First looks at the 7500 series reveal a similar looking design to the 7000 range, and with its massive 15.4in TFT panel, the 7500 R450YT is certainly no smaller than its predecessor.
This model boasts a mobile Pentium III 450MHz processor and a whopping 128Mb RAM. In the graphics department sits an ATI Rage Mobility processor with 8Mb of RAM, and the 12GB IBM hard disk drive provides plenty of storage space.
Like the 7000 series, the 7500 also has a Combo Mediabay into which an integrated floppy/CD-ROM, second battery or second hard drive can be fitted. Our machine had a 6x DVD drive and floppy drive installed. Popping a DVD in proved that the 7500 was more than up to the job of smooth digital video playback.
The Megabay has the primary Li-Ion battery, but a third hard drive can be installed to provide up to a total of 75Gb storage. Two SODIMM slots are free, giving you plenty of room for expansion up to 512Mb. One item missing on our check list was a modem, although you can slot one into one of the free PC card slots.
The 7500 is a true desktop replacement and would be well suited to any mobile professional who needs the functionality of their office PC on the move. However, they will have to bear the burden of 4.22kg on their shoulder, because the 7500 is no lightweight. Dell claims an operating time of between 3.5 and 4 hours, so the 7500 should last the distance.
Using the new Sysmark 2000 and 3DMark 2000 test suites, we rigorously tested the 7500. Generally we find laptops less powerful than their desktop counterparts, so the 7500 proved its worth in Sysmark, scoring 100 points. This is identical to the performance of a similarly configured desktop system. The 7500 is capable of running 3DMark 2000, and even though the device scored only a poor 729 3DMarks, older games at low resolutions should run fine.
In terms of usability, the display's high native resolution of 1280 x 1024 pixels may make text slightly too small for some people, but even at other resolutions text is smoothed and perfectly readable. One other important point is the keyboard layout. The design is very similar to that of a desktop keyboard, which means that you hit the right keys all the time. This is handy if you switch between laptop and desktop PCs regularly.