Dell Inspiron 15R Review
The newly redesigned Dell Inspiron 15R (starting at $550, Amazon) outdoes other budget laptops with its myriad features and peppy performance. In a Dell 15R review from Laptop Mag, an expert notes the rich, vibrant colors and crisp detail of the 15.6-inch display, although he acknowledges that the screen's high-gloss finish is very reflective. The audio is actually quite good for a laptop, according to this Dell 15R review, which helps contribute to this system's solid multimedia performance. So far reviews have focused on a stepped-up version of this laptop with the latest Intel Core i5 processor, as opposed to the older Intel Core i3 CPU on the base model. Like other budget laptops, this machine has integrated graphics processing that isn't quite up to the task of playing intense PC games on high settings, but it's more than capable of handling everyday applications. The Laptop Mag reviewer adds that the keyboard has a satisfying feel and the touchpad accurately registers multi-touch gestures. An expert from About.com points out that this laptop includes four USB 3.0 ports, at least twice as many as competing budget models. The battery life came up just shy of four hours in the site's testing -- better than the previous version but not quite as good as other budget laptops with less powerful processors.
The Dell Inspiron 15R is available in a variety of configurations. The $549.99 version has a second-generation Intel Core i3-2370M CPU, 6 GB of RAM, and a 750GB hard drive. We prefer the $599.99 version, which has a more powerful third-generation Intel Core i5-3210M CPU and a 500GB hard drive. The 15.6-inch screen has a resolution of 1366 x 768, which means the laptop is capable of playing 720p high-definition video. In addition to the four USB 3.0 ports, the 15R has an HDMI port and a multimedia card reader.
We like the new Dell Inspiron 15R because it offers a third-generation Core i5 processor and four USB 3.0 ports for less than $600. Its multimedia capabilities seem very good for a budget laptop, and experts say its large touchpad easily handles multi-touch gestures, something that often stumps other low-cost models. Consumers would be hard-pressed to find better performance and specifications for the price.