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Thread: Dell Inspiron 8000

  1. #1

    Default Dell Inspiron 8000

    I think I have finally found the perfect Pentium III laptop! (For me). This machine has absolutely every thing I want in a late 90's/early 2000's notebook. It's also giant and weighs a ton, which I love.

    One of my favorite features of this machine is the 15" high resolution display. This particular one has the SXGA+ 1400 X 1050 version, but I'd like to replace it with the UXGA 1600 X 1200 "UltraSharp" version. The main reason I want to replace it is because the panel this laptop currently has is actually faulty (I know 100% it's the panel because I swapped some parts around with another one that I have). It almost much fully works, except it shows artifacts on certain graphics. But it can handle a super high resolution image in Photoshop just fine, go figure.

    I also really like that this machine has both a track pad and a Trackpoint. The trackpad is actually quite nice in this machine (unlike that horrible, tiny trackpad my ThinkPad R500 has for example) and I do use it from time to time, but the Trackpoint is my preferred option.

    The keyboard on this laptop is very nice IMO. It has a pretty nice, somewhat tactile feel to it.

    Another thing I like about these machines is that they are incredibly easy (and cheap) to find parts for. Which is very nice because these machine do have some issues from time to time. Bad fans is probably the most common issue. They are also very easy to work on.

    One of the awesome things about Inspirons of this era, is that they are just latitudes with a different shell and bios! (I actually prefer the Inspiron cosmetics over the Latitudes from this era. And the ability to change the color of the palm rest's is just awesome). One mod you can do to an Inspiron 8000 (that I am strongly considering), is flash it with a Latitude C800 (the I8000's Latitude counterpart) BIOS, remove the blocking panel the back, and use a full Latitude dock with it! That's right, when you bought a Latitude back then, you were paying dell more money to simply "enable" some features! That being said though, these Inspirion 8000 series machine were not cheap by any stretch of the imagination. I believe the MSRP of the top end 8000 was $4,022!

    One unfortunate thing about these machines, is that the colored palm rest's are pretty much impossible to find. The bright yellow ones are my favorite! I'll find a set of them someday, it'll just take patience. I'll even buy a whole other machine to get them if I have to!

    Here are the specs of the machine.

    800MHz Pentium III "Coppermine"

    256MB RAM (will be upgrading to 512MB)

    ATi M4 32MB graphics card

    160GB hard drive (that's a damn big drive for a machine of this age!)

    Win98 SE/WinXP Pro SP3 dual boot


    BTW I'm actually posting this from the Inspiron 8000! (Using FireFox 48.0.2 under Windows XP Pro SP3).

    Now the hunt is on for the perfect Pentium 4 laptop (for me, that will probably be the Inspiron 8200). I'm kinda addicted to these Inspiron 8000 series machines.

    Anyways, here are some pics.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by compaqportableplus; May 20th, 2018 at 08:19 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default

    I have one of those (or 2 forget).

    The one I keep in my room is the 1600x1200 model 900Mhz and 512MB of RAM running XP.

    The cool thing about them besides the looks is they are rugged, have dual battery (or floppy drive) bays with a DVD drive on the side and they have a mini firewire port.

    I prefer the standard color palmrests.

    I think you might still be able to get new batteries for it.

    If you like P3 laptops check out the A30 Thinkpad and the T23 Thinkpad.
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

  3. #3

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    Yes, these machines are definitely quite rugged.

    New batteries would be nice. The one I have I there now is decent, but it could be better.

    And yes, I do like Pentium III laptops! Looks like the T23 and A30 had optional 1400 X 1050 displays, which is awesome. I’ve kinda gotten hooked on these high resolution displays! Will probably look into getting a T23 or A30 at some point.

  4. #4
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    There are A30 models with 1600x1200 (A30P which has 1.2Ghz P3 ,Radeon 7000 graphics and 1Gb PC133 RAM).
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

  5. #5

    Default

    Sweet! I completely forgot to mention the graphics on the Inspiron 8000. It has an ATi M4 32MB graphics card.

  6. #6

    Default

    A few thoughts I'd like to add to this old thread;

    In the OP I was running Windows XP on the Inspiron 8000. I've pretty much decided against running XP on my 8000s now, because there's just no point; I have an 8100 and an 8200, which are much better suited for XP (especially the 8200). The 8100 also runs XP really well (as long as you have a fast hard drive - that is an absolute requirement if you want XP to be fast).

    The 8000s also run XP very well as long as you have a fast hard drive, but like I said, there's just no point for me to run it on these now, so I'm going to stick with 98, Me and 2000 on these from now on (which is what these 8000s were designed for). I actually haven't tried Me on an 8000 yet, so that will be a experiment for the future.

    Currently, on this 8000 that I am typing on right now (which isn't the one in the OP, but I do still have that one too and it still works fine), I have a Windows 98/2000 dual boot on it, which I am really liking a lot. This one also has the 1600 x 1200 display that I adore so much. However, it has only got a lowly 700Mhz Pentium III, but I am going to be replacing that with a 900MHz Pentium III that I just ordered. These can take up to 1GHz, but I have heard that they run quite hot with a 1GHz, so I went with the 900 in hopes that it might run a little cooler.

    I'm still so glad I discovered these things. Once I started looking at the specs on these before I got one and saw how high-res the screens were, I just couldn't believe it, and had to have one. I had never even heard of a 1600 x 1200 display until I saw these. I don't think I'll ever find a Pentium III laptop that I like more than these. I have, however came across a Pentium III laptop that I actually like just as much as these, but not more, and I like it just as much for a different reason than why I like these. I will be making a thread about it once the part I ordered for it arrives (the part is coming from the U.K., so not sure how much longer it will be before it arrives).

    I would still like to get a ThinkPad A30 (which are very similar to these Dells in a lot of ways), but I quickly realized when looking for one of those just how hard the high-res screen models are to find. I actually never saw one for sale (haven't looked in quite a while though). And, being a ThinkPad and all, it kind of falls victim to the "collector" thing, so when the high-res models do come up, they probably go for a good bit more than a regular one. I do love old ThinkPads though, it's just hard to find good, reasonably priced ones these days (they can be had with patience though). Most of the A30s came with a lowly 1024 x 768 display, and that resolution at 15 inches is pretty much crap. These Dells had a minimum of 1400 x 1050 which is much, much better than 1024 x 768 on a 15" display.

    Sorry to drudge up most of my old Dell-related threads

  7. #7

    Default

    Got the 900MHz CPU installed! I swear it probably didn't even take me 5 minutes to swap the CPU out! Easy to service; another one of the many reasons I like these so much.

    IMG_4495.jpg

  8. #8

    Default

    Well, the 900MHz CPU was getting stupid hot (almost 100 degrees Celsius!), and for some reason the screen would just go white instead of showing the splash screen when Windows 98 was starting up, so I have reverted back to the 700MHz CPU for now, which has cured all of these symptoms.

    I'm running the latest BIOS and everything, so I'm not sure what the issue is.

  9. #9

    Default

    Well, I finally found those wonderful yellow palm rests! Found a 4-pack of colored ones on eBay for an exceptionally good price, and snapped the up instantly!

    Pics:

    IMG_4758.jpg

    IMG_4759.jpg


    The yellows ones are just badass in my opinion. They contrast so massively with the rest of the machine. Very cool that I got some other colors too. These are not easy to find these days, and I couldn't be happier to own them!

  10. #10

    Default

    I had a Latitude C840 way back in the day as well, I think the Inspiron equivalent of that was the 8200. Beastly machines for the day.
    Daniel P. Cayea - The Lyon Mountain Company - Plattsburgh, New York 12901
    Vintage Equipment: IBM 5150 * IBM 5161 * ThinkPad 770ED
    Modern Equipment: MacBook Pro 13 * Alienware M15R3

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