I recently ordered two Dell Studio notebooks online and I was pleasantly surprised by the wide variety of options offered.
Here are some selections for those who are interested:
Choose your CPU, RAM, hard disk: You can tweak the options and get instant feedback on the total price of your notebook. Usually I'll buy the maximum RAM (i.e. 4GB) and get the fastest CPU (Core 2 Duo) my budget can afford, since the faster CPUs tend to be very expensive and are probably not cost-effective.
Windows Vista and Microsoft Office: Other brands of notebooks come preinstalled with a specific edition of Vista (like Vista Home Basic) and upgrading to a different edition can be a hassle. With Dell, I chose to preinstall Vista Ultimate because it offered the options that I needed (like backup and multimedia).
Screen size (15- or 17-inch), resolution and backlighting: You can choose a higher resolution screen (up to 1440 by 900 pixels for 15-inch screens) with WLED backlighting, which is brighter than the older CCFL backlit displays.
Blu-ray drive: You can now transfer huge files and watch high-definition movies with Blu-ray discs and a Blu-ray drive on your notebook. Dell has a slot-loading Blu-ray drive that looks sleek.
Backlit keyboard: With a backlit keyboard the keys can glow in the dark and let you work in dim lighting. It's good for working on overnight flights.
Extended service package: At a reasonable price, Dell offers up to three years of night and weekend onsite service and accidental damage protection. If you depend on your notebook for critical business work, it's probably a good idea to get onsite help whenever you have serious problems with your notebook. Recently, I had problems booting Windows Vista on my Sony notebook; I wish I had onsite help.
Color: Personalize your notebook by choosing your color. I could choose from 16 color combinations.
The downside for having a variety of options to choose from? You need to wait a little longer for Dell to assemble your custom notebook. I ordered two 15-inch Dell Studio notebooks in two different colours; both were delivered together in about two weeks (along with two Belkin Messenger Bags that I ordered as options).
So far I haven't had problems with the notebooks and PCs that I ordered online from Dell. So you can count me as a satisfied Dell customer.