Be Wary if Buying a Dell Laptop - HotUKDeals
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Be Wary if Buying a Dell Laptop

jase.2 Avatar
1d, 3m agoPosted 1 decade, 3 months ago
Guys

I bought a dell inspirion 6400 laptop via a deal on here recently and had some problems and wanted to share one so everyone is aware of what dell is doing.

It now appears they do not make laptops with a PCMCIA Card slot of which this is obviously one of the main routers for expansion of a pc , usually for wifi, 3g , TV cards etc and has caused me extreme problems as this 6400 wont take my old laptop's PCMCIA cards as the new technology EXPRESSCARD IS NOT backwards compatible with PCMCIA.

Some of my friends are quite techy and none had heard of express card and i cant find any uk retailers that sell them but all of the us retailers sell them. Seems strange for dell to supple with technology not readily available particularly when its not backward compatible with PCMCIA

Ive copied a quote from dell's website and the official site of expresscard (us based) which doesnt mention the impact or details for the UK.

If anyone knows of anywhere that sell these expresscards please post details

http://www.expresscard.org/web/site/http://www.expresscard.org/web/site/

  • Express card slot: Please note that this system has a ExpressCard slot and support the ExpressCard format only. This system does not have a PCMCIA card slot.
  • Other Links From Dell:
    jase.2 Avatar
    1d, 3m agoPosted 1 decade, 3 months ago
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    [mod]#1
    Its been this way (Express card slot) with Dell for some time now and although you may want to hold onto the older pcmcia slot you really cant blame Dell for changing over their design of motherboards to the new system. You only have to visit the pcmcia website to see this message:

    Please note that the PC Card Standard is closed to further development and PCMCIA strongly encourages future product designs to utilize the ExpressCard interface.

    Its hardly Dells fault that the express card slot has found not many uses, many things like bluetooth, WIFi and TV cards are now either catered for on board the laptop or available on USB. By using USB many cards have dual purpose, being able to be used not only on laptops but also PC's which is a good thing.
    We could say why change from AGP to PCI-e graphics cards as I have a cupboard full of the older ones or DDR ram to DDR2.
    Technology moves on all the time in the quest for faster smaller computers and I guess like me most of you have lots of last years tech stuff in the cupboard which is near worthless now due to the speed things are moving at.
    Thats just the way it is in the world now.
    1 Like #2
    Some of my friends are quite techy and none had heard of express card and i cant find any uk retailers that sell them but all of the us retailers sell them. Seems strange for dell to supple with technology not readily available particularly when its not backward compatible with PCMCIA

    I have to say your friends aren't very techy then - Express card slots are a natural evolution as we've moved from PCI to PCI-Express, we've also moved from PCMCIA (basically a PCI slot) to Express Card (PCI-Express slot). The problem is that manufacturers won't produce express cards until there are slots, hence Dell's change to the new standard.

    Just to be clear on this, it's not just Dell - many companies have moved to express card slots with the release of Core Duo laptops, it's nonsense to think that this is something underhand Dell have done which no-one else has.

    John
    #3
    John

    Dell could make it a hell of a lot clearer than anyone with pcmcia cards wont be able to use them and also that if u want to run devices using expresscard no one sells them including dell

    However its stuck down at the bottom on the very last line of the pc spec and i think most people take pcmcia slot for granted.

    So hopefully my post has informed people about this and thats all the post was intended for to maybe stop some other people getting problems like me :)
    [admin]#4
    Then Apple Macbook Pro also has a Express card slot instead of the old pcmcia. It's been like that since they switched to Intel in February or whenever that was. Hopefully we'll start getting more peripherals using this soon.
    #5
    yeah, in mobile world, no retailers that I know of do data cards in expresscard format, only pcmcia.

    Apparently customer was told in a pc shop that most laptops will start to have the express card slots from now on as opposed to the oldformat.
    I guess its down to progression of technology !?
    #6
    By making a solid move to Express card on the manufacturer side it should encourage companies to produce express cards - there is a USB adapter available for pcmcia cards (although not widely available), I've also seen some rumours of a device to allow pcmcia cards in express cards but nothing further yet.

    John
    #7
    jase.2
    John

    Dell could make it a hell of a lot clearer than anyone with pcmcia cards wont be able to use them and also that if u want to run devices using expresscard no one sells them including dell

    However its stuck down at the bottom on the very last line of the pc spec and i think most people take pcmcia slot for granted.

    So hopefully my post has informed people about this and thats all the post was intended for to maybe stop some other people getting problems like me :)


    You're still missing the point, as I thought I made clear this is not just Dell - most companies selling Core Duo laptops have now moved to express card slots meaning you need to stop highlighting Dell specifically.

    JOhn
    #8
    John

    Im assuming you work for Dell due to your massive defence of them??

    Bottom line is regardless of WHO uses expresscards it should be made crystal clear that it uses express and not pcmcia cards end of story

    Im simply warning other hotukdeals users to watch for it to save themselves the same problems ive had and actually felt i was HELPING !!!
    #9
    no John is not working for Dell and he is right...
    #10
    [SIZE=2]It looks like the two technologies need to coexist instead of one big switch over. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=2][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=2]Maybe there's a niche in the market for laptop manufacturers to provide both PCMCIA and express card connections on laptops if this is possible.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=2][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=2]Thanks for the heads up Jase.2 and extra info Johnmcl7...[/SIZE]
    #11
    Some of the Toshiba laptop have both ports
    Tecra M5 for one
    #12
    jase.2
    Im simply warning other hotukdeals users to watch for it to save themselves the same problems ive had and actually felt i was HELPING !!!


    You are :) and I for one thank you for the information.
    #13
    That happened to a unit i bought, rang the back and told them i didn't want it as i had existing PCMCIA cards i wanted to use with the laptop. They then passed me to customer service and offered me a £50 refnd to keep it, so i did.
    #14
    what sort of pcmcia cards do you need to use? apart from 3G vodaphone cards i can't really see a need for pcmcia slot or express card slots as most of todays laptops have inbuilt wifi, dvdr/cd drives, sound and inbuilt modem/lan etc

    Unless your using the slot for anything other than the above i don't really see what your problem is.

    I also bought a dell laptop a couple of months ago and it's clearly stated that an expresscard slot is present if you click on the spec of any of the laptop machines on dells site.

    I don't think it's an issue with many people buying laptops as usb has really taken the lead in connectivity.

    Dell are not the first people who have moved over to express card, asus and apple have also ported over to the next gen slot as many others will shortly follow as newer models come to light.
    #15
    blackster
    what sort of pcmcia cards do you need to use? apart from 3G vodaphone cards i can't really see a need for pcmcia slot or express card slots as most of todays laptops have inbuilt wifi, dvdr/cd drives, sound and inbuilt modem/lan etc

    Unless your using the slot for anything other than the above i don't really see what your problem is.

    I also bought a dell laptop a couple of months ago and it's clearly stated that an expresscard slot is present if you click on the spec of any of the laptop machines on dells site.

    I don't think it's an issue with many people buying laptops as usb has really taken the lead in connectivity.

    Dell are not the first people who have moved over to express card, asus and apple have also ported over to the next gen slot as many others will shortly follow as newer models come to light.


    +1 I agree

    If you do have legacy PCMCIA cards you have to use then consider getting a USB->PCMCIA adapter for your laptop.
    #16
    I recently bought a dell 640m which also has the expresscard slot. I researched this a bit before purchasing and came to the following conclusions

    1) Expresscard is the "new pcmcia", similar to how PCI-E replaced AGP in graphics cards. You don't get any motherboards with PCI-E and AGP slots together. Nor is PCI-E "backwards compatible" with AGP.

    2) The manufacture of expresscard modules (i.e. 3G cards, TV cards etc) will increase in the coming year.

    3) It did state in the 640m specifications that it would have an expresscard and I am always careful to read through ALL the specs before buying something as expensive as a laptop, and I would urge others to do the same. If you don't know what something means, look it up or ask the sales assistant before buying.

    You state "a PCMCIA Card slot of which this is obviously one of the main routers for expansion of a pc" which was true in the past, but expresscard is the new technology which will be (and has started) replacing PCMCIA.

    You also say "not backward compatible with PCMCIA" which is true, but why should it necessarily be so? Sure that would be useful to some people, but you could argue that all laptops should be backwards compatible with all interfaces (how many laptops now come with floppy drives, serial and parallel ports?) but that laptop would be enormously cumbersome, expensive, and you'd not use all those ports.

    Hope that helps, I don't really think Dell are in any way out of order here.

    As many people have said, you could do one of the following things

    a) Choose a laptop which has a pcmcia slot (older laptop)

    b) get a USB -> pcmcia adapter

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