Dell Inspiron 15

The Dell Inspiron 15 is likely the best bang for buck you'll get for AU$1000, from its battery life to its upgrade options. We do miss the numpad, but the rest is perfect for the budget-conscious user.


8.5
CNET Rating
8.8
User Rating

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CNET Editor

Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.


Design and features

Out of all the sub-AU$1000 laptops we've reviewed recently, the Dell Inspiron 15 is the only one to sacrifice the numpad, leaving only the standard keyboard for typing. It's also the only model opting to use a Core 2 Duo processor, with its competitors limited to the lower-end Pentiums, Celerons and Athlons. Our particular model came in at AU$999, but if you choose the Celeron route you can get it down to AU$699.

While we received a black laptop, you can switch to ice blue for free, or add an extra AU$44 for dark blue, red, white or pink. You can also get some rather funky Mike Ming designs on the lid, but this will cost you an extra AU$124.30 just to stand out.

Regardless of the colour option you choose, the interior will stay piano black, with a single silver power button featured in the middle at the top under the monitor. The tiny speaker grille sits above this, although given the sound quality we'd suggest you stick to headphones.

The touchpad, with its textured surface, is nice enough to use, and has circular scrolling enabled — that is, you start dragging down or up in the scroll zone, then move your finger in a clockwise circle to continue scrolling down, or a counter clockwise circle to scroll up.

The 15.6-inch, 1366x768 glossy screen is nice and bright, with a webcam situated at the top. The left side features two USB ports, a VGA port and 100Mb Ethernet, while the right features a single USB port, DVD+-RW and ExpressCard 34 slot. The front lip is kept similarly simple, with an indicator light for power, headphone and microphone jack and an SD/MMC/MS card reader. Wireless communications are limited to 802.11g — you'll find no 802.11n or Bluetooth here, but both are optional extras for AU$29.70 and AU$13.20 respectively.

Software-wise, the Inspiron 15 runs on Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit, with our review sample arriving with McAfee Security Center 30-day trial, Microsoft Office 2007 trial and Roxio Creator DE. Dell has also bundled its own software, including a dock that sits at the top of the screen purely for quick access to applications; DataSafe, which gives you 2GB storage online for free for 12 months, Dell Remote Access, webcam apps and a wireless configuration utility.

Performance

Inside our review sample was a Core 2 Duo T600 at 2.1GHz, 3GB RAM and a 320GB hard drive. This interesting mix gave us impressive results for a sub-AU$1000 laptop, scoring 874 in 3DMark06 (only bested by the Toshiba L500D), and 4043 in PCMark05, making it OK for casual gaming (but certainly not capable of playing new titles), and excellent for general use and office work.

Turning off all power-saving features and setting screen brightness and volume to maximum, we played back an XviD file and the battery lasted two hours, 39 minutes and 47 seconds, longer than any other sub-AU$1000 notebook we've tested. It must be noted this is an incredibly harsh test — with casual use, battery life will be longer.

The Dell Inspiron 15 is likely the best bang for buck you'll get for AU$1000, from its battery life to its upgrade options. We do miss the numpad, but the rest is perfect for the budget-conscious user.

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CreamingSoda
9
Rating
 

CreamingSoda posted a review   
Australia

LOVE IT!

Bought this laptop last year and was the best thing I bought =D

Will continue to buy Dells, they are the best for sure

dee
10
Rating
 

dee posted a review   

The Good:wounderfull

The Bad:bad

wonderfully good

Moo
10
Rating
 

Moo posted a review   

The Good:Everything...

The Bad:Nothing I haven't noticed.

It's great. Easy to use and works great when doing an assignment in Word, PowerPoint etc. It's got great graphics when watching DVDs - HD clear and great with music.
Just ... great!! =DD

alex P
7
Rating
 

alex P posted a review   

The Good:alot of stuff

The Bad:heat

how much dose it cost to buy 1?

 

tx_sak posted a comment   
Australia

The Good:Almost Everything

The Bad:Heat, Bluetooth, Normal Design, Webcam and HDMI

Its good in price value than compared to other laptops and has all the basic things you want except Bluetooth

 

sid posted a comment   

The Good:everything

The Bad:nothing

best in the world

 

Jacko posted a comment   

The Good:Webcam, Screen

The Bad:Heat

It's a great laptop, bought it for $900 at JB Hi Fi. The only downside is how hot it gets

 

alex P posted a reply   

Dose it really cost only $900?

Unknown2195
8
Rating
 

Unknown2195 posted a review   

The Good:Battery, Webcam, Price

The Bad:Heat, Standard Look, No Bluetooth and No HDMI

I had a lot of problems with the laptops touch-pad and keyboard. And it has a lot of Heat.

 

R dog : ) posted a comment   

The Good:The price is great for the specs.

The Bad:looks kinda boring : (

This Laptop is pretty awesome. Havnt had any problems with it yet :)

A downpoint is it looks boring and has a Intel graphics. (still plays cod 4 on low graphics but! :D )




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User Reviews / Comments  Dell Inspiron 15

  • CreamingSoda

    CreamingSoda

    Rating9

    "LOVE IT!

    Bought this laptop last year and was the best thing I bought =D

    Will continue to buy Dells, they are the best for sure"

  • dee

    dee

    Rating10

    "wonderfully good"

  • Moo

    Moo

    Rating10

    "It's great. Easy to use and works great when doing an assignment in Word, PowerPoint etc. It's got great graphics when watching DVDs - HD clear and great with music.
    Just ... great!! =DD"

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