My first year in college, I realized how necessary a computer was, and decided a laptop was the way to go. Being that I'm not too tech savvy, I did a bit of research into what my friends owned and what worked/didn't work. Dell came highly recommended because of the cost-friendly feature. I used my pell grant to pay for it. I'd like to thank the federal government :)I customized my Inspiron online with Dell.com and was able to get the features I needed and wnated- fast processor, memory, DVD R/W drive, CD-Rom drive, internal wireless card, surround sound speakers, Windows XP, Norton Antivirus, and a 6month free trial of AOL, and 3-4 years warranty and 24 hour customer service. You're also able to see how much each feature costs so that you don't overspend.Through the company I work for, I also received a 12% discount and was able to earn MyPoints for my purchase, which made it worthwhile. So check if your company or school has a discount program and you could save lots.I have had this laptop for 3 years, and it has never given me any real problems. The only problems I encountered were 1) the Dell battery recall but it was in my favor because my battery keeps its charge longer, and 2) the sound was not working but an online chat with some tech support made it an easy fix. Dell also has a security/support center that gives alerts on how to keep your computer running smoothly, like disk cleanup, virus scan, etc. It also has FAQs links for all your....well...frequently asked questions.Overall, it's been great and I still have it and support is still available for it. Dell does not sell it anymore, but the equivalent is a 1501 in case you're looking.