Dell has released a new set of laptops in the Summer of 2015. One of those is Dell Inspiron 15 (i5558-6429SLV), a machine with power user friendly components like i7-5500 processor, eight gigabytes system memory and a terabyte storage drive. But is there anything that makes this laptop special, and does it offer good value for you? I’ll try to figure those things out in the below review.
Dell Inspiron 15 (i5558-6429SLV) has quite a strong processor, the Core i7-5500U. It’s a dual-core low voltage CPU featuring 2.4GHz clock speed and 3.0GHz turbo speed. Because of the power efficient design it’s not as fast as beefier i7s – like the popular i7-4720HQ – although the i7-5500U still gets a good ~4000 CPU Mark points. As such, the chip is suitable for basic software as well as advanced use, such as programming and image editing. In addition, thanks to being a low voltage unit, the processor has a lowish 15W TDP and it won’t heat up too much.
The notebook contains two 4GB dual-channel DDR3L SODIMM 1600MHz memory sticks, so the total RAM is 8GB. A peek at the manual reveals that 16GB is the maximum this laptop supports. You can get that by replacing the both current memory sticks with 8GB chips.
It’s a terabyte drive that will be responsible for storage. I can’t praise it too much, it’s just a common 5400RPM hard drive, sort of blast from the past. In this era, people don’t often need so big drives anymore because data is stored in the cloud, instead they’re looking for fast components. A solid-state drive would be extremely quick, and if you know how to install it, go ahead and get one (2.5″ in size). You’ll also have to remove the old HDD, there’s no space for additional drive inside.
Graphics and screen
Display is not the strongest part of Dell Inspiron 15 (i5558-6429SLV) I’m afraid. It’s a 15.6″ diagonal screen, yet the resolution is just 1366×768. This wouldn’t be a big injustice but the price of this laptop is rather high, so Full HD display would’ve made great sense. Touch is not supported and the screen will rotate up to 135 degrees.
There’s GeForce 920M graphics engine installed in the system. It’s tad faster than integrated Intel HD 5500, yet still not a true player’s card. You can run many games, but getting enjoyable frame rates is another thing. For example, GTA 5 will work here, but only on mediocre ~30FPS when settings are medium and resolution the native 1366×768. Steam and browser games, and all those with little system requirements, will however work much better.
There are all the usual connections in Dell Inspiron 15 (i5558-6429SLV). Three USB ports are present, although just one of them is USB 3.0 – this high price tag often means more of those. Plugging in HD television won’t be a challenge, the laptop features a full-sized HDMI on the left.
The computer has a DVD burner, good news for those who still prefer discs. You can also transfer files to the system using other means, such as the built-in SD card slot. Downloading stuff from Internet is also a good idea, you’ll get a 10/100Mbps RJ-45 port and 802.11ac WiFi for networking. Bluetooth 4.0 is tied to the wireless card.
You can also use the notebook for video chatting, there’s a 1280×720 webcam available for that.
Anything else to keep in mind?
Dell Inspiron 15 (i5558-6429SLV) has a 4-cell 40Whr battery. It lasts around 4 hours if you’re surfing the web with conservative screen brightness. The battery is a removable one, so if you’re not happy with it changing the unit will be easily done.
The laptop weighs 4.94 pounds and thickness is 0.94 inches. It’s very similar to other 15.6″ notebooks, so if you’re used those you know what to expect also here in terms of portability.
The keys lit up on this model, also 10-key pad is available on the right.
There are a couple of good reasons to get Dell Inspiron 15 (i5558-6429SLV). First, if you’re a more demanding user, the i7-5500 together with 8GB memory will be a nice combo, making sure that the majority of (if not all) programs work smoothly, without lag. Also, if you prefer to use your laptop as data storage, the huge 1TB hard drive will come handy. The graphics engine is tad better than integrated ones, but still not capable of keeping maximum settings on many games. Some less flattering things include the 1366×768 screen, it would’ve been much nicer with Full HD resolution. But despite that shortcoming, the notebook is still quite a good pick for users who prefer performance over budget price.