Dell Inspiron 15R review

Price when reviewed

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.

Dell Inspiron 15R

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.

Dell Inspiron 15R

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

Physical specifications

Dimensions 347 x 240 x 21mm (WDH)
Weight 2.790kg
Travelling weight 3.3kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Core i3-2370M
Motherboard chipset Intel HM77
RAM capacity 6.00GB
Memory type DDR3

Screen and video

Screen size 15.6in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,366
Resolution screen vertical 768
Resolution 1366 x 768
Graphics chipset AMD Radeon HD 7670M
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 1


Capacity 1.00TB
Hard disk usable capacity 931GB
Spindle speed 5,400RPM
Optical disc technology DVD writer
Battery capacity 4,400mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0


Wired adapter speed 100Mbits/sec
802.11a support yes
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes
Integrated 3G adapter no
Bluetooth support yes

Other Features

Wireless key-combination switch yes
Modem no
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
xD-card reader no
Pointing device type Touchpad
Hardware volume control? no
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? yes
Camera megapixel rating 1.0mp
TPM no
Fingerprint reader no
Smartcard reader no

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

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