Dell Inspiron 17.3-Inch Laptop (i17RV-5457BLK) Review

Dell Inspiron 17.3-Inch Laptop (i17RV-5457BLK)

The Dell Inspiron 17.3-Inch Laptop (i17RV-5457BLK) is a powerful general purpose machine that should cope easily with everyday computing tasks, and have enough spare capacity to handle some more challenging activities, too.

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Driving this machine is a 4th Generation Intel Core  i5-4200U processor. This is a dual-core, Ultra Low Voltage CPU specifically designed to provide a good balance between performance and energy efficiency in laptops and Ultrabooks. Based on Intel’s Haswell architecture, the processor supports both Hyperthreading and Turbo Boost technologies.

Hyperthreading allows each of the two cores to handle up to two threads in parallel, ensuring that the processor is always making best use of available resources. Of course, some tasks are more demanding than others; for challenging tasks, Intel’s Turbo Boost technology allows the processor to increase the speed of each core, as needed, from their base speed of 1.6GHz up to a maximum of 2.6GHz. In doing so, it is able to reduce power consumption for trivial tasks, while still delivering maximum performance when it’s needed.

The processor is supported by 6GB of DDR3L memory, configured as 1x4GB module and 1x2GB module. This should be more than enough memory to allow the machine to perform its expected workload without difficulty, enabling the pre-installed copy of Windows 8 to run well and multi-task your favorite applications with ease.

Pros :

  • Intel Core i5-4200U Processor 1.6 GHz
  • Large 750 GB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
  • 17.3-Inch Screen
  • Windows 8

Cons :

  • Graphics may be underpowered for serious gaming

For permanent storage of you documents, pictures, music and movies – and, of course, your application software – the machine is fitted with a 750GB Hard Disk Drive (HDD). As with the memory, this generous amount of storage capacity should be more than enough for most purposes. However, should you eventually need additional storage, it’s an easy matter to connect an external USB HDD to one of the machine’s USB ports.

Staying with disk drives for a moment, this machine features a built-in DVD/RW. Although not as important as they once were, they are still widely used for installing software, burning music CDs or just watching a movie from your collection, and is good to see one built in to the i17RV-5457BLK.

The machine’s 17.3 inch display with Truelife is LED backlit, and offers HD+ resolution of 1600 x 900 pixels – ideal for getting work done on the move, or for relaxing with a movie after hours. Of course, there will be times when, no matter how good the built-in screen, you will want or need to use a bigger display. For those occasions, this machine features an HDMI port, making it easy to connect to an HTDV or modern monitor, projector etc. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a legacy VGA port, so if you’re planning to attach this laptop to an older monitor, you may need to invest in an HDMI to VGA adapter.

There are, however, four high-speed USB 3.0 ports, ensuring that you will be able to effortlessly connect all your favorite peripherals to the machine. And, for network connectivity, a standard Ethernet port sits alongside the now-ubiquitous 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, giving you the choice of wired or wireless networking, as the need, circumstances or mood takes you. A memory card reader and headphone / microphone port round off the array of input / output ports around the sides of this machine’s case.

The stylish black case itself measures 20.20 x 13.13 x 3.58 inches (L v W x H) and weighs 9.4 pounds. Although by no means the smallest or lightest machine on the market, this laptop is still easily portable and, thanks to its 6-cell battery, should have plenty of power available no matter where you take it.

Overall, the Dell Inspiron 17.3-Inch Laptop (i17RV-5457BLK) is an affordable yet capable machine, easily able to cope with everyday tasks and some more demanding applications too. It may not be ideal for serious gaming, although casual games should be well within its capabilities, but as a general purpose workhorse it has a lot going for it. If you’re looking for a powerful laptop for work, school college or just for fun, this could well be the machine for you.

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