Dell has been going through an overhaul of its products, more and more taking appearance into account, the Inspiron is no exception and has had a makeover but have they still kept the value for money?
Dell has impressed us lately with a great range of laptops to suit all demands, and the Inspiron 15r N5110 continues that trend, providing stunning power considering the mid-range price point.
For relatively little cash you get the latest Intel Core i5 2410M processor, with Sandy Bridge technology. As well as running any software you throw on it, the Inspiron 15r provides plenty of future-proofing, so won’t need replacing any time soon.
You also get a powerful dedicated nVidia graphics card, the GeForce GT 525M. HD movies run perfectly, you can comfortably edit all of your media, and gamers can even play the latest titles. Some of the more hardcore titles will need their detail settings tweaked to maintain a smooth framerate, but this is still the best performance you’ll get outside of a dedicated gaming machine.
The 15.6-inch screen is reasonably bright, and also vibrant enough to fully enjoy photos and films. Contrast levels and viewing angles are good but not spectacular. However, the built-in SRS speakers are impressively powerful, a real surprise for a laptop this size. Of course, audiophiles will still prefer a dedicated external pair for listening to music.
At 2.7kg, the Inspiron 15r can be carried every day if needed, and the body isn’t too chunky to be a pain when cramming it into your backpack. Portability is bolstered by the battery life, which lasts three hours even when watching HD video on full power settings.
The Inspiron 15r is also undeniably attractive. The dark brushed metal finish looks slick, with only a little flex around the edges, and our model came with one of Dell’s swappable SWITCH lids. You get a choice of over twenty colourful designs, which make a refreshing change from the standard plain efforts.
Like many of the laptops here, an isolation-style keyboard has been used. The keys are well spaced but we found the board to be spongy, with serious flex in the middle when typing. It’s not a serious issue but we expected better.
Connections are plentiful, with VGA and HDMI ports for hooking up external displays and even an eSATA port for attaching external hard drives. With 500GB of built-in storage, you’ll likely only need to do so when backing up your important files.
Dell Inspiron 15r N5110 Launch date: Out now
Dell Inspiron 15r N5110: £579