The Bottom Line
- Well Priced Especially With Discounts
- Solid Performance From Core i3 Processor
- Smaller Hard Drive
- No 802.11n Support
- Not As Customizable As Other Dell Laptops
- Intel Core i3-330M Dual Core Processor
- 3GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
- 250GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 15.6-inch WXGA (1366x768) WLED Backlit Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- Intel GMA 4500MHD Integrated Graphics
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g Wireless
- Three USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, 7-in-1 Card Reader
- 15" x 9.8" x 1.3" @ 5.5 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Works, McAfee Security Center
Guide Review - Dell Inspiron 1564 15.6-inch Budget Laptop PC
Apr 8 2010 - Dell's Inspiron 1564 is the latest revision of their Inspiron 15 model that uses the new Intel Core 2010 processors. Their budget class model uses the Intel Core i3-330M dual core processor that actually provides a very strong level of performance. In fact, this processor provides more power than many of the Intel Core 2 Duo processors found in more expensive versions just months before. To cut the costs down, Dell does ship their budget model with just 3GB of DDR3 memory instead of the more typical 4GB which will impact multitasking at times.
To keep the Inspiron 1564 entry level system with a price below $600, Dell did sacrifice some features including the hard drive. It uses a smaller 250GB hard drive compared to the more typical 320GB drive. It spins at the standard 5400rpm spin rate which means that performance will also be a bit slower than those that have switched over to using 7200rpm desktop spin rate drives. A dual layer DVD burner handles all the CD and DVD playback and recording.
Dell advertises the Inspiron 1564's 15.6-inch display as having a WLED backlit. This essentially implies that the LED backlight provides a wider color range than standard CCFL backlights. Most laptops are now using LED backlights so there is not much advantage and the blacks tend to be more washed out with its high brightness settings. Driving the graphics is the Intel GMA 4500MHD found on just about every budget laptop. This provides enough performance for handling HD video streaming but lacks and real 3D performance for tasks like PC gaming.
The budget class Inspiron 1564 comes with a six cell battery pack rated at 48WHr. This is fairly typical of budget class systems and means that battery life won't be as long as more typical laptops such as with the optional nine cell battery. In my DVD playback testing, the battery pack was able to achieve roughly two and a quarter hours of running time before going into standby mode. This translates into roughly three to three and a half hours of more typical usage.
With a base price tag of roughly $640, Dell offers a number of discount incentives on their systems that results in a price tag that can easily be found for under $600. This makes it extremely affordable but they did sacrifice a few other features to reach this price. With 802.11n now an official standard, most laptops include this as a standard feature. This version of the Inspiron 1564 only comes with 802.11b/g support which may disappoint those wanting high speed wireless networking.
Dell has also been known for their wide range of customization options when ordering laptops. In the case of their budget Inspiron 1564, it is considered a fast track item. This means that the internal components can not be upgraded at the time of the order. Only external peripherals can be added to the bundle.