Here at Montpelier we are definitely a Dell shop.  I've been buying
Dells almost exclusively for over six years now and I continue to
recommend them enthusiastically.  The Optiplex desktop system is
reliable and standardized as much as possible. Their Dimension system
for home use will have whatever components the market is offering the
best deal on, but you can count on Optiplexes of the same model having
the same components.  At least that's our experience.

But it appears you are looking at laptops rather than desktops.  We've
gone to Dell's here as well, after a bunch of bad Toshibas five years
ago.  The Latitude line is the Optiplex equivalent  for their laptops
and the Inspiron corresponds the desktop Dimensions.  We do have some
IBM Thinkpads and have been satisifed with their performance as well.
Gateway seems iffy to me.  I think they are getting pretty hungry and
I've heard stories of them compromising quality to hit a particular
price point.  I've seen people get some great deals with Gateways, but
I've also seen some problems.  And there have been times when their
support has been really awful.

I'd certainly recommend Dells.  I've had very few problems/support
calls other than a Latitude I bounced off the floor from a height of
about 6 feet a week or so ago. No, it didn't survive (motherboard
cracked I think), but they overnighted a new motherboard and had a
technician in the next day to repair it.  This is with the standard
three-year warranty on Latitudes (not the cheapest, but it's the default
warranty with their standard quote).


Vince Rossano
Information Technology Director
Montpelier Public Schools
58 Barre Street
Montpelier, VT 05602

Voice: (802) 229-5355
Fax: (802) 223-6146
Email: [log in to unmask]

>>> [log in to unmask] 9/30/2003 11:02:54 AM >>>
Hi all,

Winooski School District is a Mac School but we are starting to buy a
few PC computers. I'm curious what brand other schools are buying - I
just called the big three and Gateway has a laptop for $1399, Dell
has the same one for $1700 and IBM is around $1700. To me a Pee Cee
is a Pee Cee. What are your thoughts? I quoted a Intel Pentium M
Processor 1.3 GHz, 14" display, 512MB RAM.

- Bryan

Bryan Thompson
Technology Coordinator
Winooski School District
60 Normand Street
Winooski, VT 05404
Phone: 802-655-2555
Fax: 802-655-6538
AIM: bryantg3
mailto:[log in to unmask]