Dell Inspiron i3541-2002BLK Review

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January 12, 2015
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What do you want from a desirable laptop? Perhaps affordability and simplicity? In that case, it might do you well to take a closer look at Dell i3541-2002BLK. It’s a budget notebook with a quad-core CPU and a 15.6″ screen. At a glance, it looks good for simple tasks, be it at home or office. But let me elaborate this below.

The performance

Dell i3541-2002BLK’s processor bears the name AMD A6-6310. It runs on four core setup and has clock speed of 1.8GHz – 2.4GHz (with turbo feature). The AMD is about as powerful as some Intel Core i3 chips from 2013. This makes it good match for a starter laptop, although it should be sufficient for occasional multitasking and other tasks requiring extra effort, too.

The laptop has 4GB RAM installed by default. The memory cap is eight gigabytes so installing more is an option. However, I don’t know if there’s a free memory slot or not available on the mainboard. It might be you’d have to replace the 4GB chip for a bigger one.

A 500GB hard drive is plenty as long as you don’t download or otherwise store huge files on the computer. The speed is unsurprisingly just 5400RPM so transfer rates unfortunately aren’t the strong side of this drive.

A screen with 15.6″ diagonal and 1366×768 resolution works for everyday use. I wouldn’t however expect miracles from this basic, non-touch display. An advanced user might want a better one (higher resolution, to start with) but for a budget laptop this display seems like an average pick.

Does it work for gaming

Dell i3541-2002BLK works for some games, that’s for sure. In addition to a CPU, the AMD accelerated processing unit has a graphics engine as well. Called Radeon R4, it resembles Intel HD 4000/4200 in terms of performance. Not many 2014 titles full of graphics run on this rig, but games without heavy system requirements should. Minecraft, League of Legends and most pre-2013 games should have playable frame rates, whereas Battlefield 4 and Far Cry 4 would hardly reach 20 FPS even on low settings.

Connections

There’s nothing special about Dell i3541-2002BLK’s connectivity. You’ll get three USB ports, the usual amount, one port being USB 3.0. HDMI output is available in case you like to use your notebook with an external monitor.

100Mbps Ethernet port and a regular WiFi adapter (with Bluetooth 4.0) serve your Internet connection needs.

The notebook comes with an optical drive, allowing for DVD burning. Memory card reader is also available.

A basic, front-facing webcam is installed on the screen for effortless video chatting.

Any other things to keep in mind?

The portability of Dell i3541-2002BLK seems quite typical for a 15 incher. It weighs 5.26 pounds and has advertised battery life of 6.5 hours – which, of course, will be couple of hours less in reality. The battery should however be user-replaceable if you feel the need for a better power source.

The keyboard comes with a numeric pad on the right. Typical for a budget laptop, the keyboard is not backlit on this model.

Conclusions

As the majority of laptops reviewed on this site, also Dell i3541-2002BLK fits nicely to the budget notebook niche serving the needs of home & small office users and students alike. It does good job with web browsing, emailing and video streaming – none of which require too great a performance. Gaming is limited to older titles with reduced graphics, but that’s what you really get with a cheap laptop. If that doesn’t matter to you, this Dell won’t probably disappoint you. It’s not any special deal for the current price though, but especially for a discount I would vote for getting it.


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