Dell Inspiron 15 3000 i3543-2000BLK Review

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March 5, 2015
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Dell enjoys a status of high quality and trusted manufacturer. In the eyes of many, they’re actually the most reliable laptop company today. If this is indeed true, a lot could be expected from one of their later models called Dell Inspiron 15 3000 i3543-2000BLK. And not least because it has a new 5th generation Intel processor…

Performance

So, Intel Core i3-5005U is the CPU of Dell Inspiron 15 3000 i3543-2000BLK. Having been released just a couple of months ago, it features two cores and a 2.0GHz clock speed, although no turbo boost. It’s supposed to be faster than older Core i3 models, and professional benchmarks seem to verify this fact. I’d say it’s a good option for casual users who also now and then run heavier applications, perhaps do some programming or image editing.

There’s 4GB memory installed, the lowest acceptable amount in my opinion. A little strange thing about this new Inspiron i354x series, there’s only one memory slot on the mainboard. While you can definitely install more memory, that would have to happen by replacing the old chip.

The notebook has a 500GB hard drive, a basic one often seem in these cheaper laptops. It can host tens of thousands of smaller files without a problem, so size is not an issue for most users. What might however be, is the fact that it’s indeed a hard drive, not a solid-state drive. But you can of course remove the drive and put SSD in if you fancy that.

Display and graphics

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 i3543-2000BLK has a touchscreen which gives you the opportunity to try some of the Windows 8.1’s new features. The display itself is 15.6″ diagonal and sports a 1366×768 resolution, so it’s the most basic screen there is. Full HD content won’t run natively but of course 1920×1080 videos will show, just as a downscaled version.

The new 5th Gen Core i3 processor has also a new graphics engine. Dubbed HD Graphics 5500, it should bring an upgrade from the older HD 4400 model (HD 4600 is still faster). Even the latest games from 2014 and 2015 should run at least with satisfactory FPS, however most only on low settings. As an example, Battlefield 4 reaches +30FPS while Fifa 15 should easily get over 40 frames per second. In case you’re happy with old games (like Minecraft) you can expect much better frame rates and/or increased settings.

Connections

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 i3543-2000BLK has, like all similar laptops, three USB ports. Bit of a bummer, just one of those is USB 3.0 and two are USB 2.0 – it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have it the other way around.

An external monitor can be plugged in to the notebook’s HDMI output.

Networking consists of a regular 10/100Mbps RJ-45 port and a 802.11b/g/n wireless adapter. As a bonus, Bluetooth is tied to the WiFi card.

There’s a built-in DVD drive on the right, allowing you to create CDs and DVDs if that’s your cup of tea. You can also play with memory cards since there’s an SD card reader next to the optical drive.

A 1280×720 (0.92MP for still image) webcam is installed, so video chats on Skype can happen.

What other things to keep in mind?

On Amazon, weight of Dell Inspiron 15 3000 i3543-2000BLK is listed as 4.8 pounds. But in Dell’s specifications, a 5.51 pounds weight is given. If it’s the first, great, but if the latter is true, it’s a bit above what these 15.6″ laptops usually are.

Phrase “long-lasting battery life” is used in the ad copy, but don’t trust that. There’s a basic 4-cell battery installed which will most likely give only ~3 hours running time. I wouldn’t call that long-lasting.

Non-backlit keyboard has found its way to this Dell. Also a numeric keypad is available on the right hand side.

Summing it up

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 i3543-2000BLK is a notebook above a simple starter laptop, with a quite powerful 5th generation Core i3 processor giving appropriate performance for users with tendencies to run heavy software now and then. Many games would also work, although only on low settings and resolution. Touchscreen and Bluetooth are useful features to have. To be honest, I can’t find much to complain for this low price. So if it’s a good everyday laptop you’re after, consider giving this Dell a go.


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