At least one thing Americans can do better than Europeans, and that’s inexpensive electronics. Laptops and desktops often are much cheaper in the US than on the side of the Atlantic. Here’s one US-made budget laptop, Dell Inspiron i3542-6000SLV, and I’ll give you my opinion about it in the review below.
It looks like this Dell is perfect for home and office use, but for professional, high requirements software not so much. It is powered by the Intel Core i3-4005U processor which is not known for high performance: in fact it gets around 2500 points in CPU Mark which is these days considered a bit low, most casual user laptops are getting 3000-3500 points. The core amount is two and clock speed a conservative 1.7GHz with no turbo.
There’s not too much memory in Dell Inspiron i3542-6000SLV, either. You’ll find 4GB RAM installed, it takes the only SODIMM slot on the motherboard. You can switch that up to 8GB stick if you think you need more memory.
As you could guess, hard drive is not fantastic here, it’s a SATA 3 based 500GB 5400RPM drive. I know many people are fine with that, however if you prefer an SSD you’ll need to remove the old drive prior installing the new one.
Can I use it for gaming?
I wouldn’t advice for using this Dell to play games. It has no dedicated graphics card, the only thing you’re getting is the Intel HD 4400 chip integrated to the processor. It can work if your expectations are not too high; however you’re not going to get more than 20-25FPS using low settings and 720p with demanding games such as GTA 5. But a good thing, if you’re into easier titles like League of Legends, you can play those using high, or even maxed out, settings.
What ports and connections there are?
Dell Inspiron i3542-6000SLV offers a 10/100Mbps RJ-45 port as well as 802.11b/g/n wireless adapter to get you connected to Internet. Bluetooth 4.0 is enabled, too.
USB ports are three, two USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 are found on the sides. For video output there’s HDMI, hook up external display to that if you wish.
The computer includes a DVD burner so you can work with discs as you wish. Media card reader is there as well, it eats SD cards.
In case you want to shoot videos (or have chats), feel free to use the built-in webcam. It offers 1280×720 video resolution.
Other important things to keep in mind?
The screen on Dell Inspiron i3542-6000SLV is pretty uninteresting, it features the usual 15.6″ diagonal and basic 1366×768 resolution. It doesn’t support touch.
The keyboard doesn’t have backlight but there’s a 10-key pad on the right hand side.
Battery is rated at 4-cell 40Whr, not very strong, so don’t expect to get more than four hours with a single charge.
It can’t be said that Dell Inspiron i3542-6000SLV is a powerhouse, but for the price it offers fast enough components for home use, college work and perhaps small office activities. Watching Full HD videos is also within its limits, however gaming – especially using high settings – is probably not going to work. But if you have a limited budget and are looking for a basic yet functioning laptop, giving this Dell a try should be worth it.