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If you’re looking for a daily-use laptop, but on a lean budget, the Dell Inspiron 15 Touch is a good bet. It delivers a solid mix of capability and features, with impressive touches, like a touchscreen and a backlit keyboard making for a nice laptop that looks better than its mainstream rivals.
Plus, it is a ‘Signature Edition’ laptop, which means that it comes without the extra baggage that resides on your hard drive in the name of toolbars, spyware, and other unwanted apps that you might never use; but present the perennial headache of popups and enticements to subscribe to services. If not monitored, they do slow down your computer but with a signature edition the problem is non-existent.
Powering the Inspiron 15 is a sixth-generation Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB system memory, this 15.6-inch notebook is powerful enough to handle most daily chores including emails, Web surfing, and select office tasks, and it’ll give you more than five hours of battery life.
Though not a perfect system, overall, but it’s an option to consider in the same pack with class-leading laptops, like our Editors’ Choice Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG, that boost over 10 hours battery life and comes with a dedicated graphics card while at the same time remaining affordable.
Design and Features
The new Inspiron 15 may have the price and specs of a basic mainstream laptop, but it sure doesn’t dress the part. The chassis is mostly covered in black plastic with a brushed aluminum look on the lid–the kind of look you’d expect n premium laptops. However, it doesn’t match the current crop of ultrabooks in matters portability, at 0.94 by 15 by 10.25 inches (HWD) and 5.6 pounds, it is still light enough for short jaunts and room-to-room travel.
Beneath the lid are a 15.6 touchscreen display and a comfortable keyboard deck. The display’s 1920-by-1080 (Full HD) resolution is better that the 1,366-by-768 that is quite common in this category, but still low compared to high-res displays we’re seeing trickle down to most ultraportables.
The display offers 10-point capacitive touch, with a sturdy hinge that stands up well to taps and pokes, and which Dell says should stay tight even after opening the lid 21,000 times. The 2017 iteration of the Inspiron 15 comes with a full-size, chiclet-style keyboard, with complete backlighting which comes handy when you need to type in dark and dim environments.
A large touchpad opens your world to full gesture support, accentuated with the same swiping and zooming capability as the touch screen. Its two speakers (Maxx Audio Pro) offer decent sound quality, although they pipe through vents in the hinge and underneath the sound, though they can sometimes muffle the sound, and you might at one point be required to crank up the volume just to hear it in a large room.
Connectivity is quite standard. Here you get an assortment of I/O ports including one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI 1.4 port, and Headphone output/Microphone input combo. Internet connectivity is done through an RJ-45, while wireless connectivity comes via 802.11ac/a/b/g/n (Miracast enabled) wireless and Bluetooth 4.0.
Others are a DVD +/- RW drive and a front-mounted Intel RealSense 3D camera for skype chats and video conferences. The Inspiron’s 1TB hard drive spins at 5,400rpm and is loaded with Windows 10 Home (64-bit), and being a Signature Edition laptop, the usual bloatware is absent.
The Inspiron 15 is equipped with a sixth-generation (Skylake) Intel Core i5-6200U, a dual-core processor with a 2.3GHz base speed and a 2.8GHz burst speed. It comes with 8GB DDR3L system memory and uses Intel’s Integrated HD 520 Graphics. This combination isn’t the most powerful you can get on a desktop-replacement desktop, but it is definitely adequate for day-to-day computing including opening applications, typing documents, Web surfing, and composing and reading email.
We have seen the same processor and RAM in the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG, though the dedicated NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics card and 256SSD give the Aspire E15 and edge over the Inspiron 15 n terms of productivity and gaming performance. Still, for a budget laptop, the Inspiron 15 crunches the numbers well when put side-by-side with similarly equipped laptops, and the touchscreen display sweetens the deal, since most competing laptops do not come with the touch feature.
Don’t expect butter-smooth frame rates per second (fps) with this laptop. It managed only 10fps on Fallout 4 (medium settings), 12 fps on The Witcher 3 and 28 fps on GTA V under the same settings. The Acer Aspire 15 returned 24 fps on Fallout 4, 19 fps on The Witcher 3 and an impressive 69 fps on GTA V (medium settings).
Battery life is very good for a 15-inch desktop replacement laptop. The Inspiron 15’s 4-cell lithium-ion battery lasted 6 hours 09 minutes on our battery rundown test, beating last year’s Dell Inspiron 15 (4:16) by more than two hours and the larger Dell Inspiron 17 5000 Series (5:26) by an hour.
The newest Dell Inspiron flaunts what Dell does best: release into the market well-made machines at insanely affordable prices. It won’t wow you with speedy performance and extra features, safe for a touchscreen and backlit keyboard, but it still offers real-value for the buck in a durable chassis, solid battery life, and spits more than enough oomph for browsing the Web, emailing, and other basic-medium home-offices tasks.
A speedy hard drive would be nice, preferably a solid-state drive (SSD), but for the price it’s hard to complain, especially since the Full HD (1920-by-1080) panel offers intuitive 10-finger touch capability, good color quality and a sharp 1080p image.
That said, if you require some muscle for media processing and light gaming, consider our Editors’ Choice for budget desktop-replacement laptops, the Lenovo IdeaPad 330. It offers better all-round performance and a bright Full HD screen, but you will have to do without touch capability. If a back-lit keyboard and touch capability are must-haves in your ideal laptop and on a budget, then, the 2017 Dell Inspiron 15 deserves to be at the top of your list.
The 2017 Newest Dell Inspiron 15.6-inch Touchscreen laptop flaunts what Dell does best: release into the market well-made machines at insanely affordable prices. It won’t wow you with speedy performance and extra features.
- Touch-screen display
- 1TB hard drive
- Backlit keyboard
- Relatively slow hard drive