The days of Dell’s Inspiron notebooks being underpowered are over – the 2011 update to the 15R sees the inclusion of a dedicated 1GB NVidia GeForce GT525M graphics card – which although one of the more pedestrian models in NVidia’s current crop, is perfectly capable of running the latest games, albeit at 720p. Unfortunately the screen itself is incapable of displaying HD Video, although in 720p video runs flawlessly, but it can be streamed to an external display using the HDMI socket.
Muted brushed metal grays and rounded edges everywhere give the notebook a non-confrontational but stylish appearance, and the interior is an expanse of glossy black. Let’s take a lok at some pictures of Dell Inspiron 15R notebook:
Processor-wise the Dell Inspiron 15R features an Intel Core i5 2.3GHz dual-core i5-2410M with Intel’s Turbo Boost Technology boosting individual core speed to 2.9GHz. The 15R’s 4GB RAM assists it in reaching above-average scores for a mid-range notebook.
The 15.6″ 1366 x 768 pixel screen, thanks to the glossy finish and ultrabright LED backlight, delivers super-vivid colors and razer-sharp images. The stereo speakers are a bit better than is normal for notebooks, and are decent enough to avoid the need for external speakers, at least for general use.
The Inspiron 15R’s keyboard offers an acceptable experience – good spring and feedback make for assured typing. The full numberpad should keep office folk happy. We have to mention that the keyboard was verging on springy, in our opinion the worst feature of the notebook.
The touchpad’s smooth finish helps fingers glide effortlessly across its surface, and multitouch gestures work fabulously well.We thought the buttons had excessive travel, which led to uncertain feedback, but users will very likely adapt to such a small failing.
Ports on the Inspiron 15R are arranged spaciously, and it boasts two USB-3 ports for maximum file transfer speed. The Inspiron 15R also provides a DVD re-writer and multi-format card reader. Altogether there are three USB ports (so that’s one USB-2 if anyone’s maths is a bit weak), an eSATA/USB port, and the usual HDMI and VGA outputs, with two 3.5mm sockets for headphones and a mic.
There’s a 1-megapixel webcam above the display. Our machine has a 500GB hard drive, although more storage space is available if you’re willing to cough up for it. The laptop runs the 64-bit edition of Windows 7 Home Premium.
Tipping the scales at 2.6kg , the Dell 15R is quite a hefty package, but is just about portable. Good batery life helps make this a viable proposition, delivering more than five hours in light usage tests, courtesy of NVidia’s Optimus technology, which de-activates the dedicated graphics processor when it isn’t needed.
With the last version of the Dell 15R, gaming was well-nigh impossible, but this version’s premium quality display and the Core i5 processor-Nvidia pairing make the Dell 15R a very impressive all-rounder whether for office or gaming use. Needless to say, any machine which can handle current games will have no problem running office software. Thus we heartily recommend the Inspiron 15R as a mid-priced notebook. TigersDirect offers
Dell Inspiron 15Rfor $579.99 and Amazon has
Dell Inspiron 15R starting at $552.45. Cnet has this Dell Inspiron 15R notebook review video:
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