Small laptops are sought after people who like to travel, but how about those who are just after a basic home or office notebook? A bigger laptop might be more comfortable in that case. One example is the Dell Inspiron 17 (i5758-1428BLK), a computer boasting large 17.3″ display. Under the hood there are basic components like Core i3 processor and 4GB RAM. So let’s see what this budget laptop is good for…
What programs can the system run?
Dell Inspiron 17 (i5758-1428BLK) offers performance enough for home users or perhaps small office folks. Its processor is the Core i3-5005U, a new 2015 dual-core model with 2.0GHz clock speed and no turbo. The popular CPU Mark benchmark gives it 3000 points, and as a comparison, the beefier i5-5200U gets a grade of around 3500. The processor has 15W TDP (thermal design power), meaning energy use is much smaller than in heavy-duty processors, also problems with heat should not occur. The downside is of course limited performance, but all the YouTube, paper writing and web browsing activities are not an issue for this i3 processor.
The memory consists of only one 4GB DDR3L 1600MHz SODIMM chip, not a lot considering we’re living in the year 2015. Luckily, the other memory slot on the mainboard is unoccupied, you can easily double the RAM by inserting another 4GB stick there. The maximum memory this laptop supports is 16GB.
Storage is not the strong side of this notebook. There’s just a 500GB 5400RPM hard drive offering space for your files. The size itself is not so bad, but combined with the slow mechanical HDD transfer rates I have to list this as a disadvantage. If you want to speed up the computer I recommend replacing the current drive with a 2.5-inch SATA 3 SSD yourself.
And what about games?
Dell Inspiron 17 (i5758-1428BLK) is not meant for gamers, at least if you want a lot of eye candy and smooth frames. See, the system only features an integrated Intel HD 5500 which is poor compared to real player cards. In reality, you can fire up various games but settings and resolution need to be rather low. For example, with this laptop you can expect to get ~20FPS on heavyweight games like GTA 5 with medium details and 1366×768 resolution. Many titles are of course less requiring than that, as an example Counter-Strike: Go and Diablo 3 would run smoothly on higher settings.
Is the screen any good?
Dell Inspiron 17 (i5758-1428BLK) contains a very basic screen, with 17.3″ diagonal, 1600×900 resolution and no touch support. Full HD is rarely found in this price and size category so you’ll have to do with the “HD+” resolution. The display should be good enough for casual users, but the low resolution won’t probably please many professionals.
What devices can I connect?
Dell Inspiron 17 (i5758-1428BLK) has three USB ports, one of them is USB 3.0 so you might want to prefer that. Plugging in a HD television won’t be a problem, the notebook contains HDMI port for external monitors.
A big notebook like this has plenty of room, so a tray load DVD burner is available. 3-in-1 media card reader for SD format is there as well, good if you have camera or other device whose storage medium is memory card.
Networking options include a 802.11ac WiFi card and 100Mbps RJ-45 port. Bluetooth 4.0 is supported too.
Like most Dell laptops, also this model comes with a 1280×720 webcam good for Skype video chatting.
Other relevant things?
Dell Inspiron 17 (i5758-1428BLK) has a non-backlit keyboard with numeric keypad on the right.
The 40Whr 4-cell battery should work for ~4 hours under web surfing or similar light workload. It’s an integrated battery, so in order to replace it you have to remove screws and the laptop’s bottom.
The notebook weighs 6.22 pounds and the height is 1.06 inches. A typical 17-inch unit indeed, not perhaps the best idea for on-the-go computing.
It’s indeed the folks looking for a desktop replacement that would benefit the most from Dell Inspiron 17 (i5758-1428BLK). It’s a big laptop, weighing over 6 pounds and featuring a 17-inch screen, so travelers might want to go for a lighter one. But in homes or small offices this kind of thing shines, you can do all the basic stuff – be it video streaming or MS Office – without issues. However, the laptop doesn’t pack a lot of power, so heavier software and especially gaming is not recommended on it. If you are fine with that limitation, going for this Dell means you’ll get a decent notebook for very affordable price.