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Dell Inspiron 15R (Core i3) review

Aggressive performance and usability, combined with a great design

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1366 x 768
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Good performance
  • Good features
  • Nice screen

Against

  • Battery life
  • Only 250GB of hard drive space

Dell has been on a good run of form recently, releasing a wealth of great laptops. The Inspiron 15R is such a machine and, although portability is poor, its strong performance, design and usability still make this a great choice.

The Intel Core i3 430M processor is the most powerful in the Core i3 line-up, consequently, produces solid performance. This makes this laptop ideal for those after a machine which will run resource-intensive programs with ease and happily multi-task everyday programs without showing any signs of system lag.

It's also worth mentioning that there is another Dell Insprion 15R equipped with a Core i5 processor for a bit more performance grunt.

The dedicated ATi HD 5470 graphics card is identical to that used in the Acer Aspire 5741G-354G32Mnsk, but its 1024MB of video memory squeezes that little bit more performance from the card. As a result, the Dell is ideally suited to those with multimedia aspirations or those looking for strong all-round performance.

Benchmarks

Battery life: 166 minutes
MobileMark 2007: 242
3D Mark 2003: 10,011

Stunning screen

The 15.6-inch screen is fantastically bright, crisp and clear and you'll be impressed by how good your photos and movies look. The panel also boasts a good viewing angle and the screen is very readable, even when not looking at it from front on. However, the Super-TFT screen coating creates distracting reflections in bright light.

The keyboard is good, but feels a little cramped compared to the Acer Aspire 5741G-354G32Mnsk and even the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 11-inch. Nevertheless, we were more than happy typing on it for hours at a time. A dedicated numeric keypad is included for inputting data.

Build quality is good and the faux brushed-aluminium interior looks great. Dell claims the palmrest to be smudge-resistant and we certainly found it hard to mark, meaning less cleaning is needed.

Portability is a little dubious and the 166-minute battery life is unfortunately poor, largely thanks to the powerful components on board. Similarly, the 2.7kg weight is not the easiest to carry around. This means this laptop isn't ideally suited to a life on the road, and those looking for a portable partner would do well to consider the Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 11-inch.

A healthy batch of features include an HDMI out port for connecting the laptop to an external monitor, and even an eSATA port for transferring data to and from compatible external hard drives at high speed.

Dell inspiron 15r

The 250GB internal hard drive is disappointing, however, especially compared to the value offered by the Toshiba Satellite Pro C660-171 and MSI CX623-258UK. Those with a lot of content could quickly run out of space.

Overall, however, we were very impressed by the Dell Inspiron 15R. The excellent power and great usability on offer make this a laptop that is very easy to recommend and it will especially suit those with families, thanks to its allround versatility.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Hard Drive Capacity320 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD Graphics
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
HDMIYes
eSATA/USB ComboYes
Product FamilyInspiron 15R
Processor Modeli3-370M
ColourBlack
Operating SystemWindows 7 Home Premium
Brand NameDell
Processor Speed2.40 GHz
Processor TypeCore i3
Screen Size39.6 cm (15.6")
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory3 GB
Weight (Approximate)2.64 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelHM57 Express
Optical Media SupportedDVD±R/±RW
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Height34 mm
Width376 mm
Depth262 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product Series15R
ManufacturerDell, Inc
Product NameInspiron 15R Notebook
Product LineInspiron
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number5010-9723
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.dell.co.uk
Marketing Information

The Inspiron laptop's sleek new design is not only an ease for your eyes, but it also seamlessly travels by your side without getting in your way. Upon opening the Inspiron, your eyes will be immediately drawn to the brushed metal appearance of the smudge-proof palm rest. The keyboard's 10-key numeric keypad makes it easy to work with applications that require data entry or directional moves.

Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • Inspiron 15R Notebook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter