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Dell Inspiron 15z review

Dell's latest family-friendly Windows 8 Ultrabook

Our Verdict

Product features

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

View full specification

For

  • Comfortable keyboard
  • DVD drive
  • 6GB RAM
  • Discrete graphics

Against

  • No touchscreen
  • Poor battery
  • Only 720p HD
  • Too large to be portable

One of the hallmarks of a Dell PC is its usability, and the Dell Inspiron 15z is no different. The keyboard is very comfortable to use, with a decent amount of travel on each key. One surprising factor is that despite a width of 15 inches across the chassis, Dell hasn't included a dedicated numeric keypad.

The centrally-placed touchpad also isn't as wide as it could be, although it was pleasingly responsive. Given that you'll be navigating the Windows 8 user interface with the touchpad rather than the screen, this is a big plus point for the Dell Inspiron 15z.

Dell Inspiron 15z Ultrabook review

Unfortunately, one element of the Dell Inspiron 15z's performance that doesn't hold up to scrutiny is the battery life. We ran our Battery Eater benchmark test alongside some looped HD video to simulate high usage, and the battery lasted a mere 108 minutes.

While we don't expect anyone to purchase the Inspion 15z to take out on the road, it would still benefit from a stronger battery performance.

Benchmarks
Cinebench 10: 5,995
3D Mark '06: 7,532
Battery Eater '05: 108 minutes

There's a reasonable amount of storage afforded by the 500GB hard drive. And, although we've become accustomed to seeing laptops with 1TB of storage, this does keep the price down.

Because this is an Ultrabook, it also features an internal 32GB SSD, which handles the Intel Rapid Start Technology. It's remarkably sharp when powered up from either sleep or a complete shutdown - helped by the fact there's almost no bloatware pre-installed on this computer.

Dell Inspiron 15z Ultrabook review

The Dell Inspiron 15z comes with a DVD RW optical drive that will win it favours with those who prefer physical media. While much content is now downloadable, we still have an extensive back catalogue of programs, movies and music sitting in our CD racks.

Day-to-day performance is very smooth, and even when we had several browser tags open, video playing and three or four programs open in the background, the Dell Inspiron 15z didn't appear to break a sweat.

Dell Inspiron 15z Ultrabook review

There's a decent amount of volume to be had from the built-in Skullcandy speakers, but this isn't an audio-focused laptop in the same vein as the HP Envy series.

If you're really into sound clarity then you'll probably want to invest in a decent set of headphones or some external amplification.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNotebook
Hard Drive Capacity160 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelGMA X4500HD
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeDVD-Writer
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time4.38 Hour
Solid State Drive CapacityNo
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyInspiron 15z
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Processor ModelSU4100
ColourBlack
Brand NameDell
Processor Speed1.30 GHz
Processor TypePentium
Screen Size39.6 cm (15.6")
Number of Cells4-cell
Screen Resolution1366 x 768
Standard Memory2 GB
Cache2 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
64-bit ProcessingYes
Chipset ManufacturerIntel
Chipset ModelGS45 Express
Optical Media SupportedDVD±R/±RW
Dual-Layer Media SupportedYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyTrueLife
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
Total Number of USB Ports3
Memory StandardDDR3-800/PC3-6400
Height26.4 mm
Width380 mm
Depth247.9 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product Series15z
ManufacturerDell, Inc
Product NameInspiron 15z DNCWKF1 Notebook
Product LineInspiron
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberDNCWKF1
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.dell.co.uk
Marketing Information

Introducing the new thin, light and ultra mobile Inspiron 15z laptop. Packed full of mobile features like a 15.6¨ Hi-def display, up to a 500GB hard drive with 7200RPM and a built-in, 7-in-1 media card reader, the 15z gets you through your day with everything you need. And with long-lasting battery options, you can take on your on-the-go lifestyle without any hesitation.

Maximum Memory6 GB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Limited Warranty1 Year
Bus Speed800 MHz