I’ve been a fan of Dell laptops right since the time I started using it. Infact, the only brand that comes to mind when it comes to laptops, is Dell.
I had used a Dell D620 and a Dell D630 when I started working while I was travelling to the States back in 2009 and 2010. They were solidly built – Sure, the plastic quality did not match up to the higher end HPs or even Apple, but they did serve me very well
Come 2011, with my new job at burrp.com, I was given an option to either use the company all-in-one desktop PC or get my own laptop within some pre-defined budget. A LOT of research later, I finalized on the Dell XPS 14 L401X purely for the very good build quality, the specs were top notch with the Intel i5 2nd gen processor and 4GB of RAM. A special mention goes to the XPS’ JBL speakers which were purely EPIC. Paired it with 2 years of additional warranty and I was all set.
Almost 3 years down the line, the speakers were replaced once, were about to get replaced the 2nd time, hard drive showed signs of dying (zero bad sectors in almost 3 years) and the daughter-board USB connector was replaced once. That’s pretty much it. The XPS was purely one of the best investments I had done in years
Dell stopped production and support for the XPS and during my last conversation with them regarding changing the speakers and hard drive, I was offered a brand new Dell Inspiron 15R top-of-the-line. How can one say no to that!?
Alright, here are my impressions of the Inspiron 15R
Dell Inspiron 15R – 5537
Intel i7 4th gen processor HU-4500
1TB 5400 RPM SATA Hard Drive
AMD Radeon 8670M 2GB dedicated graphics card
Windows 8.1 Single Language 64-bit OS preinstalled
15.6″ touch-enabled LED screen
6 cell battery (which is actually a monster!)
The one I was given is the Moon Silver version which is actually a dark-ish gray brushed finished laptop. The build quality is excellent!
It is almost extremely thin when you compare it with laptops 2-3 years older. Infact, this is slightly thicker than the old White Macbooks, though a little on the heavier side
1. The battery gives me backup for at least 4 hours of web browsing and video (XPS gave me 2 at best)
2. The screen is very vibrant and much more brighter than my older XPS
3. Absolutely no complaints about the 8GB RAM and 1TB hard drive. That’s pretty much the best you get
4. Build quality is great!
5. USB 3.0 ports
1. The keyboard is the chiclet one, but the travel is too little. I usually end up skipping a couple of keys while typing Maybe I’ll get it right with time
2. There is some leak from the HDD, Power, Wifi and battery LED when looking at the laptop from the top
3. The upper-wrist rest area is kinda sharp
4. I sorely miss the eSATA port which let me charge my phone even when the laptop was turned off
5. I really miss the JBL speakers The speakers on the Inspiron 15R sound tinny, lack bass and are positioned very awkwardly at the bottom
At about 60k, I feel this is a very good buy. Get the latest ones with the 4th gen Intel Haswell processors which are extremely efficient and will give very good battery life.