Just as promised a technician was sent out to fix the Dell laptop the following day. The laptop is back up and running although there’s a small issue that they are still working on. The tech had to replace the motherboard, which went fine. The problem is the laptop now thinks it’s a Dell Latitude and not a Dell Precision like it actually is. It doesn’t seem to have affected usability of the laptop, but the tech said the problem would be when I went to run updates from the Dell website. So they are getting the bios issue straightened out and it’ll be back to were it was. Overall I was impressed with Dell’s support and speed. It was a much better experience than I was expecting.
Update: 12/1/05 A tech came out today and got the Dell Precision laptop working correctly. The problem with the laptop thinking it was a Latitude and not a Precision is fixed and the laptop is back to how it was before the motherboard up and died. While I am impressed with the performance and design of the Dell Precision we have decided to go with the IBM laptops for our project instead of the Dell’s. The IBM laptops are actually higher priced and the warranty isn’t onsite like the Dell’s, but our confidence level is much higher than with the Dell’s at this point. Hopefully this turns out to be a good decision.