Choosing the Dell Inspiron i3552-5240BLK laptop might sound like a good idea; after all it features all the essential components for home users and the price is certainly not bad. But could such a low-cost computer really work, or is it just too slow a unit..?
Decent processor for the price – There is Intel Pentium N3700 running the show. It’s a CPU with four cores, 1.6GHz clock speed and 2.4GHz turbo. In CPU Mark tests it receives almost 1800 points. That is lower than, for example, Core i3s from the 4th generation with ~2500 points. Anyway, for the money I can’t complain, you’ll be able to do all the basic stuff like browse the web with this Pentium.
Sufficient ports – I can’t say ports and connectors are plenty in Dell Inspiron i3552-5240BLK, but I don’t think a budget laptop would need much more. There are two USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 for hooking up peripherals, a monitor can be plugged in to the HDMI-out.
Removable battery – If you think the included 4-cell 40Whr battery is too weak, you can easily snap it out and put a beefier one in. You should anyway get 4-5 hours with the current one.
Memory is alright – Dell Inspiron i3552-5240BLK has 4GB RAM installed (single stick), it’s not a lot but should get a casual user going. You can of course replace that with a 8GB module if you want.
Networking – You can connect to Internet using the 802.11bgn & Bluetooth 4.0 adapter. There is no RJ-45 port, but the thing is, not everybody needs LAN in the first place. And if you do, with USB adapter you can get that as well.
Plain display – Nothing special in this department. You’re getting a 15.6″ display with maximum resolution of 1366×768. Touch is not supported.
Slow hard drive – The 500GB hard drive (SATA 3 5400RPM) is nothing to be proud of, it’s not too big in storage and it’s definitely slow. Luckily it can be upgraded to SSD if you wish. Bear in mind this model has no M.2 slots available.
Optical drive missing – Dell Inspiron i3552-5240BLK comes with no DVD burner inside. You can of course use external optical drive in case you want to work with discs. There’s also SD card slot at your disposal.
Limited gaming performance – This one is probably not shocking news to you, but the laptop isn’t very good for gaming. It features the integrated Intel HD Graphics which means newer and fancier games like GTA 5 are out of question. Still, some older ones will work, such as Diablo 3, World of Warcraft and even Minecraft.
It would be unreasonable to call Dell Inspiron i3552-5240BLK a powerful laptop, but it can certainly work wonders for casual users without big requirements. Surfing the web, watching YouTube, even playing simple games are all activities this notebook can do. There will be lag if you try to deal with professional software or games with wonderful graphics, but as long as you steer away from those, this Dell should be nothing but a good deal for you.