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Dell Inspiron 15R review

  • Dell Inspiron 15R keyboard
  • Dell Inspiron 15R keyboard
  • Dell Inspiron 15R right side
  • Dell Inspiron 15R left side

Verdict:

If you don’t need 3D power, the 15R is great value thanks to its excellent screen and good performance

Review Date: 21 Nov 2011

Price when reviewed: £499

Supplier: http://www.dell.co.uk

Reviewed By: Tom Morgan

Our Rating 5 stars out of 5

This is the second time we’ve seen the 'facelifted' Dell Inspiron 15R, but this model lacks the dedicated graphics card of its more expensive sibling - the N00Q1535. Instead, it relies on Intel’s integrated graphics to keep the price below £500.

Dell Inspiron 15R keyboard

Without dedicated graphics, the Inspiron struggles to run modern games. It produced 13fps in our Dirt 3 test, so you’ll have to either sacrifice resolution and detail settings or stick to older titles. Watching HD video is no problem, either at 720p on the laptop or 1080p on an external display over HDMI.

Graphics performance aside, the 15R is an impressive performer in desktop tasks thanks to its Core i5 processor. With two cores, the i5-2430M sped through our multimedia benchmarks with an overall score of 49 – it can handle almost every desktop application you can throw at it without missing a beat.

We're big fans of Dell’s laptop displays, and the 15R has a stunning 15.6in panel. The resolution might be run of the mill at 1,366x768, but it has fantastic image quality thanks to a glossy finish and ultra-bright LED backlight, which makes colours look incredibly vivid. Viewing angles are slightly better than average, and there’s a reasonable amount of screen tilt, so you should have no trouble using the 15R in most lighting conditions. The pair of stereo speakers underneath produces decent enough audio for watching videos, but they're still poor compared with most TVs.

Dell Inspiron 15R right side

At 2.6kg, this is no featherweight, but you should still be able to take the 15R with you on the move. Its great battery life of six and a half hours in our light-use test means you might not have to take the charger with you. The whole chassis is surprisingly compact thanks to its recessed screen hinge that sits on top of the laptop, rather than at its edge.

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