control. The bluetooth modem comes with an installation cd that you put in your computer and install. Easy and went smoothly.
The bluetooth adapter I went with was the Class 1 Zoom bluetooth adapter. The bluetooth adapter is also great for connecting my cell phone to my laptop for transferring pictures. The bluetooth adapter also came with an installation cd. Installation of that also went smoothly, no problems. The software used is BlueSoleil. Not sure if that’s good software, but it’s been working well so far.
Once the software is installed, you search for bluetooth devices. Once the modem is found, you right click on the found modem icon and connect bluetooth dial up networking. A dial up networking box comes up where you enter your ISP username, password and dial up phone number. The only problem I’ve come across so far, is sometimes it takes a couple of tries for the connection to connect. Maybe it’s just the ISP and nothing to do with the modem. The Wiflyer sometimes had problems. It’s hard to tell.
Connection speed seems pretty good. I still need to find a good way to find out what my connection speed is. If anyone has any tips, please let me know. I also use Google Chrome, which definitely is the fastest browser I’ve tried. Browsers I’ve tried include Internet Explorer, Opera, Firefox and the classic version of Maxthon. Maxthon comes in second, with Firefox third.
Both bluetooth items are available at Zoom bluetooth modem, Zoom bluetooth adapter.
If anyone has any other suggestions for creating a wireless dial up internet connection, please let me know.