Dell Inspiron 700m Processor: 1. 6 GHz Intel Pentium M RAM: 512 MB Hard drive: 80 GB Weight: 4. 6 lbs. (5. 5 lbs. with power adapter) Display...

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Processor: 1.6 GHz Intel Pentium M

RAM: 512 MB

Hard drive: 80 GB

Weight: 4.6 lbs. (5.5 lbs. with power adapter)

Display: 12.1-inch widescreen LCD

Dell offers seven lines, each of which emphasizes a particular quality: compact size, low price, multimedia, computer games and so on. The Inspiron 700m we tested lands in the middle of Dell’s price range. It sold for as low as $899 recently, and our upgraded test unit came in at $1,479.

Like most Dell models, it can be a great choice if customized wisely. Going with a standard configuration, however, may limit its appeal.

The best upgrade on our 700m was a higher-capacity battery, which costs $99 more than the standard unit. It enabled the 700m to run for more than 3 ½ hours playing a DVD; when set for maximum battery life, with Wi-Fi shut off, it lasted just shy of six hours.

This long-life battery added just under half a pound to the 700m’s weight, pushing it past 4.6 pounds (a too-hefty power adapter adds almost another pound).

The 700m’s keyboard is small, at 10 inches across, but comfortable. Its widescreen LCD is also on the compact side but is clear and bright.

— Kevin Savetz

Special to The Washington Post