Dell Inspiron 15R review
The only issue we have is the glossy display, and even that isn’t a major complaint. The 1,366 x 768 resolution is exactly what we’d expect at the price, and it provides a bright picture with a maximum luminance of 259cd/m2.
Colour reproduction is reasonably natural-looking and accurate, too – at least by budget laptop standards. However, a rather low contrast ratio of 217:1 drags the Dell down into the middle of the pack, and results in darker scenes lacking in detail and looking washed out.
Fire up the Dell’s speakers, and you’re likely to feel a little more forgiving towards the display. Yet again, Dell has harnessed Waves’ MaxxAudio sound-enhancing software and it works wonders.
With the audio enhancement turned off, the Dell’s tiny speakers deliver a performance that’s reasonably loud, but sounds dull and lifeless. Switch on the audio enhancement, however, and the audio that emerges is transformed, becoming crisper, more lively and more listenable than almost any budget laptop.
With several different presets, and the ability to tailor the individual settings to obtain the best results across a wide range of music and movie soundtracks, the Waves technology proves to be an absolute godsend.
Elsewhere on the laptop, there are four USB 3 ports, D-SUB and HDMI video outputs, and an SD card reader. Disappointingly, though, networking isn’t quite so generous. There’s only 10/100 Ethernet, and the wireless adapter isn’t dual-band, but you do get Bluetooth 4.
It isn’t the perfect combination, then, but no budget laptop ever is. What the Dell Inspiron 15R does manage to do is strike a good balance between affordability, performance and all-round quality that no other budget laptop can match. If you want a do-it-all system that will turn its hand to anything from Adobe Photoshop to FIFA 2013, Dell’s Inspiron 15R is the one to buy.
|Warranty||1yr collect and return|
|Dimensions||347 x 240 x 21mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Core i3-2370M|
|Motherboard chipset||Intel HM77|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,366|
|Resolution screen vertical||768|
|Resolution||1366 x 768|
|Graphics chipset||AMD Radeon HD 7670M|
|VGA (D-SUB) outputs||1|
|Hard disk usable capacity||931GB|
|Optical disc technology||DVD writer|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|Wired adapter speed||100Mbits/sec|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|Integrated 3G adapter||no|
|Wireless key-combination switch||yes|
|3.5mm audio jacks||2|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Memory Stick reader||yes|
|MMC (multimedia card) reader||yes|
|Smart Media reader||no|
|Compact Flash reader||no|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad|
|Hardware volume control?||no|
|Camera megapixel rating||1.0mp|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||5hr 27min|
|3D performance (crysis) low settings||39fps|
|3D performance setting||Medium|
|Overall Real World Benchmark score||0.61|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows 8 64-bit|
|OS family||Windows 8|
|Recovery method||Recovery partiion|