there are positives n negatives mate.
theKEY with laptops is to test your sound interface (eg the inspire if u keep it.)
with the laptop prior to buying the laptop.
heres the problem..time and again people buy laptops (and desktops...)
only to find a problem with their chosen sound interface.
this is bass ackwards. ONLY buy the new laptop (or desktop)
after haveing tested it works with your chosen sound interface.
for example the vendor of my new pc let me test it in my studio for ten days,
on condition icould return it if a problem.
this gave me time to chek it out.
search under my name for lots of laptop comments over past year.
if your leery of buying a off the shelf laptop consider someone like adk or sonica maybe who specialise in pc's for recording.
BUT i'm sure if i had your dell i could rescue it n make it work.
cos i would prolly test out some pci sound cards with it.
till i found one that worked well.
for laptops i recommend TI fwchipset..2 gigs ram, XP, ..
intel core duo 2 processor.
and if possible two 7200 rpm drives.
one for OS and one to record to.
WATCH OUT FOR SLOW INTERNAL LAPTOP HARD DRIVES !!
me personally i'm in love with a quad core desktop q6600
ive been testing out with 2 or 3 gigs of ram.
you might wanna see this>>>>note the performance...a desktop.. cheap quad core... acer quad performance - Cockos Confederated Forums
BUT as always BUYER BEWARE. do your own testing with your song projects n sound device prior to purchase... cos your inspire might not work with it.
on the other hand it might.