Dell i5558-2147BLK is categorized as a home or student laptop. And looking at the specs, that I can easily believe. There is Core i3 processor, 6GB RAM and 1TB hard drive running the show – something that should be enough for lightweight use. Battery life seems to be decent, and also some smaller yet useful features like A/C WiFi are included. But some things are not so good, and I’ll tell more about the notebook’s drawbacks below.
What is it good for?
Simply put, Dell i5558-2147BLK is good for the “everyday” stuff you most likely do with your computer. That includes web browsing (+ YouTube), writing a paper or editing spreadsheets or listening to music. The processor in this laptop is Intel Core i3-5010U, a 5th Generation dual-core 2.1GHz model that can easily work for all the aforementioned activities. True, it’s only i3 without turbo boost, but home user doesn’t need anything fancier. If you’re interested about benchmarks, this thing gets tad over 3000 points in CPU Mark.
There is 6GB of memory installed in the notebook, more precisely one 2GB and one 4GB sticks. Such an amount is plenty for many people, allowing multitasking – like having dozens of tabs open in your favorite browser. You can go all the way to 16GB RAM, but I wouldn’t say it’s a good idea unless you’re a real power user.
Hard drive is nothing to get too excited about, it’s only a 1TB 5400RPM model. It surely stores a lot of data (like two hundred thousand high quality images) but performance is far from top-notch. So, if you want to make your system faster, you should remove it and install SSD instead. Solid-state drive has much smaller capacity, but storing even big files on cloud services is a viable option these days.
What is it NOT good for?
You might already know this, but Dell i5558-2147BLK isn’t very gamer-friendly option. A cheap laptop like this couldn’t possibly have a fast dedicated graphics, hence you’re left with an integrated unit called Intel HD 5500. You can get playable frame rates with many games – even those from 2015 – but you’ll need to use low/medium settings and around 720p resolution. With such settings, Grand Theft Auto 5 would give ~25FPS and Counter-Strike: Go ~60FPS. Other popular titles like League of Legends would work without noticeable lag.
I’m not saying the display is bad, but consider it’s a glossy 15.6″ 1366×768 model. You’re not doing professional image editing with that, however playing YouTube videos and games (with the above paragraph in mind) is not a problem. Also remember it’s not a touchscreen.
What devices can I plug in?
Dell i5558-2147BLK features all the regular connections, for example three USB ports (of which only one is sadly USB 3.0, the rest two are USB 2.0). There’s also HDMI output for video (but no DisplayPort), you’re able to hook up most external monitors to that.
A tray load DVD writer is of course included, so is an SD card slot for working with memory cards. Internet connectivity is brought by a dual-band A/C-type WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 card. Also 10/100Mbps RJ-45 port is featured.
A front-facing 720p webcam is available for making videos or chatting with your buddies.
Anything else I should know about?
Dell i5558-2147BLK has a pretty average weight, 5.31 pounds. The ad copy speaks about 7.5 hours battery life, but in reality I don’t think you’re going to reach that with the 4-cell 40Whr unit. Five hours is a better estimate. But don’t forget the battery is user-replaceable type, so if you’re not happy with it just put a beefier one in.
The operating system is pre-installed Windows 10 Home, the 64-bit edition. The keyboard has a numpad but no backlit keys.
Summing it up
If it’s software like MS Office, web browser, Skype or low-level games such as Minecraft, this computer is all you need. Dell i5558-2147BLK is not really a slow laptop – that would be a Celeron-based rig – because there are decent 5th Generation processor and 6GB RAM in the engine room. That kind of components are good for most software, but the main limitation would indeed be gaming – you’re left with integrated graphics, so don’t expect very enjoyable gaming sessions. Otherwise this computer seems like a good deal for the money, as said in the beginning a home user or student would most likely enjoy it!