Dell Inspiron 15 i15RV-953BLK 15.6-Inch Laptop Review

Dell Inspiron 15 i15RV-953BLK 15.6-Inch Laptop

The Dell Inspiron 15 i15RV-953BLK 15.6-Inch Laptop is an affordable, entry-level machine suitable for everyday computing tasks.

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Powered by an Intel Pentium 2127U processor with a 2M Cache and running at 1.9 GHz, it should have no difficulty with jobs like checking email, updating social status, video chatting with friends, watching movies and routine office / productivity software, although it may struggle with more demanding applications. This processor is a dual core, Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) component, based on Intel’s Ivy Bridge design although, as you would expect from a CPU intended for use in entry-level machines, some of its more sophisticated features are disabled. Nonetheless, it should be perfectly capable of handling the routine tasks for which is intended.

The processor is supported by 4GB of DDR3 RAM. This should be enough memory for the installed copy of Windows 8 to perform well, multitasking your favorite applications with ease. Of course, more memory is always better, but the supplied 4GB is a sensible compromise between price and performance for this class of laptop.

Pros :

  • Good General Purpose, Entry Level Laptop
  • Intel Pentium Dual Core 2127U Processor (2M Cache, 1.90GHz)
  • 4 GB DDR3
  • 500 GB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
  • Windows 8

Cons :

  • Underpowered for serious gaming

Similar considerations apply to the 500GB Hard Disk Drive (HDD) that provides this machine with permanent storage for documents, pictures, music and movies, as well as your software applications. While this kind of conventional HDD is considerably slower than the Solid State Drives (SSDs) found in top of the range laptops, and the supplied unit offers less storage capacity than those in mid-range machines, it is, nevertheless, likely to be more than adequate for the relatively undemanding tasks that this device is likely to be used for.

With a 15.6-inch, 720p, HD, 1366×768 pixel, LED  display driven by integrated Intel HD Graphics, the machine should have no difficulty in handling everyday tasks, including watching movies, whether streamed from an online service or played directly from the HDD or built-in 8X CD / DVD Burner. As you would expect from the constraints imposed by the relatively low-end processor and limited memory, the machine isn’t intended for playing sophisticated, demanding games (although it will probably cope well enough with casual games) and its graphics hardware reflects that design goal – fine for day-to-day computing, but it will struggle with resource-hungry games.

Naturally, no matter how good the built-in display may, there will be times when you need something bigger – perhaps when watching a movie, or making a presentation. For those times, the machine provides an HDMI port, making it easy to connect to an HDTV or modern monitor. It doesn’t offer an older-style VGA port, though, so if you want to connect to an old monitor or projector, you will need an adapter.

In addition to the HDMI port, the machine has the usual array of input / output ports that you would expect from a modern laptop. Network connectivity is provided through 802.11 b/g/n WiFi for wireless connections, and an Ethernet port ensures that there should be no problem in connecting to conventional, wired networks. The laptop’s wireless card also supports Bluetooth, making it easy to connect to wireless peripherals such as mice and headsets.

For wired devices like printers, mice and external disk drives, the machine offers four USB ports – two standard USB 2.0 ports and two high speed USB 3.0 ports. Although the USB standard means that ports and devices are interchangeable – USB 2.0 devices will work on USB 3.0 ports and vice versa – you will only get the full benefits of USB 3.0 by connecting USB 3.0 devices to USB 3.0 ports. For that reason, peripherals that need to transfer lots of data quickly, such as external disk drives, are best connected to a USB 3.0 port, while slower, less demanding devices like mice are best used on a USB 2.0 port.

An 8-in-1 Media Card Reader makes it easy to transfer images and files onto the laptop from your camera or cellphone, and a built-in webcam ensures that this machine is video-chat capable right out of the box.

Overall, the Dell Inspiron 15 i15RV-953BLK 15.6-Inch Laptop is an excellent entry level machine. It isn’t, and doesn’t claim to be, a powerful gaming laptop, but as a budget-friendly laptop suitable for everyday tasks it has much to recommend it. If you’re in the market for a machine for casual use – perhaps as a second laptop, or for a novice user, or to help the kids with their homework – this could well be the laptop you’ve been looking for.

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