Dell Inspiron 15 Laptop Review Summary
The Dell Inspiron 15 laptop offers a decent balance between price and performance. It is an affordable laptop that is capable of performing all day-to-day computing activities including light gaming. Additionally, the laptop boasts a nice build quality and a decent selection of ports. Most importantly, it offers memory and storage upgrades.
Design, Dimension &
Weight – 9
Processor CPU Performance – 7
Memory RAM Performance – 6
Storage Options &
Performance – 7
Graphics Card Performance – 6
Performance – 7
- 1. Decent port selection
- 2. Features a 10th Gen Ice Lake CPU
- 3. Equipped with an SD card reader
- 1. Stiff hinges
- 2. Below-average battery life
Are you in search of an affordable laptop that is capable of running your daily tasks efficiently? If yes, you need to read this Dell Inspiron 15 laptop review as it may just be the one!
To get you familiar with the Dell Inspiron 15 laptop, I will run you through its features and specifications. Particularly, I will discuss its design, processor, memory, graphics, storage, and battery performances.
Furthermore, I will provide a rating after each section of this review to help you discover how the laptop performed in each aspect. Finally, at the end of this review, you would be able to make an informed purchasing decision.
Dell Inspiron 15 Laptop Review: My Initial Thoughts
Dell Inspiron series is a mid-tier category of laptops that have been around for donkey years. Laptops from the series are mostly known for their bland designs.
However, the Inspiron series has been recently revamped and modernized.
Obviously, Dell Inspiron 15 laptop belongs to the Inspiron family. Moreover, it is a versatile laptop for web browsing, productivity tasks, and light gaming.
This laptop offers decent performance at a mid-range price.
Check the price of Dell Inspiron 15 laptop.
Having given a hint about what to expect of the Dell Inspiron 15 laptop, let’s get into the in-depth analysis of its features and specs.
Dell Inspiron 15 Laptop Design, Dimension & Weight Review
Dell built the chassis of the Dell Inspiron 15 laptop using a combination of aluminum alloy and plastic. Considering the price range of the laptop, you won’t get an all-metal chassis however, the brushed metallic finish of the laptop gives it a premium look.
Dell designed the lid with a silver metallic finish, this gives the laptop a more expensive look than it actually is. On the center of the lid, you’ll find the dell logo in silver color, blending perfectly with the rest of the lid.
Opening the lid of the laptop requires the use of two hands due to its stiff hinges. However, when you open it, you will see the screen surrounded by narrow bezels.
Moving your gaze towards the base, firstly, you will find the power button which also doubles as a fingerprint scanner. The fingerprint sensor is responsive and it makes logging in to Windows easier than having to type in passwords.
Next, on the base of the laptop, you’ll find the chiclet-styled keyboard – it is a collection of black keys that are backlit enabled. Additionally, the keyboard is full-sized with a Numpad and directional arrow keys.
The keys are responsive with an adequate travel distance as well as an actuation force of about 80g. Furthermore, the keys produce nice tactile feedback when pressed which makes typing seamless.
Below the keyboard, you’ll find the touchpad which was awkwardly placed to the left of the keyboard rather than been placed at the center. The touchpad has a matte finish and it is made of plastic just like the keyboard.
In addition, the touchpad uses Windows Precision Drivers, therefore, the laptop supports, gestures, swipes, and taps. However, the touchpad requires a lot of pressure to actuate its clicking mechanism.
For the laptop ports, Dell offers an impressive collection of ports. On the right-hand side, you’ll find a USB Type-A 2.0 port as well as an SD card reader.
Similarly, most of the ports are located on the left side – so on the left side of the laptop, you will find the power connector and an optional USB Type-C port. Additionally, you’ll find an HDMI connector, an Ethernet connector, two USB Type-A ports, and an audio jack.
Moving on to the weight and dimension, the laptop has a dimension of 363.9 x 249 x 18 mm and a weight of 2050g. Although it is not the slimmest or lightest laptop in its category, it passes as a good travel companion.
Comparatively, the laptop is heavier than the Lenovo Thinkpad X250 which measures 306 x 209 x 20 mm and weighs 1360g.
Thankfully, in my opinion, the Dell Inspiron 15 laptop has a premium design as well as a solid build quality. Therefore, I will rate it a nine in this aspect.
Dell Inspiron 15 Laptop Processor (CPU) Performance Review
Dell powers the Dell Inspiron 15 laptop with a 10th generation Intel Icelake processor. Furthermore, the laptop comes in three processor configurations which we’ll discuss shortly.
But before we do, it is worth mentioning that only premium laptops like Dell XPS 13 come with an Icelake processor. Impressively, Dell has recently started bringing Icelake CPUs to their mid-tier lineup.
Moving on to the processor configurations, firstly, you can get the laptop with a 2 Core Intel Core i3-1005G1 processor. Moreover, the Core i3 processor has a cache memory of 4 MB, a base frequency of 1.20 GHz, and a boost frequency of 3.40 GHz.
Secondly, you can get a configuration with a 4 Core Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor. Additionally, the Core i5 processor has a cache memory of 6MB, a base frequency of 1.00 GHz, and a boost frequency of 3.40 GHz.
Finally, you can get the laptop with a 4 Core Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor. Furthermore, the Core i7 processor has an 8MB cache memory, a base frequency of 1.00 GHz, and a boost frequency of 3.60 GHz.
The unit I tested shipped with the Core i5 processor. To determine the processor performance I performed a CineBench 20 test.
As a result of the test, Dell Inspiron 15 scored 1401 points.
Comparatively, this result lags behind that of the Lenovo Ideapad S540 15. The Lenovo has an Intel Core i5-8265U processor and it scored 1485 points in my test.
In conclusion, The outcome of the test is surprising considering that the 8th Gen processor of the Lenovo Ideapad S540 performed better than the 10th Gen processor of the Dell Inspiron 15.
Therefore, I will rate it a seven in this aspect.
Dell Inspiron 15 Laptop Memory (RAM) Performance Review
The Dell Inspiron 15 laptop has two RAM slots which can take up to 16GB. The model I tested came with 8 GB RAM on one slot while the other slot is empty.
Dell has done a good job with upgradability. Therefore, if you need to upgrade the memory you can easily add another 8 GB RAM stick in the 2nd slot – thereby doubling the total RAM to 16 GB.
However, the 8GB RAM of the unit I tested was an excellent multitasker. Consequently, I was able to open more than 20 chrome browser tabs and seamlessly switch between them without experiencing stutters.
Furthermore, to determine the memory performance of the laptop, I performed a PCMark 10 test. Based on the test result, the laptop scored 4060 points.
In comparison, the laptop performed below the HP Pavilion 15-cs2019ng which scored 4100 points.
Finally, The 8GB RAM is a sufficient performer. However, it underperforms in comparison with competitors.
Therefore, I will rate the memory performance of Dell Inspiron 15 a six.
Dell Inspiron 15 Laptop Storage Options & Performance Review
Let’s talk about the storage options of the Dell Inspiron 15 Laptop. The laptop has a SATA 3 slot for HDDs, as well as a PCIe NVMe slot for SSDs. Hence, the laptop offers quite a number of storage configurations.
To buttress my point, you can get the laptop with hard disk drives starting from 500 GB up to 2 TB. Besides, you can also get Inspiron 15 with solid-state drives starting from 128 GB up to 1 TB.
The model I reviewed shipped with a 512 GB SSD. 512 GB of storage should be sufficient for most people to store pictures, music, videos, and games.
However, if you need more storage space, you can easily increase the SSD capacity. Alternatively, you can add an HDD to the SATA 3 slot.
To determine the transfer rate of the SSD, I performed an AS SSD benchmark test.
Based on the test result, the laptop recorded a sequential read speed of 1114.77 MBps. Also, the laptop recorded a sequential write speed of 840.99 Mbps.
Furthermore, Dell has offered this laptop with an SDCard reader. Transfer rates from the integrated card reader are slow just like it usually is on other Inspiron laptops.
To illustrate the transfer rate of the SD card, I Transferred 1 GB worth of pictures from the SDcard to the desktop. The transfer took about 44 seconds compared to 7 seconds recorded on the Dell XPS 15.
In conclusion, the transfer rates from the SSD as well as the SD card reader are slower than those found on costlier laptops. Therefore, I will rate it a seven in this aspect.
Dell Inspiron 15 Laptop Graphics Card Performance Review
Although the Dell Inspiron 15 laptop is not a gaming laptop, it can play some demanding games at low settings and resolutions.
For graphics configurations, you get either the Intel UHD Graphics or the Iris Plus graphics depending on your processor choice. These two graphics choices are integrated into the laptop – they are inbuilt with no dedicated VRAM.
Alternatively, you can go for the NVIDIA GeForce MX230 which has 2GB GDDR5 dedicated VRAM.
The model I tested has a dual graphics configuration – comprising of the dedicated GeForce MX230 card and the integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics. Both graphics cards allow users to view pictures, watch videos, and other graphical activities.
Furthermore, the laptop features NVIDIA Optimus technology. Speaking of the NVIDIA Optimus technology, it automatically switches between the two graphics options as needed.
Consequently, Optimus activates the GeForce MX230 when performing graphics processing that is too heavy for the Iris Plus graphics.
To access the graphics performance of the laptop, I performed a 3DMark test. Based on the result of the test, the Dell Inspiron 15 laptop scored 2452 points.
In comparison, the Lenovo Ideapad L340 15 scored 2728 points. Unfortunately, Dell Inspiron 15 laptop lags behind the Lenovo despite having the same dedicated MX230 graphics.
All these considered, I will rate the graphics performance a six.
Dell Inspiron 15 Laptop Battery life & Performance Review
Dell Inspiron 15 laptop comes with a 3-cell 42whr battery. This is definitely not a huge capacity battery, especially for a 15.6-inch laptop.
To determine the performance of the battery, I performed a battery test. In the test, I set the screen brightness of the laptop to 120 nits. I also turned off all other programs except the browser that was surfing over 70 websites.
Based on the test result, the Dell Inspiron 15 laptop lasted 5 hours 15 minutes. Consequently, the laptop underperformed in comparison with the Lenovo Ideapad L340 15.
Surprisingly, the Lenovo IdeapS L340 15 lasted 6 hours 25 minutes despite that it only has a 3-cell 36Whr battery. For this reason, I will rate the battery performance of Dell Inspiron 15 a seven.
Dell Inspiron 15 Laptop Review: Final Thoughts
The Dell Inspiron 15 laptop offers a decent balance between price and performance. It is an affordable laptop that is capable of performing day-to-day computing tasks, including light gaming.
Additionally, the laptop boasts of a nice build-quality and a decent selection of ports. Most importantly, it offers upgrade options for memory and storage.
In conclusion, I would recommend this laptop only for users who need an affordable laptop for general usage.