Now, we usually review only cheaper notebooks on Tech For Pennies. But that doesn’t mean high end laptops are neglected – also power users need a tool to work with. Dell Inspiron 15 i5548-5833SLV is an example of a powerful laptop, boasting a superb Core i7 processor, dedicated video card and 16GB RAM. The notebook is priced accordingly, so we can’t help but wonder if it’s really worth your dollars. Well, let’s see more about that here…
Intel’s new 5th generation processors have found their way to a handful of laptops, including Dell Inspiron 15 i5548-5833SLV. Its CPU is called Core i7-5500U, with most interesting specifications being dual-core configuration and 2.4GHz clock speed (3.0GHz when turbo is on). It’s around 5% faster than the i7-4500U, and considering the older model is from 2013, I’m surprised to see there’s no bigger increase in performance. At any rate, the Core i7 series are excellent choices for demanding use. They even run the most complex programs (think of Photoshop, VirtualBox) without lagging.
The Dell has 16GB RAM installed, far more than the laptops usually considered powerful with 8 GB memory. So all software and multitasking are piece of cake for this computer. 16GB is the maximum the notebook supports so you can’t add more, but trust me, you don’t really have to worry about that.
Storage section isn’t any worse. There’s a 1000GB 5400RPM hard drive giving you a lot of space to work with. Expect such a drive to hold all your files, games and movies of past and present with no problems. As far as I know, it also has a 8GB SSD cache, giving you faster performance compared to drive with only HDD capabilities.
Graphics and screen
Dell Inspiron 15 i5548-5833SLV’s 15.6 inches screen is the average size of laptops – not too big or too small, decent for most tasks. It’s also a Full HD display, the only option for this high price. A 1920×1080 content from YouTube and other sources will play nicely and smoothly. It also seems to be an IPS panel, contributing to better colors and perhaps even viewing angles. And because it’s a touch screen, you can toy around with Windows 8.1’s touch features as much as you please.
Laptops traditionally suffer from bad gaming performance. They tend to come with weak integrated graphics cards. However, this Dell has Radeon R7 M270, a dedicated graphics engine ready tackle many games with acceptable frame rates. For example, the heavy Assassin’s Creed 4 should average 15-20FPS on high details and 1366×768. With similar settings, the easier CS:GO averages 30 frames per second. So you can pretty much play everything on this rig, although you might want to decrease settings and resolution on newer games if you want a lag-free experience.
You can connect three USB gadgets to Dell Inspiron 15 i5548-5833SLV: the laptop contains one USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports. Also, plugging in an HDTV or PC display works since there’s a HDMI output on the right hand side.
The notebook has an excellent A/C WiFi + Bluetooth 4.0 adapter. Also, a 10/100Mbps Ethernet adapter is offered for wired networking. However, you must rely on Internet for downloading your files: there’s no built-in DVD drive. Another option is to use an external drive or SD card slot on the left side.
The webcam is 720p, up to today’s standards, good for video chats on Skype and other programs.
Anything else to keep in mind?
Dell Inspiron 15 i5548-5833SLV weighs 5.7 pounds, which means it’s bit heavier than most 15 inch laptops (~5 lbs average weight). The 3-cell battery will last three or for hours. Not a traveler’s dream indeed, although these bigger notebooks rarely are.
The notebook features backlit keyboard, so it’s comfortable to operate in dark rooms. 10-key pad is located on the right hand side.
Some software, including trials for MS Office and McAfee anti-virus are pre-installed. Those two work only for 30 days, though.
Dell Inspiron 15 i5548-5833SLV is an expensive notebook, but it surely has a lot of performance as well. It’s hard to think about case where the Core i7, 16GB RAM and hybrid HDD+SDD are not enough. The Full HD IPS touch display should suffice for power users and digital artists. And thanks to dedicated graphics, also those new games work fairly well on this rig – something cheaper laptops really struggle with. This Dell is indeed pricey, but I’d say the cost is justified for what the laptop offers.