The Bottom Line
- Solid Performance From Core i5 Processor
- 6GB of DDR3 Memory
- Above Average Sized Hard Drive
- Not Customizable Like Dell's Previous Offerings
- Graphics Lack Direct X 11 Support
- Lots Of Adware
- Intel Core i5-460M Dual Core Mobile Processor
- 6GB PC3-8500 DDR3 Memory
- 640GB 5400rpm SATA Hard Drive
- 8x DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Burner
- 15.6" WXGA (1366x768) LED Backlit Display With 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
- ATI Mobility Radeon HD 550v Dedicated Graphics
- Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11a/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- Four USB 2.0, eSATA, HDMI, VGA, 7-in-1 Card Reader
- 14.8" x 10.3" x 1.3" @ 5.8 lbs.
- Windows 7 Home Premium, Office Starter, McAfee Security Center
Guide Review - Dell Inspiron 15R 15.6-inch Thin And Light Laptop PC
Nov 5 2010 - Dell's Inspiron 15R may make up the new budget friendly offering from the company but they do offer some feature rich versions that come in under $1000. Their high end model comes equipped with the Intel Core i5-460M dual core mobile processor that offers a good level of performance is just about any type of applications. In addition to this, Dell also offers 6GB of DDR3 memory that helps the system with memory intensive applications or multitasking better than much of the competition that ships with 4GB.
Like the system's memory, Dell offers a slightly above average 640GB hard drive that gives it roughly 25 percent more space for applications, data and media files than laptops that use 500GB drives. The drive does spin at the more traditional 5400rpm spin rate so it won't be as fast as smaller drives that use the 7200rpm desktop rate. A standard dual layer DVD burner handles playback and recording of CDs and DVDs. For just $50 more, Dell does offer a version that includes a Blu-ray compatible drive for watching movies. A 7-in-1 card reader allows the system to read the most common flash media cards.
Graphics are mixed on the Inspiron 15R. The 15.6-inch screen is quite bright with good viewing angles but it still retains the glossy coating found on many consumer laptops which generates glare and reflections. Its the graphics that are an issue. The ATI Mobility Radeon 550v may sound like a new graphics processor but it is actually based around the older 4000 series processors that are only Direct X 10.1 compatible. In fact, it is most closely related to the Radeon 4650. It will handle casual 3D gaming up to the panel's native 1366x768 resolution but it won't display any new Direct X 11 features.
The standard battery pack included with the Dell Inspiron 15R is a six-cell variety that is fairly common in the industry right now. In DVD playback tests, this yielded roughly two and a half hours of playback time before going into standby mode. With more traditional usage, it should run for roughly another three quarters of an hour. All this is falls pretty much in the middle of the pack. Those that want to have longer running times can purchase an upgraded nine-cell battery pack but it does stick out the back of the laptop by another inch.
Included with the Dell Inspiron 15R is the software dock that is similar to the feature in the Mac OS X. This makes it useful for quickly accessing applications but Dell fills the bar up with quick links to many trial and ad support applications that is quite annoying. Thankfully the dock is customizable so uses can remove these applications. It would just have been nice to see Dell not go down the road that many other computer companies are by loading these applications.