Dell is always known for manufacturing laptops which are not only performance oriented, but are also crafted beautifully to suit budgets of every kind. One such good example is the Inspiron series. Dell has kindly sent over the new Inspiron 15R for us to review, which is powered by an Intel i3 processor and an IntelHD GPU – it should be interesting to see how well it performs when compared to others in the market.

Good power beneath the hood

Design and Build Quality
The Insprion 15R sports a revamped design, which ditches the old plasticky look and instead uses a brushed faux-metal finish on the lid. Add to that a bright red colour and the big Dell logo in the centre; it looks much more modern and contemporary than its predecessors. Those who don’t want the flashy colour can opt for a range of other colours that Dell provides.

The same brushed metal finish is carried on the inside as well. Both the matte black keyboard as well as the touchpad are recessed, which allows for a very flat and clean look.  The entire keyboard is moved forward, nearer to the screen, which allows for a lot more space for you to place your palms helping ease stress to your wrists. One small little detail which looks cool is the LED indicators for the CPU and battery usage, they have a cool white glow which is white different from the other generic indicators and is a nice little touch from Dell.

We have just one complaint when it comes to build quality. While the Inspiron 15R feels sturdy with a strong built chassis, the keyboard was a bit of a downer. It flexed quite a bit when in use and has a very soft feel to it when typing. But then some people may prefer the soft tactile feedback and it’s not something that is set in stone. The touchpad on the other hand is simply brilliant, it has a smooth finish, but at the same time has enough resistance to track your movements perfectly. During our tests and daily use, it performed superbly and never let us down.  One thing worth nothing is that the keypad is half the size as it would be on regular laptop keyboards and could be an issue for those with big fingers.

The Inspiron 15R we are reviewing today is powered by an Intel i3 processor and has 4GB of RAM in dual-channel configuration. The processor should be enough for your day to day tasks as well something that needs a little extra horsepower to accomplish.

Intel i3-370M and Intel HD Graphics

Graphics are powered by an Intel HD GPU, which is good enough for watching HD movies without stutter, but will not cut it in any way when you try to play games on them. But then again, this laptop was designed for someone who chooses productivity over gaming. The 15.6-inch LED display has a resolution of 1366×768, which is standard for most laptops on the market today. While it has good colour reproduction, the glare from the glossy finish does detract from the experience. The Inspiron 15R packs in a Western Digital 500GB Hard Drive as well a host of connectivity options.

Well laid out connectivity options

You won’t be left in the lurch when it comes to connectivity options. The Inspiron 15R packs in four USB ports on three sides of the laptop. The one on the right includes a USB/eSATA port, SD card slot, DVD drive and the Ethernet jack. While the left has the audio jacks, a USB port and an HDMI port. The rear features the power plug, VGA port and two more USB ports. Other options include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, which are things that are now pretty much expected on every notebook.


Good performance numbers for a workhorse laptop

The Inspiron 15R performed quite well in our tests. With the i3 processsor and 4GB of RAM, the notebook can perform almost any task you set for it. Running multiple applications at the same time or watching an HD is accomplished without breaking a sweat. Speaking of movies, the speakers on the Inspiron 15R are placed at the bottom, just below the touchpad. It is loud and clear enough for you to enjoy music or movies but if have a habit of placing the laptop on your lap, then you may block the speakers and all you will end up with is muffled sounds.

Heat, Noise and Battery Life
Dell has done quite well when it comes to heat dissipation. Places which normally warm up after extended use like the area near the touchpad and the bezel below the screen were quite cool with just a hint of heat. This does speak volumes of how well the laptop disposes of the heat.

The Inspiron 15R was as silent as a whisper when it came to noise levels. Even during full load when we were running our tests, the noise levels were noticeable, but not so much that it would distract you from your day to day tasks.

The Inspiron 15R comes with a 6-cell battery as a standard. On a full charge and the battery plan set to high performance, we were able to get a good three hours and twenty five minutes out of it. But using it for your daily tasks and with the battery plan set to balanced, you should be able to get more out of it.

Priced at Rs. 52,800 (with a 1 year Complete Cover warranty) , it seems to be a tad bit overpriced. While a discrete GPU is available, it does not come as a standard which is a downer. The Inspiron 15R is a great laptop for those who like a clean, understated look while having enough power under the hood to do whatever they choose. In short, the Dell Inspiron 15R is a great all-round notebook and should be on your list, if you are looking for a new workhorse.

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