The Inspiron 9100 is Dell's "desktop replacement". In other words its
big, heavy, and has a low battery life, but gives you a fantastic
widescreen LCD, Hyperthreaded P4, DVD/CD burner, reasonable graphics
card, and all sorts of options and ports:
PCMCIA (1 single width port)
IEEE 1394 or Firewire
audio in/out (headphone out, mic in)
USB 2.0 (3 normal and 1 'powered' USB port, aka Dell D/Bay, for
which I haven't yet found any devices). The powered USB port can be
used as a normal usb port also.
Dell's multimedia output, which uses a breakout cable to give you<>:
<>digital coaxial audio out
There is however no serial port. To get around this, I use a generic
USB-serial adapter with a pegasys chipset. You also get a Touchpad
with two buttons, and a trackstick with two buttons.
The 9100 looks like the 8600 on a (23mm) thick docking station. In
fact, on first sight, most people thought the dark gray base was some
sort of moulded plastic stand. When I explained it was all one piece,
no one understood why it was so large.