Dell Inspiron 15 (i5558-2859BLK) Laptop Review

October 15, 2015
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Dell Inspiron 15 (i5558-2859BLK), it doesn’t look that bad. There’s a (Broadwell) Core i3-5015U processor inside, an appropriate chip for everyday computing activities, and 8GB RAM is becoming the norm even in these lower-end laptops. So yes, at a glance I would say it’s a good choice, but you never know without examining the case further…

How’s the performance?

Some user reported applications load quickly on this computer. I can believe that, the processor is a good general-use unit called Intel Core i3-5010U. It runs on two cores and offers a 2.1GHz clock speed – sadly no turbo is available though. The popular benchmark CPU Mark gives it tad over 3000 points (for example, basic-level Celerons get 1000, only good for lightweight web browsing). But this Core i3 is quite powerful, most programs you’d try to run wouldn’t lag here.

There’s 8GB memory installed, the configuration is two sticks of 4GB. The current eight gigabytes is an excellent amount to begin with, but rest assured you can upgrade to 16GB if you think you need that much (I don’t think you do). The hard drive can’t be praised for its performance, but 1TB is still a lot of storage capacity. Don’t forget you can always take it out and put in a solid-state drive if you want to bump up the performance.

And the suitability for gaming?

Unfortunately Dell Inspiron 15 (i5558-2859BLK) isn’t the best pick for gaming. The integrated Intel HD 5500 can surely run most games (even those from 2015) but not on high settings. There are reports that say the HD 5500 can run GTA V, however only if you play with medium settings and 720p resolution. On the other hand, titles without fancy graphics like League of Legends run better, you can play that with high details and have pretty much smooth frame rates.

Any comments about the display?

The screen in Dell Inspiron 15 (i5558-2859BLK) looks like a basic one, 15.6″ diagonal and 1366×768 resolution. Touch is supported, some people like that, but with Windows 10 it’s not necessary. The display won’t turn past ~180 degrees, hence you can’t use this unit in tablet mode.

What ports does it have?

The ports setup is similar to other budget notebooks. You’ll find three USB connectors here, two are USB 2.0 and one is USB 3.0. Plugging in HDTV will be effortless thanks to the built-in HDMI output. The tray load DVD burner can read and write to CDs and DVDs, in addition you can transfer data between memory cards and this computer using the laptop’s SD card slot.

There’s nothing wrong with the Internet connectivity, you’re offered a 802.11 A/C + Bluetooth 4.0 network adapter. Dell Inspiron 15 (i5558-2859BLK) also has RJ-45 port on the side, good for connecting to Internet using wire.

In case you’re into filming videos you can use the front-facing webcam (1280×720 video resolution) for that activity.

Other relevant things

There’s a removable 40Whr 4-cell battery included, it will probably last for the usual 4 hours, not more.

According to official specifications, the unit weighs 5.27 pounds, similar to its 15.6″ competitors.

The standard keyboard doesn’t have backlit keys, but dedicated numpad is of course available.

Summing it up

Dell Inspiron 15 (i5558-2859BLK) is a very basic notebook for daily computing. Doing homework, surfing the web, multimedia activities are all things this laptop can be used for without problems. Some specialized software should also run, at least on an occasional basis, but the limit will be met when you try to play games: you’ll notice fast that top FPS can’t be reached simultaneously with high settings and resolution. But that’s not unique to this computer, no 500 bucks notebook is really good for gaming. So if you want a decent home laptop, you shouldn’t need anything pricier and fancier than this Dell.

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