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Dell Inspiron 15z review

Dell's latest family-friendly Windows 8 Ultrabook

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It's difficult to find fault with the Dell Inspiron 15z as a standard, everyday laptop. It fulfils all the basic requirements and isn't difficult to use. However, consumer trends are changing. Ultrabooks are, for the most part, more desirable and far more portable than this.

Whether you want a laptop-tablet hybrid, Ultrabook, tablet or laptop comes down to personal preference.

While the Dell Inspiron 15z doesn't offer a full resolution display, masses of portability or an expansive hard drive, it does offer good usability and an attractive price tag. If all you want is a new, Windows 8-running laptop for the family, then Dell has produced another worthy contender.

We liked

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The solid construction and design of the Dell Inspiron 15z, along with its usability, are excellent reasons to consider this laptop. Not only that, but the performance and specifications are both more than reasonable for the price.

There are a couple of bonus features, such as the presence of a RW DVD drive and a backlit keyboard, that also lift this above the budget range.

We disliked

The Dell Inspiron 15z would benefit a great deal from having a touchscreen as standard. This would enable you to interact better with the Windows 8 UI and go some way towards future-proofing the Ultrabook.

Given the popularity of tablets and the new crop of hybrids arriving at the moment, customers are comfortable with touchscreens on PCs, and the absence of it here makes the Dell Inspiron 15z feel dated. We also would have liked to see a better resolution, more hard drive space and a better battery.

Final verdict

The Dell Inspiron 15z continues to deliver an accomplished laptop experience without any of the extra bells and whistles that manufacturers use to market new devices.

It's an old-fashioned laptop experience with significant build quality, design and technical power to lift it above the hoardes of budget notebooks.

It doesn't cling to any one discipline - being neither a truly portable device, nor a gaming laptop, nor a hybrid, but manages to successfully cover all the bases.

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