Dell Inspiron 15.6-Inch Laptop (i15RV-1435BLK) Review

Dell Inspiron 15.6-Inch Laptop (i15RV-1435BLK)

The Dell Inspiron 15.6-Inch Laptop (i15RV-1435BLK) is an inexpensive entry-level machine, designed to handle everyday computing tasks. Checking email, surfing the web, updating social status, video chat, playing HD video and running standard office software should all be well within its capabilities.

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It is driven by a third generation Intel Core i3-3217U processor running at 1.8 GHz. This dual core, Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) processor is designed for use in small laptops and Ultrabooks, balancing processing performance with power consumption to give the pest possible user experience. Although this is an older model processor, based on Intel’s Ivy Bridge architecture, it is still more than powerful enough to cope with the tasks that this laptop is designed for.

The processor is supported by 4 GB of DDR3L memory. This should be enough to allow the installed copy of Windows 8 to perform well, and run web browsers, video chat software, word processors etc without difficulty. Of course, more memory is always useful, but the 4 GB installed in this machine represents a sensible compromise between cost and performance that, again, shouldn’t impact upon the machine’s ability to fulfill the tasks it was designed for.

Pros :

  • Great, inexpensive, entry-level laptop
  • Intel Core i3-3217U Processor
  • 4 GB DDR3L SDRAM
  • 500 GB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
  • 15.6-Inch Screen
  • Windows 8

Cons :

  • Underpowered for serious gaming

A 500 GB Hard Disk Drive (HDD) provides permanent storage for your documents, images, music and movies. As with the machine’s memory, this should be more than sufficient to meet most users’ needs, and represents a reasonable balance between cost and storage capacity. And, should you really need more storage at some future date, it is an easy matter to attach an external HDD to one of the machine’s USB ports.

On the subject of storage, this machine features a built-in DVD-RW optical drive. Although not as important as they once were, they are still useful – for watching movies from your collection, or installing software, for example – and the presence of one in this laptop is a very welcome thing.

The machine’s 15.6-inch, 1366 x 768, LED backlit display is driven by integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000. Performance should easily be good enough for routine tasks, including watching HD video and even casual gaming, but it will struggle with the demands serious games make of graphics hardware. Of course, this isn’t, and doesn’t claim to be, a gaming laptop; it’s an entry level device, suitable for everyday tasks, and is entirely capable of carrying them out.

There will, no doubt, be times when you want, or need, to attach an external display to this laptop – perhaps to watch a movie in comfort, or make a presentation. For those occasions, the machine features an HDMI port, making it easy to connect to a modern HDTV or monitor. It doesn’t have a legacy VGA port, however, so if you think you might need to connect to an older display, you will need to buy an adapter.

Other connectivity options include 2 standard USB 2.0 ports and two high speed USB 3.0 ports for connecting your favorite wired peripherals. Bluetooth is also supported for connecting to wireless devices such as mice, keyboards and headsets.

The machine supports both wired and wireless networking. It features a standard Ethernet port for connecting to conventional wired networks, and built-in 802.11 b/g/n WiFi for access to wireless networks.

A built-in webcam makes the i15RV-1435BLK video-chat ready right out of the box, and, since the supplied copy of Windows 8 includes the popular Skype software, there’s nothing to do but sign in and start chatting.

Finally, a media card reader rounds off the usual list of input / output options, making it easy to transfer images onto the computer from your camera or cellphone.

The machine measures 19.29 x 13.15 x 3.31 inches – large enough to be fairly robust, but not so large that it’s difficult to carry around. And, with a full-sized keyboard and built-in numeric keypad, you can be sure of getting the job done no matter where you may take it.

Overall, the Dell Inspiron 15.6-Inch Laptop (i15RV-1435BLK) is a great choice for an entry-level laptop. It should be capable of handling the routine tasks it was designed for with ease, although it may struggle with the demands of heavy-duty gaming. If you’re looking for a basic laptop – perhaps for a senior, to help the kids with their homework, or just for carrying undemanding computing tasks – this could well be the machine for you.

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