Dell is the number one choice for many shoppers, at least in the Americas. First, it’s a familiar Texas-based company with US owners. Second, and perhaps more importantly, the vast majority of their computers receive positive reviews. And there must be a reason to this. Perhaps their products are just darn good? Is Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (i7537T-1122sLV), a popular model of theirs, a darn good laptop as well? Based on the user reviews, yes, but we also wanted to take a closer look at it before judging…
Intel Core i5-4210U is the processor running the system. It’s a 4th generation Haswell-based unit with two cores and 1.7 GHz clock frequency and up to 2.7GHz turbo. It’s also a so-called ULV (ultra low voltage) model, a popular choice for laptops to increase battery life. Of course, these ULV chips are slower than regular models, but any i5 is good for demanding software and multitasking. This particular chip gets 3400 points in CPU Mark tests, similar to other ULV i5s, while low power i3s hover around 2500.
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (i7537T-1122sLV) has 6GB memory installed. The distribution is one 4GB chip and one 2GB chip that eat up the both memory slots. System supports up to 16GB memory, so by replacing one or both modules you can increase the RAM. Alternatively, you can go for the 8GB or even 16GB models (that also include a Core i7 processor), but the price will be higher, too.
Storage drive in these things is a 1000GB 5400RPM Western Digital hard drive. That is good news for people requiring huge space, but disappointing for folks who are after absolute performance. If you don’t want the terabyte storage but a speedier drive, you have the option to get an SSD. There are no versions of this laptop that come with an SSD, but installing a solid-state drive yourself is possible with some technical know-how.
Display and graphics
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (i7537T-1122sLV) has a 15.6″ display with 1366×768 resolution. I couldn’t help noticing many leaving positive feedback about the screen, although usually displays of this cheap notebooks are not that good. It is also a touch screen, designed to attract casual users looking to learn Windows 8.1 (64-bit) quickly. If you ask me, I think using that operating system is not an issue with trackpad and keyboard, either.
Is gaming your cup of tea? If so, this Dell might just work for you. It features a graphics engine called Intel HD 4400. As an integrated model, you wont be having maximum eye candy and high resolution on many titles, but playing on lower settings is possible. For example, GTA V should run at ~20FPS on low details and resolution. Some lag will be present, but I’d still call that playable. Many older titles will however work considerably better. An example would be Counter-Strike: GO from 2012, on high settings it would get ~40FPS.
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (i7537T-1122sLV) is full of useful connections. Not only it has four USB ports, but all of them happen to be USB 3.0. That is very rare for this price, and you won’t have problems even with several peripherals for sure. In addition, a HDMI output (but no VGA) is offered, so one can hook up an HD television or PC display.
The networking interfaces are Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11b/g/n WiFi. Bluetooth 4.0 is also supported.
Keep in mind there is no optical drive in Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (i7537T-1122sLV) You can’t work with discs unless you get an external drive (which are cheap, around 30 dollars). The SD media card reader might be of some help, too.
The laptop has a 0.92MP webcam, good for video conferences on Skype.
Any other things to keep in mind?
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (i7537T-1122sLV) weighs good 5.7 pounds. It’s not the lightest 15.6 incher I’ve seen – many are bit less, around 5 lbs. But battery life should be good. To be honest, I don’t know if it’s legit, but somebody said they were getting around 8 hours when browsing the web. Some others said four to six hours, that’s probably closer to the truth.
The keyboard is backlit and there’s a numeric keypad on the right hand side. The shell is made of aluminum (minus the bottom), contributing to professional look and feel.
Summing it up
Considering what performance and features you get for the price, I think Dell Inspiron 15 7000 (i7537T-1122sLV) is definitely a keeper. It offers you a speedy Core i5 processor and 6GB RAM to work with, and treats like four USB 4.0, backlit keyboard and aluminum finish are useful things for power users. Bad thing would be the lack of a solid-state drive, but that can be fixed by installing one afterwards. Especially if you’re able to find this rig on a discount, I don’t see a single reason to skip it.