I've been very happy with my Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop since purchasing it over a year ago. I bought it online, customized it to meet my needs, and this lovely machine has performed without complaint. There's a chip on the lower left edge of the white trim; I'm not quite sure how it got there. And I had to replace my keyboard once--Dell support was very helpful and shipped one to me by the next day.
As for battery life? Well, the battery charge lasts a long time--I can get four, four and a half hours out of my laptop if I'm not doing anything more strenuous than browsing or writing--listening to music or playing videos drains it a little faster. This is a marked improvement over the twenty minute lifespan of my Toshiba Satellite's battery, which is one of the reasons I love this laptop so much! :D
The battery's life, however, could have been better--past tense. The original battery has reached its golden years in a little under a year and a half of service. Unfortunately, Dell's batteries are covered under a separate "standard" 12-month warranty. If the battery fails after that, you have to buy a new one, which can be as much as $300! Talk about highway robbery.
So I began to use the Internet for something it does very well: finding good deals. With laptop batteries, this can be a challenge: every manufacturer designs its batteries differently, and quality is important--I certainly didn't want to get a battery that only lasts me six months, or one that only stays charged for an hour.
Eventually I came across LaptopBatteryStore.ca. It ships from Canada, which is great, because that means no customs delays and prices in Canadian dollars. Furthermore, these weren't refurbished batteries--these are batteries manufactured specifically to match the specs on each machine. So I found the battery designed to fit in an Inspiron 6400--it was $99. That's a much better deal than what Dell was offering. It came with a 30-day money back guarantee and a 12-month warranty, same as my original battery. so even if the battery fails, I can send it back and I won't be any worse off than I was at the start of this quest.
My battery arrived several weeks ago. So far, the battery life is as good as my original battery was when I got my computer. Nothing has exploded yet. I am quite happy to have found this deal!